I'm a grown man, shaking my hips to earn fictional trinkets. "Almost!" says the screen, as I repeatedly fail to pull off a dance move - adding to the growing sense of misery being built by the game's disastrous soundtrack. I knew it was likely that a game called The Black Eyed Peas Experience would contain plenty of music by The Black Eyed Peas, but foresight doesn't always makes things easier.
There are 30 songs to choose from, with each broken into chunks. Once you've nailed each set of moves, you can chain them up to attempt the whole sequence. Teaching in sections might sound tedious, but learning the routines is surprisingly tricky. The Kinect movement tracking isn't that clever, and seems to rely on checking your posture: get yourself into the right poses at the right time, and you'll trick the game into thinking you can dance. Crack out a set of looser grooves, and you're unlikely to make much of an impact.
Even if you can't nail all the moves, it shouldn't get in the way of a decent night in, especially if you're fond of tunes like The Time (Dirty Bit). Most sane people are convinced that this song is a breach of the Geneva Convention, but it's important that we put these assertions aside. Let's forget about will.i.am, and his unreasonable sequence of asymmetrical haircuts. Forget about the other chap being called apl.de.ap - a name that sounds like a flavour of Tango designed by robots. It isn't important. Focus. You've got some complicated moves to learn.
Jumping over to party play mode, the face of half-dragon ladything Fergie pops up to inform you about the mode that lets you combine moves to create new routines, which you can then share online with the "homies" on your Xbox Live Friends list. If you've got a willing friend you can play in co-op, and microphone support lets other people sing to earn you extra points to unlock shiny things to dress your avatar up in.
Menus are slick, and everything works well. If the thought of a game dedicated to The Black Eyed Peas doesn't make you want to rearrange the contents of your skull with a screwdriver, this is worth a punt. Otherwise check out the far more palatable Dance Central 2, which features more songs and venues, and tunes that aren't catastrophically tasteless.
More fun than we're willing to admit
- Entirely functional
- Not enough songs
- Too light for the price
- Oh god my ears
- My ears are burning