Britneys Dance Beat
After hours of fooling around with Britney, I couldn't help but feel empty inside. (I'm sure the real Britney would've been a different story.) It's hard to believe that Dance Beat is by the same folks behind Bust-A-Groove, one of the PSi's better music-based titles. If they had just taken Groove's gameplay and given it a Britney injection, it would've been decent. Instead, we get a shallow music game that's low on fun and filled with meaningless wank material (and I mean that in the nicest way), like concert and backstage footage that's hardly worth unlocking, even if you're a hardcore fan of the gal. Since you're limited to just five of the pop diva's biggest hits, the game's a quickie--no remixes, no other dance tunes to fill the gaps...nothing. Sure, her songs are toe-tappin' ditties, but five isn't enough these days. The more Dance Beat I played, the less I liked its interface and automatic-attack system. In similar versus-style music games, you get to choose when to launch an attack and can block an opponent's. Here you can't do either, so matches become a flurry of back-and-forth assaults 'til someone screws up. That's hardly what I'd call fun. The effects of each attack (moving the button cues around, changing them, adding more, etc.) are so aggravating that it feels like you're not even given a fair shot. I'm sure the real Britney's a hoot and a holler, but her game's got no personality.
28 minutes and 26 seconds. That's the playtime your $40 gets you with Britney's Dance Beat. And that's after playing each of the five songs twice! (OK, so I didn't include load times.) It's not even a very fun half-hour to boot. Had Metro included a way to block attacks or put any sort of strategy into the play mechanics at all, Dance Beat might be worth buying for some coot multiplayer fun. But seriously, once you've finished the single-player game, you've done all there is to do. I can't judge Britney's music in good conscience (hell, I listened to Celine Dion songs in French during high school), but as for her game, Dance Beat isn't even worth a rental.
Like, did you hear? They say Beat's the "coolest video game...since video games were invented" on the official site! Like, no way! Slap Nothing is further from the truth. Besides 5-year-old girly-girls who like, love Britney, the banal set of revolving combinations and a suck-it-for-all-it's-got song list will send you surfing on a contagious yawn-wave. Dance-pad play? Sit-down senior aerobics on PBS wilt get your feet moving faster! And to top off this pile, attacks are completely out of your hands, so zippo on getting an inkling of competitive gameplay. Simply put, Britney's a contrived marketing ploy and will leave a bad taste in your mouth.