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Dance Party Pop Hits Wii Review

12/08/2009 Family Returning Gamer Review
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Dance Party Pop Hits Nintendo Wii

Dance Party Pop Hits

Nintendo Wii


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Dance Party Pop 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. It's also a companion game to Dance Party Club Hits - see my review for more info.

I've always been a bit scared of dancing. I do enjoy a bit of clubbing though, although there is usually alcohol involved. Of course not too much alcohol and certainly no binge drinking in these dark politically correct times. I've always been a bit scared of dancing. In the early 1980's on a visit to Alton Towers I was dragged onto stage by a man in a budgie costume and invited to perform the birdie costume, at which point I totally froze. So you get the gist, I'm not a brilliant dancer. Of course with that in mind it's essential to practise every track first before the wife plays, so you can win. Would I be footloose? Or would it be murder on the dancefloor - which coincidentally, is one of the songs, excellent.

The focus of this review assumes that the gamer is using a dance mat. 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 mat is an excellent piece of kit; foldable, neat, compact and highly responsive.

In my review for Dance Party Club Hits I mention some of the dance mat installation problems experienced, see that review for more info. Once installed successfully it is time to jive, or in my case, hobble a bit. On a sidenote, I'm sure a decent gymnast could play this whilst doing a handstand. Anyway, I digress. The mat is an excellent piece of kit; foldable, neat, compact and highly responsive. You will not notice any discernable lag once playing. In fact the only problem you will have will be of your own doing, either moving too far forwards or backwards.

Remember the scene in footloose where the non dancer starts to learn, hopelessly out of time and way off the beat.

Remember the scene in footloose where the non dancer starts to learn, hopelessly out of time and way off the beat. Initially that was me, but after a brief few practises, just like the film, the feet start tapping rythmically in beautiful time to the music.

It would have been great to have your MII's viewable/transferrable etc.

Dance Party Pop Hits is highly playable, and in my opinion more suitable for the family than the Club Hits companion, as the music is more catchy. A good diversity of tracks has been picked, there are tunes such Push The Button (Sugababes) and Murder on The Dancefloor (Sophie Ellis-Bextor). I listen to quite a bit of pop though and I had never heard of some of the other tracks though. The game is not without it's flaws, the visuals need some serious improvement. It would have been great to have your MII's viewable/transferrable etc. The general music playlist is fine in terms of pop party smash hits type emulation but a few more tracks on top of the bundled 15 would be nice. Another nice to have would be more unlockables, extra levels or just more of a linear game feel.

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. Although I didn't indulge in double dance mat action I have done so before and would seriously recommend picking an additional mat up if you can spare the cash and space.

Written by Sinan Kubba

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Sinan Kubba writes the Returning Gamer column.

"As an 80s kid I was obsessed with gaming. But university, stress and life relegated my hobby to the backseat. After years in the wilderness, I'm back into video games. I don't just want to play games that remind of a happy youth though. I'm just as excited about games that take things forward, experiences that re-ignite that curiosity and fascination I had years ago."

Here are the games I've been playing recently:

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