27th January 2011; By KnucklesSonic8
Our final verdict on the routine was very positive, concluding that it’s one of the better DLC options currently up for grabs. This time we'll look at "Maniac" by Studio Musicians.
The first thing to note about this song choice is this is a cover version of the official song recorded by Michael Sembello. But unlike Ubisoft's less-than-stellar rendition of Crazy in Love, this cover actually sounds great! So that's definitely worth noting right away. The setting for this routine is a fairly generic room, dimly-lit by hanging lights. Although it's not immediately obvious what the overall theme is, observing the character's get-up leads you to discern that you're participating in a training session of some sort. When you start following the moves of your on-screen coach, the theme becomes more clear.
It all starts off with a nice opener; as the song "warms up" in getting to the first set of lyrics, your character will perform a series of stretches as if to suggest what will follow may be pretty intense. You can choose to follow along with the stretches if you wish, but they're not required. For the sake of immersing yourself in the feel of the song, though, it's good to do them anyway. Plus, if your body is aching from other songs you played before this one, doing this may actually help relieve some muscle tension.
Exerting energy as you follow along, it's very hard not to find yourself enveloped by the choreography (even if only for a short while). The entire routine is very involved in what players are expected to do. And therein lies the reason why it’s been rated a three out of three for Effort. One set of moves has you sparring with an imaginary target, bouncing back and forth as you make forward thrusts to the beat of the music. The moves that follow also carry a similar approach where you're, in effect, repeatedly punching an invisible speed bag. Upon reaching the chorus, you'll get a pretty good idea of what to expect from the rest of the routine. But it’s still nice to see there are other movements that exist for the purpose of switching things up.
Overall, there's a lot of movement in this routine, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that you’ll use the space around you quite a bit. As such, good planning will be required when playing with even two persons so you don't bump into each other. I wouldn't say they are plenty of Gold Moves in this routine, but the ones that have been incorporated are tricky to execute. It's unlikely that you'll get them on your first try, meaning that you'll only get the 5-Star requirement on this song with practice and even stamina. But they are somewhat different from the other Gold Moves seen in other songs, which is great.
The choreography for this song’s routine is very strong, far from being static or even underwhelming. This high-energy routine is thoroughly fun, and really feels like an actual workout. It’s definitely the most enjoyable song I've encountered thus far from the online store.
You can definitely look forward to seeing more write-ups on other DLC songs in the near future. Below you'll find a video of the full Maniac routine for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy watching! (And yes, doing the splits at the end is optional!)