Author Topic: Boogie (after 4 hours, completing storymode, buying all the songs)  (Read 3000 times)

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Offline Kairon

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 Sooo....

I've finished all 5 characters individual stories in the story mode. This is important because at the end of their five stages you unlock some of the better songs in the game! Unfortunately, I now can't figure out how to move onto the "final" final stage. *shrug* Did I miss something? Oh well, until I can figure it out, I can at least write some impressions/review-thingies after 4 hours in the game!

Believe the hype. Not that hype, but the hype you feel in your gut. Boogie plays exactly as it looks in the gameplay videos. Though I was overjoyed to find that Grease's "You're the one that I want" is not removed from the game as I originall suspected, the video that used that promised a little bit more than the game delivered. The game plays less like a "use your controller to control your character" and more like move your controller in one of four directions to get the character to do one of a few pre-canned dance moves. Plus, there's no duet support (to do the aforementioned song in karaoke mode, you have to choose which part you're singing).

The gameplay can be described as roughly... oh... Bust-A-Groove with wiimote movements instead of d-pad presses. In Bust a Groove on the Playstation, you tapped the X (or O sometimes) button every measure (4 counts or beats) and you hit d-pad directions between those x-buttons. From those simple commands a game of delightful charm sprung up that was playable for anyone who had a sense of rhythm and who could hold a PS controller.

Boogie strives to be a lot like that, but despite more features, isn't quite cohesive enough. Bust-A-Groove succeeded on not just its charm, but its straightforward simplicity. No one cared that your character was doing pre-canned stuff and you had only 12 pre-canned moves that you could move through in 2 pre-canned paths. The characters were charming and the music was exotic, catchy, and bumpin'.

Boogie tries for the charm, but because at any time you can swing in 4 different directions, in any of three move styles, they string together less fluid than in Bust-A-Groove. Boogie would've been a beautiful showcase for procedural animation and movement blending... if only EA had decided to pump more money into it. But these simple, directional movements that you must do "on beat" build up your Boogie meter so that you can do some special things. Also, beginners will likely wave around their wiimotes haphazardly, but experts will soon realize that determined, discrete movements of the wiimote's NOSE swinging up, down, left, or right, produce the best results. Not sliding your wiimote, not pumping or jabbing or swinging it, but swinging the nose in a slight arc up, or down, or left, or right. Do this, and the game will recognize your movements more often than not.

Also, you switch your character's "style" by pressing the A button (as long as you're not in the middle of a super-move or in the middle of moving across the board) to use new moves, so that despite their being four directions, with the 3 "styles" you have 12 basic moves at your disposal. These are mostly cosmetic though, and though you're encouraged to switch often between styles to not be penalized for stale moves, I found myself absentmindedly tapping A every now and again on automatic, not really thinking about it, sometimes more for aesthetic reasons than anything else.

With a fuller Boogie meter, you can hold B and start draining it. At this point a set of directional instructions appears that you must do without making a mistake, shaking the wiimote on beat in the directions in order to pull off a high-scoring special move. If you mess up, you have to start from the beginning fo the 4 to 6 entry sequence. The directions stay until you complete the move, or until you let go of B to give up, or until you run out of Boogie meter, at which point you can't complete the move anyways. Thiese special moves cycle in order from the lowest difficulty, to the highest, so you have to go through all of them in order during the course of a song, then loop through them again if you can. They also refill your Boogie meter a bit if done right, so if you repeatedly nail them and waste no time, you'll replenish any boogie energy that you had lost and thus can keep on perpetually doing the high scoring moves.

With the Boogie meter having some juice, you can also hold Z on your nunchuck (which is an optional addition, you don't need to swing the nunchuck at all for anything but your own amusement) to enter "strike a pose" mode, an alternate way to score points. In this mode, the camera zooms up close to your character and a target and cursor appear on the screen. The cursor's position on the screen is dependent on the tilt of your nunchuck, if it's held level, the cursor'll be ijn the middle. Tilt right a little and it'll be a little right. Tilt up a lot and it'll be near the top of the screen. Combine these tilts to move the cursor onto ever shrinking targets to score points, with your character posing appropriately in the background. You can also point your character's eyes with the control pad and close and open their mouth with C, but these add nothing to your score and really, the tilting takes so much of your concentration that you don't have time for that. Your Boogie meter is being drained and you need the points from the consecutively sdmaller targets. You exit this mode by releasing Z, or by running out of Boogie Meter.

Oh,m and you can slide around the stage, which really a 9 X 9 grid, with the control stick or the D-pad. This accomplishes nothing aside from a slight change of scenery and camera angle, unless a little Boog gremlin is on the stage carrying a power-up. Then sliding onto them earns you that power up, be it a full Boogie bar, some tokens to shop with, a score multiplier (for your next 2 supermoves) or, I think, the PvP powerups(which I've only read of in the manual so far). If there's no power-up, then the movement actually pauses any meaningful input by yourself, not interrupting your chains of cosecutive on-beat basic moves, but wasting valuable time for you to rack up more points. Also, I was disappointed to find out I could not switch styles while moving, which would have been a very convenient ability.

Also, if you have the optional nunchuck attached, the song will occasionally go into a "solo mode" where it'll zoom up close to your character, and give you scorlling bars, based on the karaoke lyrics, that you simply hold down Z for. This may interrupt you in the middle of trying to pull off a special move, but it practically fills your boogie meter, nets you points, and is pretty easy.

All of this combined makes Boogie more featured and complex than Bust-A-Groove, but not more engrossing. Bust A Groove had a lot of very focused, electronica-stuff-dance-euro-thingies that were all of similar feeling, and ultimately, very safe: if you liked one song, the rest were sure to be decent. But Boogie... is very eclectic! They actually have a ton of really enjoyable songs here, from "It's Raining Men" (as popularized by the Weather Girls) to "Get This Party Started" (as popularized by Pink) and "Tu Y Yo" (Who is Thalia?). Yet with EA trying to hit everybody, there's a lot of songs that DON'T resonate with me... and don't resonate with my very limited vocal range, resulting in a horrible time being had by anyone unlucky enough to be within hearing range, and a rough and demoralizing time for me. But... that's karaoke. Give a guy a song he doesn't know and can't sing and expect pain. So be sure you're ready for eclectic pop if you're looking into this game, and maybe some slightly disappointing renditions. I really didn't dig the cover of "Milkshake," for example. Again, you'll want to beat all the story mode for some of the more exciting songs, and to use your first tokens to buy ervery song you can as well before wasting the tokens on fluff like stages or costumes.

Oh, incidentally... those Song lists online? They're not complete. They might be missing one or two songs. Even NWR's posted song list fails to include that Grease Song, "You're The One That I Want."

Singing itself is a pretty straightforward affair. The included logitech mic is no-nonsense, plugs into the Wiis USB port without any fuss, and has a cord around 10 ft long, more than enough for my dorm room. In karaoke, bars scroll across the screen at varying heights to denote various relative pitches (sing this part higher, this part lower, etc.), lyrics are below them, and when you're singing an arrow tracks you pitch too, so you can see if you're high or lower than the bar, which turns green for good, red, for bad, yellow for "meh." Thankfully, the game is very forgiving on scoring. The included vocal assist is also a welcome addition, I sing, and the singer sings. Then when I make a video, I can cut out my voice completely (or not compeltely, there's a slider to balance my vs. the singer) and we can hear a professional do it with gusto instead of my ham-tonsiled attempt.

While you're singing, your character is basically standing still, but if you have the wiimote in your freehand, you can absentmindedly wave it around for a more interesting show even though it doesn't affect the score. I haven't tried any two-player yet, but I believe there's a mode where one player sings while the other player dances the character for you, achieving both disciplines at once! I haven't tried 2-player competitive simultaneous same-stage score dancing either. Oh! And create-a-video! I haven't tried that either....

Hmmm.... let me get back to Konami's Bust-A-Groove for the PS. It was a simpler game, with less features, but it was a much more focused, directed, and cohesive experience. Who cares if it was limiting, it was fun and relaxing. Boogie doesn't quite achieve that thanks to a song list that is, like all karaoke compilations, composed of both hits and misses, and due to a dancing system that is a little more confusing, and contains some extraneous, "do we really need that" elements(Like the movement along the grid, which wasn't exploited to its fullest, and the "solo part" thing, which, though useful, is ultimately optional and ultimately just pressing and releasing Z). Or maybe I'm biased. There's something inherently off-putting about a Rhythm game with AMERICAN pop music instead of euro dance beats or J-pop. *shrug*

If I were to rate this game, first let me qualify my rating under different rating systems.

For example, NWR and IGN Wii use 5.0 as a purely mediocre game. If I were using that scale, I'd give Boogie a 4.0. It has many flaws, but there's nothing that's actually big. It is, after all, what it says it is: a rhythm and karaoke game, with a great songs.

If I were to use a scale where average games get 6.5 and 7.0 scores all the time, like in some magazines or websites(the rest of IGN, for example), I'd give Boogie a 6.5.

If I were to grade it out of 5, (like the old 5 star ratings that Nintendo Power used to give, or Gamespot's 5 point scale)I'd give it a 2.5.

If I were to recommend you approach to this game, I'd say "rent it." Since it has a microphone though, maybe... "go to a friend's to play it if you know someone." Only die-hard karaoke/rhythm game fans who can overlook features that add little or nothing to the experience need apply.

But EA shouldn't be worried though. It seems like they actually didn't spend too much money (unless the licenses cost them a lot), nor too much advertising the game either. They could've developed the idea further and perhaps achieved a truly wonderful breakthrough rhythm/karaoke game to set the world aflame with a little inspiration and another year of serious development, but as is they've got something quite mediocre right now with some enticing songs.  
Carmine Red, Associate Editor

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.

Offline ShyGuy

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RE: Boogie (after 4 hours, completing storymode, buying all the songs)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2007, 06:12:47 AM »
ham tonsils!

Offline GoldenPhoenix

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RE:Boogie (after 4 hours, completing storymode, buying all the songs)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007, 08:17:17 AM »
This review makes me cry, I wanted a good game .
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Offline Kairon

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RE: Boogie (after 4 hours, completing storymode, buying all the songs)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 08:54:18 AM »
I have decided to make this the first game I EVER trade-in to Gamestop/EB.

I'll trade it in next week towards a reservation on High School Musical: Sing it! (/w Mic). I'll see if Gamestop wants me to trade-in the Microphone of Boogie as well, or if I can keep it for an anticipated Duet mode in High School Musical...
Carmine Red, Associate Editor

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.

Offline Kairon

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RE: Boogie (after 4 hours, completing storymode, buying all the songs)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2007, 10:20:20 PM »
The more I think about it, the more my biggest complaint about this game is the song list. I just really didn't feel like the arrangements for the covers of the songs were ideal, I was really let down that I couldn't duet the Grease hit "You're the one that I want", and it lacked all sense of clarity by picking just a handful of songs with almost no genre consistency over 4 disparate decades.

I look at games like Donkey Konga and Bust a Groove, and those games at least had a consistency, dependability, and message behind their music. And their arrangements were interesting, whereas sometimes these boogie songs were really, really dull in karaoke and repeated themselves a lot for the last minute. I know EA was trying for everyone-accessibility with this game, but they failed because players are left flailing for any sense of grounding in the musical stylings. A game with just two grease songs to sing and dance to would've been more enjoyable than Boogie, which had one grease song and a whole bunch of other stuff that confused and diluted rather than broadened.
Carmine Red, Associate Editor

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.

Offline Kairon

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RE: Boogie (after 4 hours, completing storymode, buying all the songs)
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2007, 11:21:48 AM »
I just heard from the 1up podcast that alpha moms enjoyed playing an early version of this game...

BUT

they were disappointed with the song list because it was too risque for a lot of songs. It would need to be cleaned up, handled better, choose better songs, do a boogie junior, but not have kid pop artists pleased.
Carmine Red, Associate Editor

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Sega and her Mashiro.