The Black Eyed Peas: The Experience is the next in Ubisoft's 'The Experience' series – a sequel of sorts to last year's dancing spectacular, 'Michael Jackson: The Experience'. Maybe it's just me and the rock under which I live, but coming from an outside perspective, The Black Eyed Peas didn't really seem like that much of a logical progression after Michael Jackson. I mean, Mr. Jackson has legions of fans and was known as a rather good dancer – but The Black Eyed Peas? I'd struggle to name three songs by them, and I wouldn't be able to tell you what their version of the iconic moon-walk is, if they even have one. Doubts aside, having now had the chance to go hands-on with the Kinect version of The Black-Eyed Peas: The Experience, we can tell you it isn't for the faint of heart. In fact, it's chuffing hard. Harder than a titanium-plated, diamond-encrusted, sunglasses-wearing Arnold Schwarzenegger.
That said, we did kind of get thrown in at the deep-end, in some crazy dance-off, which pitted our two in-game avatars against the group in a sort of competition. Knowing that we're somewhat less good at the Kinect versions of games than we are at their Wii equivalents, we tried to pick one of the easiest songs we could see, which turned out to be 'Boom Boom Pow'. The Black Eyed Peas Experience is a bit different to the likes of Just Dance, in that the song is split up into different sections, where you have to follow their lead, and repeat the same move several times before moving on to the next. It sounds straight-forward enough, but when the game didn't actually seem to tell you what move you were meant to be doing (with no Just Dance style highlighted-limb-and-arrow-that-shows-you-where-you-need-to-wang-it) we just had to try to copy the Black Eyed Peas as best as we could (which turned out to not be very well). While it initially things seemed rather overwhelming, it did seem to get easier when the same moves came round a second or third time, as that time, we were prepared – although there was one we never seemed to get quite right, where you had to tap your foot on the floor in an arc in front of you three times, then scoot to the side. As we were playing the Xbox 360 Kinect version, the game was tracking our entire bodies, rather than just the one hand like Just Dance does – making it at least three times harder, as you had to worry about it tracking another arm and two legs. In answer to their 'I bet you can't, bet you can't do it like this' song – no, we probably can't.
In the aftermath of 'Boom Boom Pow', we were told that you can actually hold your hand up in the air to slow the song down a bit so you can practice – although we were too scared/exhausted/tied up in knots to try it out for ourselves. This one's definitely aimed more at the Dance Central Kinect dancing crowd, rather than the Wii Remote wanging casual Just Dance player. There is a Wii version in the works though, which while we've never played, we'd imagine may be more like Just Dance and Michael Jackson: The Experience – i.e. easier.
After having out backsides well and truly handed to us by the game, we were assured that we were playing one of the more challenging modes, and that when you play through in the story mode, it'll take you through each move step by step in a much friendlier, slower pace, before linking them all together in the one song. In fact, there are three of these progressively harder practice levels before you unlock the full routine - providing you play through these before you try and play songs willy-nilly, it seems you should be fine - or at least, more fine than we were when we went hands-on. Hopefully. You'll be able to find out how you fare on the 11th November, when The Black Eyed Peas Experience dances into stores on the Xbox 360 and the Wii.