We Cheer 3? No, but close enough.

It’s starting to look as if Namco has abandoned one of my favorite Wii dance-gaming series, We Cheer; after We Cheer 2 came out in the fall of 2009, there hasn’t been a peep (despite rave reviews at Amazon) and both games now are labeled “discontinued”.  But late last year, Kidz Bop Dance Party, a game that also has you tracing imaginary lines to the beat of dancy music, was released, and I just picked up a copy last week since Amazon had it for around $12.

Confession time: I can’t stop playing it!

Kidz Bop Dance Party is of course part of the heavily-advertised Kidz Bop franchise of popular hits rerecorded in kid-friendly versions, but the game is just a rebranding of a Japanese dance game, Happy Dance Collection.  They took out the Japanese pop idols and put in tweenish-looking kids, plus 24 songs, which is less than many dance games.  (I think I’m going to start a personal “Dance Game Rule” of not spending more than a dollar per song.)  Songs include shortened versions of Thriller, 1985, Party in the USA, Don’t Stop The Music, and – ugh – Girlfriend, plus fun originals like Kidz Bop Shuffle.

Gameplay is the same as We Cheer: pick a tune and dance along with the avatar while moving your remote along the tracks of arrows. This game only uses one remote, and the dancing isn’t as complex as We Cheer’s, but I still work up a sweat.  This is also a better party game than We Cheer because it offers a guest mode, so guests can jump right in without having to create a file.

In Free Play mode, all the songs are unlocked from the beginning, and you can play them on easy or normal mode.  In Challenge mode, you progress along a trail of stars and win badges on your way to Superstar status by passing groups of songs and then a “test” song.  It looks as if you eventually unlock harder modes and Mii support, although I haven’t gotten there yet.

There’s a versus mode for 2 players, and they made it more kid-friendly by not showing who is winning until the song is over, to prevent discouraging the very young.  With all the modes, you win points that you can spend in the shop on clothing, shoes, hairdos and accessories.  There are boy and girl avatars with adjustable hair and skin colors.

No workout mode or online/downloadable content, but for $20 or less, Kidz Bop Dance Party is a great deal, as fun and active as Zumba, We Cheer, Michael Jackson or Just Dance.

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Posted on May 23, 2011, in Console games, Exergaming, Game reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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