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Diva Girls Divas on Ice (Princess on Ice outside the US) joins a variety of dance-centric rhythm games made possible by the Wii-remote and Balance Board.
Sports games recreate a wide variety of real life competitive games. Depending on the sport, these have either an action or strategy focus. Popular sports games are often released on an annual basis, each year the game receives new player rosters and general game improvements.
Diva Girls Divas on Ice is unique in offering a fleshed out ice dancing gaming experience. Players work their way through a story that follows the divas from ice skating obscurity to fame (and, we imagine, their fortune).
As opposed to the higher impact of the cheerleading fun of We Cheer Wii or Cheer Squad Wii, ice dancing brings the emphasis back to control and precision. Although a little more complex the action here has a slower pace and with it a more laid back feel. This is more of a proper video game with motion controls, than a rhythm action activity with a game tacked onto it.
As they progress players learn various moves and steps to score enough to get them onto the next level. This then enables them to learn new moves, unlock outfits and generally opens out the game.
Players need to control the direction of their skating with the Nun-chuck whilst pulling off various combinations of moves via button presses and gestures from the Wii-mote. Although this takes a degree of dexterity it manages to keep the controls simple enough for most to learn.
As well as the skating, players can customise their characters. Outfits, accessories, and equipment are required by performing well to then be chosen for the next session. The skaters themselves also improve over time, challenge activities build their skills to unlock new and more difficult moves.
Young players will initially be attracted to the princess diva nature of the fairy castle setting and competitors. Although the skating itself is a big part of the experience, our six year old seemed to be as interested to meet Kelly, Gabrielle, Alyssa, and Madison and hear about their journey towards skating for glory in the Miracle Ice Festival.
Each ice dance can be completed in around 10 minutes, although with the various dress up decisions beforehand we found a good half an hour was needed to fully enjoy each round.
Very young players may find some of the exacting skating moves a little hard to handle. Players need to land certain presses and gestures when the skater is in the right spot in the rink to get full marks. Help from an older sibling may be welcome, although all ages will enjoy the dressing up it seems.
Intermediate players and those a little older will find the challenge of the skating more enjoyable as they work their way up the ranks. Throw in the balance board and you have the making of a challenge for even the most expert of gamers.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: