The popular show makes its way over to Kinect exclusively. If you haven’t heard anything about this one, it states:
Enroll at Hollywood Arts High where you will get the best homework assignment ever: Work on your talent and become a star! Join Tori Vega and all your favorite characters from the hit Nickelodeon series as a new student at Hollywood Arts. Showcase all of your talents as a performer as you create a Hollywood Arts talent show. Use Kinect to sing, dance, act, direct, play instruments, and more in a custom performance featuring songs from the TV series. You can team up with a friend in co-op play or go head-to-head to see who’s the bigger star.
I’d have to say, the idea was good, but the delivery not so much. In a nutshell, it’s basically a mixture of mini-games, lacking content while trying to retain authenticity. I’m guessing the developers ran out of time on this one so it what it is. I rated it as another throw it up in the air title, you’ll either like it or hate it.
The menu borrows Dance Central’s system and it works fairly well for the most part. The first menu is broken up into 4 categories which include Single Player, Two Player, Options and the Dressing Room. Once you choose a main area, it gets broken down into other sections which I go into later.
When you first begin, only one song is available and you have to complete it fully in order to unlock the rest, but completing the one song does unlock all of the remaining, not just one. When you decide on a song, there are different things with the song that you can do. Each song contains Act, Music, Sing, Dance and Music Video. Only Act is unlocked within each song and as you progress through each section, each one unlocks following another. The objective of each event is to get at a minimum, a bronze star, but preferably a gold star. There is a major lack of content as only 7 songs are included, but it could be Victorious doesn’t offer more – I’m not sure. That’s really all there is to it.
The rating system for all events, except Music Video, is a typical 4-part rating system. For doing a move incorrectly, you are labelled as WAZZ, which for those that don’t know, is a word that the show uses as iCarly does as well (I guess it’s the new word for urinating). The other ratings are OK and Good, and if you do it perfectly, you’ll be “Victorious!” I’ll break down each type of mini-game I’ll call it.
When I originally heard about this game, I thought it was a neat idea, add in acting with dancing and music, kind of like what Yoostar On MTV is like, but was I wrong. I figured at least there would be monologues or something related to real acting, as I am aware of this show, my boys watch it in secret. The kids do act on the show doing plays and what not but the version of “acting” in this game is just silly.
The objective is to basically just match poses that the teacher calls out, such as “Act like a sumo wrestler” and you pose like a sumo wrestler. It’s really lame in my opinion. You even repeat the poses as there aren’t many of them, talk about lack of content. Here’s a video of one so you can be the judge yourself:
This is one of the neater ones, you get to play invisible musical instruments. Some of these more or less turn into a dance type game, but it’s different. I did check out all of them to see if they were different and they are. The variety of instruments you get to play include a guitar, tambourine, trumpet, keyboard, drums, maracas and a DJ kit. What I found interesting about it is that as you progress, with each star you earn, the music kind of becomes dynamic. The better you do, the more musical flare is involved so it was different to me and I didn’t get too bored with it. Your instrument(s) also have fireworks, so to speak, as you progress. Here’s a video of the DJ kit, I did end up doing the whole Freak The Freak Out song so you can see how each event ties into the whole thing.
The singing portion definitely needs a lot of help. It’s worse than The Black Eyed Peas Experience singing, and I thought that was the worst. This tops it by far. I did all kind of testing with it, basically if you just talk or just say something like “AHHHHHH” the entire time, it marks you as perfect, or in this game “Victorious”. You don’t have to sing, you don’t have to have correct octaves or pitch or anything. All you have to do is make noise and your good. It’s probably the worst part of the whole game. As you gain stars, your character becomes dynamic with little swirls and things. I also pretended to hold a microphone to my mouth and for whatever reason, it thinks my head is next to my characters head but go figure, the characters mouth moves to the words. Here’s a video of the singing portion:
This is probably the most likable event to do. The dance moves are somewhat authentic, but Victoria and the crew aren’t always dancing when they perform on the show so there are ad-libbed moves, but they feel like they belong. The detection in here is pretty decent for the most part, although there isn’t a feedback system, you can kind of get an idea of what you are doing wrong. There is also a view window to show you what you look like in addition to cue cards which sort of help, move names may have been better. This one has dynamic backgrounds that become more animated as you earn stars. Here’s a video of it:
I believe this is the objective of each song, to create a music video. Realistically, it’s just a mash-up of all of the events into one thing that you don’t get graded on, although you do get points at the end of it so I’m not sure how it grades you. A lot of it seems random and I wasn’t really impressed with it. Check out the video of it to judge for yourself:
The two player option is identical in terms of gameplay, except you can only do the Act, Music and Dance events. You can choose to play cooperatively or battle against each other competitively. More or less it’s the only multiplayer included in the game.
The options are fairly basic, allowing you to turn the icon wheel on or off, accessing the Kinect Guide and viewing the credits. There is a section that says Promo Code which I’m not sure what it’s for. It would be neat if it added something to the game like more songs or something, but who knows for now.
This section allows you to somewhat customize your character. If you don’t go in here in the beginning, your default character is some random girl. Why the devs geared it towards girls, I have no idea, but boys like the show as well, probably not only because of the show itself since Victoria is probably every tween and teens dream girl. Anyhow, your categories that allow customization are the gender, which is just male or female. The features include your hair, eyes and skin color. The outfits have items for your head, upper body, legs and feet. That’s as detailed as it goes with character customization so it’s not very elaborate. A majority of the items are locked as well until you start getting stars on events which in turn, unlocks dressing room items.
The graphics aren’t really great to be honest, you see some pixelation really bad in the beginning when the characters are up close. Speaking of characters, all of them are in here including Rex and all of their voices are attached as well. For the majority of the time, you are talking to Beck, Trina, Cat and Jade. As for authenticity, it seems like they did a decent job with it. It also has venues from the show that you perform in.
The songs included in the game are her real songs with her singing them and they are full length as well which full length is always a plus. I suppose this is a track list, but there are only 7 songs which seems really limited. Anyway, here they are:
- Your The Reason
- Song 2 You
- Give It Up
- Beggin’ On Your Knees
- Best Friend’s Brother
- All I Want Is Everything
- Freak The Freak Out
This game is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less. I did like the idea of doing this particular show as Hollywood Arts is all about the performing arts and if they would have taken ideas from Yoostar to include acting or performing in plays and what not, that would have been better in my opinion. Unfortunately, the game just doesn’t deliver that much. Did I mention it majorly lacks content? :) The show usually has some kind of basic plot with each one, there’s no storyline in this game at all. All I was able to tell is that you are some new kid in school and Tori is using you, although she makes you the star and she’s not, yet you are performing her songs which makes no sense to me.
Anyhow, this one is probably for the hardcore fans only if they can’t get enough Victorious. As for anything else, I see a dead-end. There probably won’t be DLC for it nor any sequels, which is why I give this an up in the air conclusion, take it for what it is.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Victorious: Time To Shine
Scoring policy: What do these game review scores actually mean?