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Plugged In

Michael Jackson returns to gaming in ‘The Experience’

Plugged In

Narnia Island

The King of Pop might have passed on, but this week gamers
can celebrate his legacy in the best way they know how: hopelessly trying to
keep up with his most epic dances.

Ubisoft's Michael Jackson The Experience is out now for the Wii, DS and PSP (Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are coming next year), and while it doesn't rewrite the dance game genre, it certainly looks like a thriller for fans. Check out the debut trailer, which we will not stop playing 'til we get enough:

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Thought it's a little weird watching a Jackson doppelganger bust out his legendary
moves, the trailer serves as an immediate reminder that, when all is said and
done, Michael was simply one of the best dancers anywhere, ever. It also looks
curiously similar to Ubisoft's chart-topping Just Dance series, which proved to
be a serious hit.

The Experience hopes to best that franchise's success by cramming it to the gills with Michael Jackson goodness. The game features 26 of his biggest hits, from classics like "Workin' Day and Night," "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" to later songs like
"Remember the Time"' and "Heal the World." Like Just Dance, you simply hold the Wii remote in your hand and mirror Jackson's steps (does that make you the Man in the Mirror?), which, based on MJ's incredible skills, is bound to be far easier said than done.

While Jackson's love of gaming was hardly a secret, The Experience marks the first
"official" Michael Jackson video game since 1989's ill-fated Moonwalker. Based on his short film of the same name, the game -- which was either awesome or terrible, depending on who you ask -- is nearly as iconic as its star.

It's been a particularly busy time for burgeoning dance game genre. Ubisoft's own Just Dance 2 released for the Wii last month, while MTV's Dance Central has been lauded as the best launch title for Microsoft's Kinect sensor. Another Michael Jackson game, the virtual world Planet Michael, is due out next year.

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