|System: Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 27, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
When it comes to rhythm-oriented video games, a combination of a diverse musical selection and intuitive, addictive gameplay are absolutely necessary for success. Catchy tunes and a slick style can also go a long way. In the case of Boogie on the DS, some of the main ingredients are present to a degree; it's just not quite enough to grab hold of one's attention span as indefinitely as other rhythm games out on the market. If you can't keep up with the challenge of titles like Elite Beat Agents or Ontamarama, Boogie may be simple enough to meet your handheld grooving needs. Otherwise, your Saturday night fever may be short-lived.
The concept for Boogie is easy to get behind; you play the role of a cartoony dancer on a quest for stardom by wielding the stylus and d-pad to get down with your bad self in time to a funky medley of dance-pop hits. For a musical selection, the game features 20 unlockable cover versions of numerous hip-hop, disco, pop, funk, and dance tracks. The audio quality is stellar; the choice of tunes is hit-or-miss. "Brick House," "Groove Is In The Heart," "Love Shack," and "That's The Way (I Like It)" are among the better songs, but you'll also get some Britney Spears, Fergie, Pussycat Dolls, and a few other heinous covers to deal with. Of course, whether you dig the music is entirely subjective, yet there are a few gems buried in the track list. Those with a penchant for clubbing or dance floor shenanigans will feel right at home with Boogie.
In career mode, you'll pick from one of five wacky characters - humorously called "Boogs" - and progress through various dance venues located on a 2D map. Only a few stages are available from the start, and you'll have to unlock more by gaining points or progressing along the story which loosely ties them together. Other than tying in with the story, each location merely serves as a different visual backdrop for the dancing gameplay. Once you've completed a stage, you can return there to play any of the songs you've unlocked. Rather than just the basic freestyle mode found in the console versions of the game, the DS version offers two other gameplay variations. Copycat mode has players executing a small grouping of specific dance moves for points at their leisure, and Choreography mode runs an endless stream of moves along the top screen which have to be completed when they reach an indicator. None of the three modes are particularly challenging, but they do offer more play options than the console versions.
The simple controls make for fun gameplay, but even novice players will soon find themselves wanting more. Dance moves range from basic well to basic. Maneuvers are executed by swiping the stylus across the screen in any of six directions in time to the beat of the music. Tapping the d-pad will also make your Boog side-step or turn around, and poking your character in the gut with the stylus will make them jump. Certain sequences of strokes make your character do little funky combos which are hard not to laugh at. A gaggle of "party freaks" will populate the top screen to cheer you on as you bust out some moves, but messing up too frequently will cause them to leave; lose all of them and the song ends. Unless you have no sense of rhythm, the only way to make this happen is to simply put the DS down and stop playing. For scoring, the emphasis rests almost solely on keeping pace with the basic straightforward dance beat; even on hard it's too darn easy. You'll earn a higher score for good accuracy and a meter will slowly build to allow you to trigger a multiplier for higher points. The problem is swiping the stylus to and fro quickly gets monotonous, especially considering you can make it through any song by simply pulling of the same two or three moves over and over again.