Let's Dance with Mel B (Wii) Review

By Sam Turner 10.08.2011 6

Review for Let

Not since the late Seventies, when whole films were made about folk flinging their bodies about, has dancing been more popular than it is now. In fact the mode of expression has become the zeitgeist for prime time television and a glut of films once again not ashamed to make dance the vehicle for narrative and drama. It’s great that such a reactionary and reflective art form has begun to rise in popularity, but as I slipped the Let’s Dance with Mel B disc into my Wii, I did wonder: would it be Too Much for me, or would it Spice Up [My] Life?!

Mel B (Melanie Brown) has been a keen advocate of Wii for a few months now. Appearing in Get Fit with Mel B and Mel B: Fitness First, the slender Spice Girl from Leeds hasn’t been shy in showing off her hidden talents for keeping trim. Being the figure head for a dancing title, then, shouldn’t be a problem for the former member of a group of performing females. Shown in a body hugging black dress, Let’s Dance with Mel B places Mel in a duel position as coach and judge in this pseudo reality TV dancing game.

Let’s Dance with Mel B works like any other dancing rhythm action title, and takes much of its direction from the popular Just Dance series. A dance troupe, which on occasion includes Melanie herself, perform a routine for you to mirror. In this instance, the Wii Remote picks up on your attempts to match the gestures and choreography on screen and you are judged accordingly. There are some slight tweaks to the formula in Let’s Dance with Mel B, though. The game tries to make some use of the increased accuracy afforded by Wii MotionPlus, and Melanie is on hand after every dance to Holler words of encouragement or praise for your efforts, even If U Can’t Dance. She is the Cheryl Cole of video game judging.

It is all a nice, neat and friendly package. With menus that are so easy to use, even your Mama could be dancing to Fatboy Slim within a few clicks. There are not many modes to clutter up the game either; you either shimmy to one song or dance until you drop in ‘Survival’, and that’s pretty much it. It’s possible to include other players (up to eight), but the only other option is to remove the ‘Dance Bar’, your visual cue to what moves are going to be performed next, if you’re feeling stubborn and fancy a test.

Playing around with a few of the rich and diverse song choices, it is easy to see why this genre has become so popular. Even when dancing on my own, I was able to feel comfortable with my personal level of ability and pick up the choreography pretty quickly. At times you will be ‘learning’ moves more than dancing, so to get the most out of the game actually rehearsing the choreography is essential. Picking up moves and knowing that you’re hitting perfects and dancing as part of the group is rewarding. It’s a shame that the Wii Remote is such a cumbersome addition to the party; waving it around hardly makes you feel as lithe and flexible as you would like. Also, constantly having to look at the screen to mirror the instructor means that, in the early stages, it is a struggle 2 Become 1 with the song you’re dancing to.

Let’s Dance with Mel B also never really lets you be who you really Wannabe. Before performing, each player takes their pick of a selection of stock avatars but there is nowhere to in put a name or truly personalise the experience. Numbers on leaderboards appear under ‘player’, so you’re never really aware of who you have to Move Over to get to the top. Mel might be on hand to dish out the compliments at the end of each song, but with such a lack of individuality to your play, these well-mannered attempts at praise tend to fall flat, as you’re just not as involved as you should be.

What’s more, is that other than the option to say Goodbye to the ‘Dance Bar’ to see if you can master a song without assistance, there is nothing much that will encourage you to try and get better at the game. I’m not much of a dancer, yet on my first attempt at the most difficult songs I was able to walk away with the highest rating, an A+. There’s no Denying it; I wasn’t performing all the moves correctly, let alone in time or with any grace or delicacy. Fumbling my way to the top didn’t feel satisfying, but working hard to turn a C into that magical A+ might have been. Sadly, this is a title that strips away much of that possible gratification, which may lead players to Stop playing sooner than imagined.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Let’s Dance with Mel B performs well with the basics and is in parts an enjoyable dancing game, though it is much like those that have come before. Melanie does well to be more than a face but by way of compromise it seems that the player has been ignored. Lack of personalisation and encouragement to improve means that you’ll be playing this for its soundtrack and not much else.

Developer

BlackBean

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Dance

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date TBA   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

Comments

ooooooh y'set 'o bastards ya!

AdamC3 (guest) 11.08.2011#2

Really liked how you squeezed so many Spice Girl song titles into the review Smilie Great work Smilie

Mel C (guest) 11.08.2011#3

Mel B was t he hot one! Does she have any bikini workouts lol! I would get this game on the cheap just for her. YUMS!!!

Chris (guest) 16.08.2011#4

Will it leave you gasping for Oxygen? If You Wanna Have Some Fun you should buy a different game.

I wonder if it will Spice Up Your Life? Smilie

I would put in some Mel B solo hits...but I don't remember any. All I know is the first (only?) album, 'Hot.'

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Let's not.

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