Dance games certainly aren't anything new to the console gaming scene. They aren't even a fresh concept for gaming in general, regardless of console. Countless titles and series of games exists such as Just Dance, Dance Central, the Zumba Fitness series, and The Hip Hop Dance Experience; all have the common theme of getting you moving around your living room with various routines from a multitude of genres. Considering the tens of millions of units these games have collectively sold, it isn't too shocking that when Ubisoft Paris went and released a dance game with an exclusively musical-based song repertoire, it managed to do pretty well for itself on the Nintendo Wii. The game was also released for the Playstation, making use of the Move hardware to bring a slightly freer experience. Regardless of platform however, the game undoubtedly had an impact on those in the gaming community with an inclination for moving around and dancing for their entertainment. Critics were less forgiving of the whole experience however, so it seems necessary to look closer at the game to evaluate just how worth the money it really is.
In terms of its gameplay, Dance on Broadway is hardly innovating or giving dance game fans anything that they haven't experience before. In fact, the interface is identical to the game's ancestor, the original Just Dance, in that on-screen dance cues must be followed as accurately as possible in order to score points and receive praise from the game. Individual on-screen dancers will guide up to four players participating in the fun as either the Wii remote or the Playstation Move hardware detects your movements and inputs the data into the game. This is how dance games have always functioned, and Dance on Broadway makes no attempts at diverging from this tradition.
The troubling fact about the game is that while its rivals have various other modes that act as a sort of 'career-mode' equivalent, Dance on Broadway simply has one single mode that involves just selecting individual songs and dancing them from beginning to end. The absence of mode variety is a highly disappointing thing that leaves you wishing you simply had more ways in which to enjoy the fun. Still, the Wii has 20 songs to play through and the Playstation version has 25; all are numbers of the highest quality that should appeal to fans of London Broadway. The Playstation version also has a few more modes on offer including 'Be a Star' and a career-like mode as well.
Unfortunately, the constraints of the respective consoles are demonstrated in the fact that the Playstation version doesn't even have the four-player mode that the Wii offers, though things aren't much better on the Wii. The motion capture on the Wii feels a little less accurate than that of the Playstation Move, but neither are particularly loyal to your real-life movements either. Points will often be rewarded for some moves that aren't correct and conversely you will notice the game missing moves that you have performed accurately. Still, in spite of this flaw on both systems, the game's fun doesn't seem to diminish. Players can continue dancing and never know that such flaws are present if they aren't questioned or already aware of them in the first place.
Still, it is difficult to ignore the glaring lack of progression and/or reward system in the Wii version of the game, and the Playstation version's different modes aren't very strong at all. Most notably, all of the songs are unlocked from the start in most cases, and though this is perfect for players wishing to simply get stuck in to the action or use the game for a party-like occasion, this isn't so great for the more avid gamers that want to be challenged for feel like they are working towards a goal.
Though Dance on Broadway certainly isn't the worst dance game out there, Ubisoft hasn't ticked enough boxes in order for this to be considered as a serious option for gamers wishing for anything more than a supremely shallow experience. The musical numbers are really the only redeeming quality here since neither version has very inspired choreography, movement tracking accuracy, or the necessary game modes to be any more entertaining than they are. The 20/25 songs in the Wii/Playstation versions respectively are of great quality but there aren't enough of them to make the game carry any long-lasting appeal. This one is only for the wii musical fanatics, be even these may be a little disappointed at what Dance on Broadway has to offer.