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Review – Michael Jackson Experience

Review – Michael Jackson Experience

If there’s one thing we’re absolutely sure of with Michael Jackson Experience, it’s that this isn’t why you bought your Vita.

Or maybe it is! Maybe you did buy your £260 Vita with touchscreen, rearpad, GPS, microphone, Wi-Fi two cameras and technological features up the wazoo just so you could tap the screen to Beat It with as much life and urgency as an OAP waiting for his Thursday mashed peas at the retirement home.

For context: When Michael Jackson Experience hit PlayStation 3, we didn’t love it but at least we saw the point of it. It was a dancing game where you had to ape Michael Jackson’s moves. It guessed what you were doing with PlayStation Move more often than it seemed to actually know, so it was too hard, there was no sense of feedback and it was an exercise in ‘I was waving my bloody arms!’ shouting and frustration. But whatever – the point is that it had a point. You were copying Michael Jackson.

Vita doesn’t have Move or anything that could accurately tell what you’re doing with the Vita, so instead of copying Michael Jackson, it’s now become a rhythm-action game with the touchscreen. Tap. Tap. Tap. Taptap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Taptap. Read that to the tune of Beat It and hey! Michael Jackson Experience on Vita! No-one wants to be defeated! Taptap!

You can also do a swipe and a swirl gesture. There’s a freestyle section where you can use the rearpad to make Michael Jackson moonwalk around (doesn’t work that well) and a showcase section where you walk Michael Jackson dance about without any player input (oh gee, that’s fun). Otherwise, it’s just you, taps and swipes and the cold, unwavering stare of Michael Jackson’s eyes.

This is where we add the obligatory ‘if you’re a fan!’ disclaimer, because Michael Jackson fans will probably find some semblance of enjoyment here – his music, his videos, the presentation, it’s all authentic. But it’s also little more than a glorified back catalogue and the PS Vita launch line-up is stuffed to the point where this is almost entirely redundant. Unless you really like Beat It. Taptap!