January 29, 2002
Britney's Dance Beat - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
May 2002THQMetro Graphics1-2$99.95

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Dan has a slight edge.
Well, I'm a big boy and can admit it. I rather enjoy Britney Spears. The music can be catchy, it's upbeat and, well, the video clips aren't half bad. When THQ announced that they were developing a game based on the 20 year-old singer at last years E3 show I thought it might be worth a look. Britney's Dance Beat includes most of her hit songs, it's being developed by same development team who did Bust-A-Grove on PSOne (Metro Graphics), and looks like a lot of fun. While the game doesn't really have a storyline as such there is still a purpose to the game, which is as follows;

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Rob is one very cool dude.
Britney's about to launch her next concert tour and she needs backup dancers. You will have to audition to Britney's most popular songs to see if you can keep up with the other dancers. If you're really good, you'll get access to exclusive video footage and concert footage. Only the best dancers will get to join Britney on stage. As you can probably guess this game is very similar to the Bust-A-Groove and PaRappa games on PSOne. It all comes down to pressing the buttons at the exact moment in time, as they appear on screen in a circular dial, which looks like a radar. Boring you say? Well, it takes plenty of concentration and as the music gets faster and you get better it becomes rather frantic.

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Carla is ahead with a 56 combo.
Being a game starring Britney Spears you would naturally expect plenty of music from the world famous singer, and that's exactly what you get. Many of her classic songs such as "Oops, I Did It Again", "Baby One More Time", "I'm Not the Innocent", and newer tracks such as "I'm a Slave 4 U" and "Overprotected" are in the game to dance to. If you hate Britney music I don't think you'll enjoy this game too much, but you're probably in a minority.

The single player game will allow you to choose from six different dancers who are either male or female. Once you beat the other dancers in the trials you will be placed on the main stage with video footage of Britney Spears. It still remains unclear if you will actually be able to play as Britney Spears, or if she will even appear on stage with you.

Perhaps the most enjoyment in this title will come from the 2-player mode which will see yourself and a friend facing off to become the best dancer. Of course one of the main objects of the game is to perform combos by not missing a move. These combos add up to give you more points but on the 20th combo you perform an "attack" move on your opponent where their expected button presses are jumbled up.

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Check out Britney on the big screen.
Graphically, Britney's Dance Beat looks polished enough with the game currently running at a constant 60fps. The dancers are all smoothly animated while the backgrounds are detailed enough to keep the look up high. The animations of the dancers apparently have a more realistic look then the exaggerated dancers in Bust-A-Groove

THQ have put a lot of time and effort into this game, and it shows. At the THQ Games Day in late January 2002 this was one of the highlight games, and received more attention the every other title on the system. Perhaps it was the low expectations leading into the event. In any case if you enjoy dance music games, which are massive in Japan by the way, then this game will certainly have you moving. Britney's Dance Beat is currently expected in May.