Boogie: A Star in the Making

Friday, October 26, 2007

Even though we may deny it at first, everyone wants to be a star. For those of us unable to make it past the auditions for "American Idol," there's always Boogie.

In the music-focused game, the player creates a character (called a "Boog") and can either sing or dance through levels, along the way revealing the Boog's story and unlocking new performance areas, songs and outfits.

Similar to such singing games as Karaoke Revolution and SingStar, Boogie ships with a USB microphone that plugs into the Wii and allows you to sing from a list of songs. Belt the song out correctly and the game rewards you. Go horribly off-key and prepare to replay the level.

For players who reserve their best solos for the shower, Boogie offers a dance mode. The player must use the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk attachment and wave the remote in time with the music to earn points and proceed to the next level. Once several correct dance moves have been performed consecutively, a "boogie meter" will appear, allowing the player to try advanced moves and combinations. Players can earn additional points by striking a cool pose with the character as well as by picking up score multipliers, power-ups and boogie meter boosts.

The little things make Boogie fun. The wide variety of music, from the likes of the Jackson 5, Pink, Cyndi Lauper, Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Kool & the Gang, Culture Club, the B-52's and others, keeps play interesting and pushes the player to earn tokens throughout each level and unlock new songs.

The game has shortcomings. By trying to incorporate singing and dancing, it doesn't pull off either element as well as it could. For example, the song mode measures only pitch rather than phonetic detection, meaning a player can sing any lyrics and receive full points. The dance mode, while fun in short bursts, is awkward, even with the Remote and Nunchuk accessories, and gets repetitive during longer sessions. Even though it incorporates a fun, tongue-in-cheek style (its opening animation features the characters re-creating the "You're the One That I Love" dance sequence from "Grease"), the game can become tedious.

Still, there's potential. If a sequel could get just a bit more polish, it would be welcome at any party.

-- Chris Barylick

Boogie Everyone 10+; Wii ($59.99) Electronic Arts/EA Montreal Boogie Everyone 10+; Wii ($59.99) Electronic Arts/EA Montreal

© 2007 The Washington Post Company