When Gintendo received the review code for Baila Latino, for some reason all eyes turned to me. Maybe they knew I was the only person with the writing nuance to capture such a game? Maybe they'd all seen one of countless facebook videos of me moving my hips in a nightclub? Or perhaps they just knew I was the only person who could achieve the appropriate level of drunkenness to really appreciate a party game like this.
In the interests of an ethical review, I couldn't just sit and play this on my own, in the day, sober. I had to play it in the context for which it was designed. To that end, I invited some friends round, cracked open the beers (and spirits, and lord only knows what else), fired it up and got ready to party.
During my evening with the game, I recorded drunken notes on my kindle, which has the double benefits of being conveniently to hand and having weird "swype" typing that results in hilarious drunken typos and autocorrects.
The first thing you'll notice, unfortunately, is a title screen with minimal animation and a really short looping track; not a good sign for a music game!
Starting up, you have the option to create profiles, with a name and one of a small but diverse selection of faces, then you can hop into multiplayer or singleplayer. The singleplayer just lets you pick a song and dance. No fluff, with stuff to unlock and all that like in Just Dance, but does anyone care about all that gubbins? With a package like this, having everything available from the moment you switch it on is perfect.
So obviously, we got stuck straight into the multiplayer. Apart from player profiles and number of Wii Remotes, everything is selected through the gamepad's touchscreen, with the TV just showing a title screen which changes slightly based on the mode you've chosen. My first note pertains to the title screen while navigating the top multiplayer menu.
There's a barrel. Why is there a barrel? Is there rum?
"It's a barrel of laughs"
It took my friend Kate and I some time to figure out why the barrel was only on screen some of the time. Once we solved that mystery, we got stuck into the multiplayer properly.
Starting with single dance, we found that the game was exactly what we'd always assumed: Just Dance but with latin songs. Players follow a dancing character with a highlighted hand that represents the Wii Remote. How it decides when you're accurate and when you're not was as impossible to understand as ever, the instructions at the bottom of the screen were indecipherable until we'd seen them played out at least once and the dance moves were ludicrous and crazily sexual. I thrust my hips a lot during my time with this game.
Throw Out is a little tournament mode, where after each song the lowest scoring player is dropped from the next game until only one champion remains. The dancing is the same as ever, of course. Then there's Battle, a best-out-of-three series of matches and and Endurance. I decided to try Endurance out.
A flamenco gentleman with his tits out has just tried to make me join the Hitler youth. This might be a glitch?
The song started, slowly, then froze like the screenshot above. No music, no instructions, but the fire was still animated and myself and my friend continued to get little scores. For a moment, I thought "endurance" might literally mean holding position for an uncomfortable length of time, but eventually I realised the game was just broken. I reset it, and it didn't happen again.
Trying endurance mode again. Perhaps it was a glitch, perhaps the developers are acoustic madmen.
I think I meant sadistic madmen, there, but acoustic madmen would be appropriate for a dance game with a silent mode.
Yeah it works more. It's just bloody versus but with five instead of the! This can get tar from. Now last hadhad little sister is unconvincing trekking for me in front of the screens from the wwe stage. I'm precise like a surgeon and she loves it
As you might be able to tell from that, between endurance mode first freezing, us figuring out there was something wrong and deciding to reset it and try again, I polished off a fair old amount of drink. I finished my bottle of gin and drank a seaside bucket of beer, not to mention the rum, vodka and fruit juice I was topping up with throughout.
Once Endurance came back on, we realised it was indeed "just bloody versus but with five instead of three." At the time I thought that could get tae fuck, or indeed "get tar from" but to be perfectly honest, it doesn't matter. Nobody cares about the new modes and whatnot in Just Dance games, and nobody should really be too worried about the modes on display here.
Ooh no I celebrated and was published good my f hybrid. It is a cumulative show out of five, not the number of wind. HODOR
After winning the first three, I stopped playing and celebrated, only for the game to go on to round four anyway. It was then that I realised Endurance wasn't really a best three out of five, but a contest of the cumulative score over all five rounds. My mate Muss then told me, as he had been sober throughout, that he'd noticed the same was the case during Versus Battle. I don't know how my cry of "BULLSHIT" was translated to "HODOR" but it still stands; I don't really rate that as a system, certainly not for two different modes. Oh well.
At the end of the day, these games live or die by their songs, so I persevered and played some more. Each one has pretty impressive, bespoke animations and an original dance routine.
Matt don't turn the road into a disco, that's not very safe
Of, you switch it off while the pigs drive last. You fucking coward
On one song, there was a hilarious moment where a police car drives past, and immediately after that the flashing lights on the road disappear and the dancer looks crestfallen, like he'd been told to stop. Coward indeed.
Clicked him cos k thought he had a snake lb his head but it's actually just a massive, shot, Morgan and it looks more like a vehicle in scrub. What a knob
"I clicked on him because I thought he had a snake on his head but actually its just a massive, shit mohawk and it looks more like a chicken than a snake. What a nob." Quite.
For the most part, the songs were all a bit similar for me and my friends. None of us speak much Spanish, or are too familiar with this kind of music. The macarena was in there, which was fun, and I found myself very attached to the song "Dighidin Don Don", but for the most part it was a little forgettable for me. If you're considering a purchase, I'd recommend looking up the tracklist online before considering a purchase. My friend Holly insisted she be quoted as calling it "Balls Latino".
There are a few niggles I had with the game's menus, primarily the fact they're almost exclusively controlled through the gamepad. This isn't an issue when you're setting up, but after a song you'll ideally be stood up facing the TV with a remote in hand, and turning round and going back to the gamepad is a chore at that point. It would have been ideal to be able to select "next song" on the remote, or even better just control the whole thing with a Wii Remote!
Beyond that, one is really reviewing Just Dance as much as Baila Latino, and the genre as a whole. Is it more fun to try and copy the dance on these games, or just stick the song on and go your own way? That's a question of personal taste. Is the game really judging your moves or is it all pretty arbitrary? I decided to find out.
First I played my favourite song copying the moves on screen and wrote down my score.
Duffy fight boom boom 12397
Then I replayed the same song, with my back to the TV and just dancing to the tune as felt natural to me. I wrote this score down as well.
7401 The rules are there to HELP FACILITATE THE FUN
As you can see, I scored considerably better when I played by the game's rules; 12397 to 7401. The game does, at least somewhat, work.
So at the end of the day, this is just can't nature Martin
It plays as Wii as ever, the combo system is nice, Jr looks pretty. All it comes down yuk it's the music.b like Spanish language stuff? Enjoy, my son. If that's not your man, you might shop the sentiments of my celeb Jimmy and can this Balls Latino.
I swear more than a dog xiddler at crusts, I laughed with friends and there were a st list of it two you uhh need on rd soundtrack.What more could I want?
"So at the end of the day, this is Just Dance with Latin music.
It plays as well as ever, the combo system is nice, it looks pretty. All it comes down to is the music. Like Spanish language stuff? Enjoy my son. If that's not your jam, you might share the sentiments of my friend Holly and call this Balls Latino.
I sweated more than a dog diddler at crufts, I laughed with friends and there were a song or two I liked on the soundtrack. What more could I want?"
I couldn't have said it better if I were sober.
I give a score of 10/10. You can work out for yourself if that's for the game, or for gin.