The first thing that probably comes to your mind when you hear "Spice Girls Game" is "What kind of game could it possibly be?" Fighting? Adventure? Well keep in mind that this game is marketed to Spice Girls fans which are mainly pre- teen girls to young women. It was not made for the prominent PSX game buyers who are 18-25 year old males.
The game is most similar to "Parappa" or the Japanese "Bust-a-Move" dancing game (Bust-a-Groove is upcoming US release). It consists of four parts all of which culminate in a exciting and dramatic musical number that you can save and show your friends. Each part builds on the last and uses real spice girls songs and dance moves. It is kind of an oxymoron to use creativity and Spice Girls in the same article but that is really what this game focuses on: creating.
The first thing that you have to do is pick your favorite girl from a selection of all 5 (yes Geri "Ginger Spice" is back but only in game form) cartoon caricatures. They look like 3-D Parappa people with faces painted on them. Then you and take her to the music mixing room. There you can choose from 5 different popular hits and remix them to your liking using a combination of 9 samples from the song. This is where I found the biggest weaknesses in the game. Some of the samples do not match up to anything and in the end even if you do what matches it still sounds choppy and pieced together. It would also be nice if there was more of each song to choose. That aside, once you have a kick-ass recording you have to train you girl in the fine art of dance moves. This is where the similarity to the previously mentioned games comes in. As the dance instructor feeds you button combinations you have to punch them in according to the rhythm of the song that you just created.
After you have perfected you dancing techniques it is time for choreography. As the song plays in the background (which at this point will become very annoying for non-Spice Girls fans) your job is to enter the dance move combinations that you have just learned. The trick is that you can only use moves that you got right in the previous level so you better do it until you get it flawless. When you have choreographed a routine for your chosen girl you can either copy that pattern for the rest of the dancers or create a different sequence for each flashy diva.
Finally you are ready to go into the television studio where you control the action on 8 different cameras placed around your starlets. Zoom in for solos and catch the whole group for the big dance combinations. Or just go crazy throughout the whole thing. The choice is up to you. Once you have a routine you like full of wacky dancing and singing save it and start over with a whole new song and Spice Girl.
The appeal of this game is obvious. If you like the Spice Girls and you like their music and commercial popularity then you will probably like this game. The graphics are very cute and the animations are really fun to watch. The great thing about the game is that is has the potential for being different every time. Each song provides different challenges for matching rhythms to dance moves and camera angles. Tired of using that creative muscle? Sit back and watch, there is about 20 minutes of live action interview with the girls where they talk about everything from their big shoes to their favorite movies.
Although the creative process may seem easy it is actually very challenging. Watching the playback I noticed many obvious mistakes I had made like focusing in on Baby Spice when it was Scary Spice's solo or getting a horrible shot of Sporty's trademark back flip. Also, it is very important to learn the song and dance combos by heart since you do not have much time to think and plan when you are building your sequence. That song just plays mercilessly.
I had a lot of fun with this bubble gum pop game because I am a big fan of the bubble gum pop Spice Girls. It is priced pretty cheaply for a new game too. It may not be the most mind bending of games but that is not the point. It is neat to play and bounce along with just like the group. But don't get me wrong. The game lost a lot of appeal after I had heard all of the songs and seen all of the moves. It is not something that will captivate your attention day after day, but is a fun party game and a must have for anyone who is a fan.
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