Review: Get Up And Dance

Review: Get Up And Dance

If you’ve been to your local game store lately, you probably could hardly move for the massive number of dancing titles that have been released in around the past month. Well, add another one to the growing list as Get Up and Dance has arrived – but does it bring anything new to the table or simply deliver a distinctly ‘dad-dancing’ level of gaming?

The answer is dad dancing, for sure.  While Get Up and Dance is a fun enough game at times, there’s a whole load of other titles out there on the market that do things a lot better than this game and – because I was playing the Wii version – it suffers regularly from tracking issues and no matter how hard you try, you’re going to really struggle to pull off any dance move flawlessly.

The logical thing would be for this game to take advantage of the Wii’s often neglected Motion + technology, but it doesn’t. Instead you’re stuck with your bog standard Wii remote in one hand, meaning that, from the bat, you can simply move your hand if you wish as that’s the only thing the game is tracking (and not very well).  After a few bouts of doing every dance properly to the very best of my ability, I collapsed, exhausted onto my bed, where I proceeded to continue playing the game simply by waggling my Wii remote around my body.  The result was really quite astounding – I managed to get a better score simply by sitting down and not playing the game properly! This is why a dance game suffers on the Wii – without proper, 1 to 1 motion tracking, it becomes an uphill battle of man against technology from the very beginning as you try to convince your Wii that you are in fact doing dance moves flawlessly only for it to tell you ‘BAD!’

If you can get past the tracking issues and delve into the dancing component itself with some friends, it can actually be quite fun. This game, basically, is one that you’d get out at a party in a serious emergency when everyone is sitting around looking nervous because no-one is talking and all can be heard is the clatter of wine glasses.  Playing it by yourself, meanwhile, is a frustrating and annoying experience that will give you a good workout, but will not make you feel as if you’ve been rewarded in any way for your actions.

See, the game totals up your scores of flawless, great, bad etc, then gives you a score at the end of a song, but the system does little to inspire you, particularly when the scores are totally unfairly bad. There’s also no star rating, A grades or anything like that, which means, ultimately, you’re just getting a bunch of numbers on a screen, and there’s nothing really to aim for. A system similar to Dance Central where routines are scored using stars and percentages would benefit Get Up and Dance much better than what is being currently offered in this package.

On top of this, there’s also the severe problem of lack of unlockable content. You have every single song from the start, so doing anything on the game won’t get you extra tracks or anything of the sort – instead it’ll just be you, dancing to songs, for no apparent reason.

The game is set up into several modes – single player dancing, group dancing, and an exercise mode which is basically single player with added calorie counter. In each mode you’ll see a dancer and two backing dancers (all of which are playable at the same time), while the music video for the song you’re dancing to plays in the background. The Wii remote, clutched always in your sweaty palm, glows green on screen so you know where it should be as you’re dancing but, as I’ve already touched upon, what’s the point of dancing with the rest of your body when the game is merely tracking what your right arm is doing? For those keen to exercise/play in a party it might be fun, but it just seems a bit pointless after playing a game such as Dance Central on Kinect which tracks the full body.

The songs themselves are pretty decent. There’s some classics such as the eternally brilliant Lionel Richie singing Dancing on the Ceiling, as well as a number of modern tracks by artists such as Jessie J, Example, Rizzle Kicks and much more. The tracks and dance routines are pretty diverse, but the fact that there’s no difficulty system means you’ll literally jump into quite difficult dance routines with no warning whatsoever; there’s essentially no balance here, and the game suffers because of it. There is, however, a training mode where you can break down components of a song should you wish to do it, but this becomes a chore as you have to dance a section, then go back and select another one before you can do it instead of the game progressing naturally to the next one.

In summary, Get Up and Dance is a forgettable, throwaway dancing title that should be avoided unless you really must own every single dancing game in the universe. That said, families and parties may be able to have fun with it, as long as you don’t care about tracking issues, basic features and a lackluster experience compared to other titles on the market. Get Up And Dance? I’ll just sit down and waggle, thank you very much.

*note* Fellow ManaTank writer Eric Pederson tried and failed to convince me to video myself playing this game, but due to the fact it would just be me sat down waggling a Wii remote, I decided not to bother.

Score: 5/10

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