Kidz Bop Dance Party Hands-On
We brush up on some hot new dance moves in D3's upcoming rhythm game.
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There has been a recent surge in rhythm games that involve waving your arms around wildly while dancing to tunes by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. We'll admit, the songs are catchy, but they also manage to burn themselves into your mind, and it takes hours if not days to get the songs out of your head. For those who haven't been keeping up with Kidz Bop and their albums for the past the last nine years, they are now teaming up with D3 to come out with a video game called Kidz Bop Dance Party. Kidz Bop are compilation albums that began in 2001, where children perform popular songs by artists like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Cher, or Ricky Martin. At the pre-E3 event in Santa Monica, we attempted to dance to Kidz Bop versions of songs like "Party in the USA" and "Hot n Cold."
Kidz Bop Dance Party is a rhythm game where you hold the Wii Remote in your right hand and dance along with the avatar onscreen. You don't have to perform the moves exactly, but dancing along is a bit easier than swinging your arms when the arrows appear, because it's all about timing. Even if you're making some outrageous gestures, as long as you are more or less following along, you'll do just fine. Your score is tallied at the end to see how well you shook your bon bon--wait, that's not it. If you're too embarrassed to do this on your own, bring a friend along and see who's the better dancer in Versus mode.
By going through the game's Challenge mode, which tracks and ranks your progression, you can eventually unlock the ability to import your Mii and dress him or her up in a variety of trendy clothing. You earn Kidz Bop points when you play, which can be spent shopping for a sleek new outfit. There are a good number of shoes, outfits, and hairstyles to choose from so that you can be whoever you want to be. At the end of a song, not only are you rated based on your performance, but you also get a score for how well your getup matches the song. So before you dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," you might want to consider getting that bright-red jacket first.
There are five venues for you to bust a groove in, and if you want to bump up the challenge, you can switch to mirror mode, where you'll be performing all the moves with the Wii Remote in your left hand instead of your right. A "no arrows" mode will let you play without any arrow indicators to tell you what you need to do. The goal of the game is to mimic the dance moves as closely as possible, so it's more about dancing and less about playing a game.
The game's 24 songs will be available from the start, so you can jump right in and get the party started. Kidz Bop Dance Party is set to be released on September 21 on the Nintendo Wii.