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Dancing With Two Left Feet

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Friday, January 25, 2008

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" may have been a huge hit, but the video game adaptation isn't going to win new fans.

The Wii and PlayStation 2 versions share shoddy graphics and dancing directions but differ in execution. Using the Remote and Nunchuck controllers, your arms do the dancing in the Wii version (similar to one of the mini-games in Rayman Raving Rabbids, which is much more fun). In the PS2 game, a dance pad (any Dance Dance Revolution one works) allows your feet to move to 36 songs, including "These Boots Were Made for Walking."

Although both versions offer more frustration than dance replication, the PS2 game at least gets you moving to the tango and fox trot. Unlike DDR, which is simple to play but hard to master, Dancing With the Stars will alienate casual gamers. The onscreen controls are awkwardly placed, and the game ends up feeling more like a version of Twister than dancing.

Another major disconnect is that the poor animations of such "celebrities" as Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence (who look nothing like the real thing) never miss a beat. The judges will give you bad scores (all three judges from the show provided voices and likenesses), and the crowd will boo, but the avatars will always dance perfectly.

-- John Gaudiosi

Dancing With the Stars Everyone 10+; Wii ($50); PlayStation 2 ($30; $50 with dance pad) Activision Value/Zoe Mode Studios Dancing With the Stars Everyone 10+; Wii ($50); PlayStation 2 ($30; $50 with dance pad) Activision Value/Zoe Mode Studios


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