A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a game based on the TV ballroom dancing show Dancing with the Stars. It is also sold under the name Dancing with the Stars: Get Your Dance On! The game is rated E+10 because some of the lyrics in of the dance songs are suggestive. Also one of the judges can be heard saying "hell." While the game play is fun, fans of the show will be very disappointed with the sub-par character graphics. It is hard to tell who you are looking at.
What's it about?
DANCING WITH THE STARS: WE DANCE! for the DS (not to be confused with the Wii game of the same name) is a rhythm tapping game, following in the tradition started by Elite Beat Agents. It is based on the popular battle-in-the-ballroom reality TV show Dancing with the Stars and showcases both celebrity and professional dancers from several past seasons. As a couple performs on the upper screen, their dancing feet send stars floating down to the lower screen. The player earns points by tapping on the stars as they float over an outline on the lower screen. And the number of points earned by the player during the contestants' dance performance affects how well the contestants are scored by the TV show's judges: Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
For players new to this kind of rhythm game, the game comes with a tutorial and a practice mode. In addition to tapping stars, player must also flick stars in designated directions, trace a pattern that a star travels, and swirl them by making quick circular motions. Unlike the TV show, this game allows you to mix and match professional dancers and celebrities in any combination you want including pairing two professionals or two pros. There are ten celebrities (Joey Fatone, Mel B, Apolo Ohno, Jane Seymour, Drew Lachey, Sabrina Bryan, Cameron Mathison, Jennie Garth, Helio Castroneves, and Mark Cuban) and eight pros (Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, Kym Jonhson, Louis Van Amstel, Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani, Edyta Slliwinska, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy).
Is it any good?
The rhythm part of the game is fun, especially because you can choose your level of difficulty from three levels. The easiest level can be played by newbies. And the ability to pair together your two favorite dancers is a great way to have you connect to the game. Since it is hard to watch the dancers while you are busy tapping, the game cleverly offers you a replay after the dance is done, just to let you watch.
However, all is not perfect with this game. The close-up animations of your favorite dancers are just awful. It is hard to figure out who you are looking at. What is even weirder is that when the dancers move onto the dance floor, instead of being bloated and unrecognizable, they now seem lithe and fluid. This inconsistency in the visual presentation takes away from the overall enjoyment of the game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes playing a game based on a TV show fun? Is it important that the game capture the flavor of the show in its setting and overall look. How important is voice talent? In this game, you actually hear the voices of celebrity judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli, did you notice? What about how the TV contestants look?
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