Boogie SuperStar is a boxfull of dancing and singing fun. Aimed at girls, the characters, the choice of songs and the structure of the game elements all make for a teen performance game that is both fun and a good workout. Boogie Superstar is another savvy release from Electronic Arts and comes packaged with its own USB microphone that feels like the real deal.
The main element of Boogie SuperStar is the dancing and here the breakthrough technology of the Wii is capitalized on big time. The dance moves are natural and do not need a floor mat like Dance Dance Revolution to work. Personally, while I enjoyed skill-based dance, I never liked the mat - my feet might make the right move but miss the square a bit and it would count against me. Instead, Boogie SuperStar takes the signal from your arms in motion. This works out your whole body because you cannot keep time being stiff-legged, The moves cause you to bounce and sway, and the spins are real 360 degree turns. The game builds slowly, so you learn new moves one step at a time - literally. There is also a printed chart of the moves with a poster of Natasha Bedingfield on the reverse.
To get started, you pick a character and then get to choose costume and name. As you progress through the levels, more elaborate costumes get unlocked. I can confess that it is so much fun to mix and match the outfits on your avatar without being ashamed of my girliness after watching the guys deck out their race cars with vents and stripes and other stuff that makes no sense to me. Same idea; different avatar.
The training module is very simple and clear, helping you get the right rhythm with each move or combo. Every time you unlock a new set of moves, it is a good idea to return to train. If you’re quick at dance moves, though, you don’t have to because while you’re playing, if you mess up a move badly, the trainer appears in the bottom corner of the screen to demonstrate the move for you as a help.
To play, you enter three-round competitions. The default is one dance, one song and one face-off dance. You can change the make-up of the competition however you want. All songs to all dance, and you can select the music style you prefer: pop, electro, and urban. Each has special signature moves that are unlocked with the points you earn in your competition rounds.
Singing was not such a great success for me simply because I didn’t know any of the songs. At first. In the beginning, I selected my rounds of competition to be all dance for a while. Soon I was somewhat familiar enough with the song to try actually singing. The symbols for the notes under the words change color as you go from off-pitch (red) to fair (yellow) to on-pitch (green). I was getting the hang of it well enough to pass even though I hardly knew the music. Much fun.
The settings for the dances are beautiful and colorful, with colorful locales and story book charm. The dancers moves are equally enjoyable. They dance whatever you make them do with your own moves, but they add variations to the basic moves that teaches dance even as the game is going on. For example, the move where you point both arms front and then both arms to the side can be danced with arms in sync, arms in opposition, or just with one arm alone. The screen dancers are a kind of feedback in that way and the live dancers can pick up on and do those moves as they follow the game through.
The game, like all Wii games, allows from 1-4 players and includes the ability to network with other Boogie SuperStars. I know this is a game for young girls and teens, but the workout was as good as any jazzercise class I’ve ever taken and makes me wish for an older girl version with classic rock-and-roll or popular standards.
All in all, this is a lovely game for girls, full of challenge and exercise in a world that makes the daydream of being a star seem real.
Boogie SuperStar website
Publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Developer: EA Casual Entertainment Label
Ship Date: October 2008
Category: Sing & Dance