A big part of the draw of the High School Musical movies is the singing and dancing. High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance! the newest game for the Wii, allows fans to rock out to 29 songs from all three movies, with cartoon versions of Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, and Taylor. While you dance holding the Wii remote, you see the musical numbers reenacted at the venues shown in the three High School Musical films. You can also create your own Wildcat Avatar and then choose which of the cast members you want the dance to feature. Plus, you can also take personality quizzes that help you to learn about yourself and let you compare your interests to those of the characters in the films.
The game can be played in one- or two-player mode. In both, the main part of the gameplay is following onscreen cues about how to move the Wii remote and the nunchuk so that you can "dance" to the music and earn points. On the screen, you will see a large circular ring, broken into six parts. If you imagine this as a clock face, the parts of the ring are located at 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 o'clock. Colored balls float from the center out toward the ring parts and as they pass over the part, you must flip the Wii remote or nunchuk in that direction to earn points. In addition to these arm movements, there are other actions, including poses and turns that earn points in the game. Additionally, one minigame has you pointing the Wii remote at the screen to collect floating balls of musical notes while avoiding red bubbles of badness. At the end of a dance, you are graded from A to F; and depending on how well you do, you will unlock new songs and earn clothing choices and accessories for the characters and your self-made avatar.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year Dance! is a very physical game. The Wii controls work pretty well if you flip them hard enough. However, occasionally you will flip the controller in the correct direction just as the ball crosses the marker (as required) but get no score. That can be frustrating, but since the game is pretty forgiving in terms of overall score needed to unlock new content, this frustration doesn't ruin the game. The game can be played on three levels of difficulty, with the easiest being pretty straightforward and the hardest being devilishly challenging – so there is something for everyone.
This game has almost no storyline other than earning things to put into the Wildcat Yearbook and outfits for the characters and your avatar. But in this situation, where you are playing simply to dance to the music of all three films, the storyline is not really missed.
Other nice features include the ability to design your own avatar and to decide who is dancing during the songs. You can even select your avatar to dance with one of the stars of the movie.
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