Boogie Hands-On

We get our groove on in EA's upcoming singing and dancing game for the Wii.

44 Comments

We got our first look at Boogie earlier this year when EA offered a sneak peek of the game during GDC. At that time, we got a brief taste of what the game's dancing system was like but not how the singing was going to fit in to all of it. Fortunately, we got some hands-on time with a work-in-progress version of the game at EA's recent press event. The updated version featured a refined dancing system and karaoke support.

We saw only one level on this occasion, but we were able to choose a new character, Lea. The level gave us a better idea of how you sing and dance with the game. Basically, you can choose to dance or karaoke through a level. Dancing requires you to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to move your character. The simple control system offers one-to-one movement with your character. Moving the remote left or right moves your character in those directions, while up and down has them follow suit. Pressing the B button while dancing changes the way the character reacts to your movement, and hitting the A button will switch your dance style completely. Though there were only two dance styles to choose from in the version we played, there should be four in the final game.

The D pad will let you move around the dance area and collect combo modifiers, which appear as you play. You'll use the Nunchuk to manipulate your character's upper body, while the analog stick will let you change its facial expression and the Z button will open its mouth. As you dance, you'll fill your onscreen boogie meter, which, when full, can be used to perform special moves by hitting A and B at the same time. Of course, the point to all of this is to rack up tons of points. In the demo we tried, we were given one of three medals--gold, silver, or bronze--based on our score at the end of a level. In the final game, you'll earn currency that can be spent in the in-game store on accessories and gear, which in turn lets you radically change your character's appearance.

EA Canada hopes to deliver more than the same old song and dance with the game.
EA Canada hopes to deliver more than the same old song and dance with the game.

The karaoke component of the game is a good deal simpler. You'll simply follow onscreen prompts and sing your heart out into a USB mic, which will ship with the game. One of the coolest features of the game is the audio slider, which is used to toggle how much of your voice can be heard over the original song while you play. You'll still be graded on your performance, via envelope comparison and pitch recognition, but you won't necessarily have to traumatize a room with your song stylings if you don't want to.

As you play through a level via dancing and karaoke, you'll be able to record your performances. When you're done, you can create your own music videos, which should be fun for kids. Though we didn't see it in action, it seems like it could be a cool feature in the game.

Beyond what was shown in the demo, the final game is expected to have roughly 40 songs and more than 10 backgrounds to choose from. The game will feature a story mode wherein you'll take one of the playable characters--all members of the Boog family, apparently--on a journey to be the best dancer around. The game's multiplayer mode will feature competitive and cooperative play with two players as well as minigames. The visuals in the game have been changed up some since we last saw them. The stage we played, Boogie Theatre, had a much more traditional cel-shaded look. Lea looked typical for a female character in a dancing game, although it seems as though the customization feature will let you give her some different looks. The dance area featured an open stage with some room for you to move around on. Props and other assorted theater gear were strewn around. There was some early effects works in place when you used the energy from your boogie meter, which was flashy, albeit understated. Animation was a little jerky, but we expect it's going to get smoothed out some. The pickups were plain looking, which is something we also hope sees some improvement.

Any rhythm game with music from the Commodores is doing at least one thing right.
Any rhythm game with music from the Commodores is doing at least one thing right.

The audio in the game was pretty spare outside of the music. The demo level on display featured "Brick House" from the Commodores, which dominated everything else. We didn't hear much of anything else in the version we played, but you'll be able to tweak audio levels in the final game. The USB mic worked well, although we'll be curious to see what the final design will be, as the one used for the demo was pretty big.

Based on what we played, Boogie looks like it's aiming for a casual audience. The controls are simple--almost too simple--and easy to pick up. The karaoke and music-video creator are interesting and have the potential to support much goofiness. The only odd bit to the mix is that the gameplay lacks structure right now. If the various elements of the game experience--dancing, singing, video creation--can be tied into a cohesive whole, Boogie should be a fun little game for the Wii. Boogie is slated to ship this fall. Look for more in the coming months.

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7arek

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I don't know, this game doesn't really look like it has much depth, and i might just turn out to be another gimmicky wii game. which in some cases isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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stefan90

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let me first buy the Wii, in my countrey is soo expansive its like xbox360 in USA!!! hehe ;)

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romainsimoni

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After seeing the video, I don't think the game will simulate a dance that good. I will wait and see.

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theKSMM

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Yeah, I could see a couple of teenage girls really digging this game.

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nam-nori

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o...k...

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sexyup

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abed that was an ignorant comment because on thesims2 alone on stuff and expansion packs they are making dough and when thesiims3 comes out muah the mone will just keep coming in

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weisguy119

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@Abed_1990 Ummm...EA is going to be distributing Guitar Hero III and Rock Band. Too bad you're going to miss out on them due to your hatred for all things EA.

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Abed_1990

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Did EA make this game???? Then forget it, i'm not playing anything they make, cause well...... they suck!! Except for Crysis, but they didn't produce the game...........acutally i don't even know why they have a say in it. Oh just face it ppl, EA has no future.

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oumir

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what happened to the crazy goof that made the game look good? this looks different and i don't like it.

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DestroyAllNoobs

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@ JeSKeRS When did he say anything about Boogie? He just said Nintendo is winning the war! I don't care who's going on the top, just don't go mad at it.

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Kantoma

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interesting concept. i'v yet to meet a singing peripheral that caught my attention, maybe this will do it.

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umbriell

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Boogie could be fun. It's too early in concept to glean much from the video however.

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speedracer216

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promising concept, looks like lazy execution. oh well. DDR is better anyway. just wait for DDR on Wii

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JeSKeRS

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@ Boobush If Nintendo is "winning the war" with Boogie, color me unimpressed with this "next gen" of gaming. And before you cry fanboy, im typing this on a Wii.

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ShweyGamer

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should i care. i really dont know. WE ARE HAVING A LARGE DRYSPELL OF GAMES,

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deactivated-5b50f9586c2f9

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Dull, just dull

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mr_killer_man

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This game looks boring.

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slayer1090

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I'm still w8ing for Brawl

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slayer1090

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I'm still waiting for Brawl

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stonerose

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that video showed nothing in terms of controlling the character. All it needs is some actual good and popular songs and responsive controls and then i will be interested

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deactivated-5925dfb1d1fe6

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Could be interesting, but it doesn't seem like my kind of game.

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sonynhater

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i hope its fun becuase the wii needs good games

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X_XSlashX_X

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Wow that sound really cool kinda like DDR/Karoke Revolution mixed into one..Cant wait

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madman_420

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Sounds like fun . . . I'm not too sure about the limited amount of songs though..

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Mazuna362001

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It's interesting, but as good as DDR in the Wii Market. Or should I say, not as "hot" as DDR >_>

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TintedChimes

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Multiplayer should be fun.

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boobush

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Nintendo's winning the war.

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blarg_blarg

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Sounds kinda cool. Maybe they will make songs downloadable content

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silent_seaxx

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This sounds interesting. Too bad there aren't a lot of songs..

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Phazevariance

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I'm sure my GF would love this... Can't see myself playing it though.

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Platyphyllum

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weisguy: I agree. In some parties I saw some younger people (10 years old, around that age) playing Guitar Hero and they were really getting into it! ^_^ It was nice to see them enjoying Guitar Hero!

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weisguy119

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Actually, kids really get into Guitar Hero. It was a big hit at the family Christmas party last year. Mostly, it was little kids playing.

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peeweeshift

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i wonder if its better than ddr

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doffythebest

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@FallenOneX. Guitar Hero ain't for these so called "kids".

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Mikeh_515

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This looks like it will be hillarious to play two - four player. and having other people in the room to laught at you :P could also be good to play looks good and the graphics look slic and sweet.

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cobrax80

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looks interesting, The cool thing about the game is that it lets you record your voice and edit your videos, it's also cools that it reads your movements 1:1.

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FallenOneX

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I think it's funny how this they say this game will be fun for "kids", but they don't mention any of that crap when they talk about Singstar for the PS3, or any of the Guitar Hero games.

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deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

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This is one of those games that the majority of us Gamespot users have no right to comment on as it wasn't designed for us at all. I can see a lot of youngsters and teenage girls having a helluva lotta fun with this game.

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xcollector

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Sometimes I think EA is a prostitute. They try and do every kind of game imaginable instead of perfecting the ones they have done. Stay tuned for next years reincarnation Boogie 2 jam packed with another 40 songs you should of had in number 1 but didn't ;)

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p_angelofdeath

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Graphic very interesting i love it.Create my own MV what the sweet game!

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BigDaveyDogz

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the way they explained the whole dancing part was so confusing and then at the end of the story they say the controls are easy. wtf!?!?

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mariomusicmaker

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the controls sounds extreamly challenging! about time! i want a hard wii game.... none yet, Pun intended...

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supersonic49

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Forty songs is all right. They could have done alot better though.

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porphyrous

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I dunno.....gotta give 'em credit for trying, and the USB mic idea is cool. But only 40 songs? I think you gotta ache for a downloadable service. One thing I've always wondered about....if someone like EA gives access to a game in development to someone like GameSpot, and the GameSpot folks are bored stupid, how does the publisher typically respond? David V

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