Get Up and Dance
Reviewed by Brandy Shaul
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2011-12-01 PS3 Music/Rhythm T (Teen) O Games

As a true believer that "exercise" video games can replace a trip to the gym, I've played my fair share of games in the genre. Most recently, the dancing arena has attracted my interest, with Harmonix's Dance Central becoming the beacon to which all other dancing games should aspire. If you don't own a Kinect, or perhaps you're just ready to try something new, Get Up and Dance for PlayStation Move offers a similar experience, but one that unfortunately suffers from its assigned console.

Get Up and Dance features a variety of tracks from the 1960's to the present, with a questionable track listing that features only a few true hits of the time periods they represent (One Week by the Barenaked Ladies, Don't Cha by Pussycat Dolls and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting by Elton John, as examples), being flushed out by relative unknowns. Each song is rated in a few ways, based on the intensity of its move set, or in the kinds of moves you'll perform. There are Boogie tracks that offer lower intensity moves, while the Fitness category will kick your ass more than any other dancing game I've personally encountered to date (which is a good thing).

Songs seem to contain more move variety in each individual song than the norm, meaning that you'll change position more frequently requiring you to remember more individual steps.

The tutorials are basically worthless however, as it's much easier (and more fun) to simply jump right into a song and learn as you go. Moves do eventually repeat, but with trophies that simply ask you to pass more than 50% of the moves on each individual song, there's little other incentive to be "perfect." This is one of the better dance games in that regard, as it's more about "having fun with it," than aiming for perfection.

If you'd like to form a dance group with some of your real-world friends, you can do that too, choosing songs that allow for group performances. As the lead, you'll perform different moves than your back-up dancers, but every active player is on the screen at once (represented by a different dancing avatar), which can cause a bit of confusion as players work to keep up with the all-around fast pace of the game.

The game's Move recognition is problematic while doing specific moves, as you'll need to constantly hold the PlayStation Move Motion Controller in your dominant hand, making sure that the glowing orb is facing your Eye camera. If you're required to move your arms over your head or behind your back, your movements might be lost entirely. Still, the game's judgment seems to be skewed appropriately, as you'll frequently receive "Good" or "Flawless" move ratings even though you'll personally know you failed. Whether this is a good or a bad thing remains in question, as I'd prefer if the game judged me more critically so that I could learn to better perform each move-set, rather than fluking my way through. On the other hand, being required to focus that much attention on which direction your Motion Controller is facing isn't that much fun either (it's enough of an issue already). In this, Get Up and Dance suffers simply due to its console. If the game were for Kinect, you could literally get up and dance, without putting forth the extra mental effort.

Likewise, on some of the higher intensity Fitness routines, your dominant arm will likely begin to hurt simply from holding the extra weight of the controller in your hand. It's a small issue, but you'll likely want to hold a water bottle (or something of similar weight) in your other hand to balance things out.

Given the lack of a truly standout dancing game on PS3, we can forgive most of Get Up and Dance's issues. Still, with a mostly disappointing track listing, and the threat of Just Dance 3 looming in the not-too-distant-future, the game's biggest draw is ultimately its bargain price of $29.99.

Special thanks to Marion Wallace and Bender / Helper for providing a copy of this title.