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Club Hits is very much in the party game genre, you can play solo and try to beat your score, play against an opponent, or take it in turns against several opponents. The game is playable with the wii-mote and nun-chuck but that would be pointless, let's face it a dance mat is a must and is the focus of this review.
I've always been a bit scared of dancing. In 1984 as a youngster on holiday in Torremolinos, I ran off when my cousin entered me for a disco dancing competition! So how on Earth would I fare playing Dance Party Club Hits for the Wii? Would I be footloose? Or would it be murder on the dancefloor?
I did try playing with the manual controls at one stage, but it felt incredibly banal. The idea is that you choose your song, and play out the dance moves through the song completion. The gamer is shown a diagram replicating the arrows on the dance mat. The song starts to play, and you score points for the accuracy in which you can tread on the appropriate dance mat arrow(s) indicated on-screen. The various dance moves generally coincide with the beat of the song being listened to. As one can imagine, some songs are faster than others and harder to follow, often requiring several double-jumps (two arrows) at a time, within quick repetition. You better practise double diagonal jumps too. There is a gentle introduction though so as not to put you off.
The instructions make no reference at all to any dance mat capability - even though it was bundled with the game.
I should say a bit about the dance mat issues experienced. The instructions make no reference at all to any dance mat capability - even though it was bundled with the game. I didn't know where to plug it in but eventually located the fold out panel on the side of the way that hosts gameboy controllers, this is where the mat plugs in - choose port 1. Once that was done I was then prompted to install a software update, great so far but when the game started there was option to use the mat, and the Wii certainly didn't recognise it. I then rebooted and tried again without any joy. I then tried again the next day and it miraculously worked. I was surprised it was so much hassle though. Also mega surprised that the instructions didn't cater for the mat. Looking around the net I can see that others have had the same issue, and given up.
Once working though I have to concede that the mat is an excellent piece of kit; foldable, neat, compact and highly responsive.
Once working though I have to concede that the mat is an excellent piece of kit; foldable, neat, compact and highly responsive. You will not notice any discernable lag once playing. Within no time we were tapping away and things got competitive fast, even our 15 month old kept running on to the mat, having a tap around and then running off, in fact she probably beat me thinking about it. No that's not true, I caned everyone hands down, I'm sure of it. Remember that 80's film "The Breakfast Club", you kind of end up dancing like the lady from the famous dance scene, one foot in front of the other, rythmically.
A few more tracks on top of the bundled 15 would be nice.
Dance Party Club hits is most playable, but the question I kept asking myself was why does it look so bad? The visuals have been knocked up in a serious hurry, with everything being a murky dark, like staring underwater into a swamp. As your song plays, various poor CGI dancers accompany the song, but they are not even in time with the song being played most of the time. It would have been great to have your MII's viewable/transferrable etc. The general music playlist is fine in terms of clubland Ibiza style emulation, but a few more tracks on top of the bundled 15 would be nice. A better structure to the game would also help, unlockables are also absent.
On the whole it's great fun, and you will seriously work up a sweat, in future versions I would love to see the song shortened somewhat so that individual dances go a bit quicker. Unless you have two dancemats it's best to play one after the other, and this can be quite time consuming although it does provide a well deserved break. Definitely a party game but I'm not convinced the price tag at release is totally justified.
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