6th March 2011; By KnucklesSonic8
This song fits right in with some of the other picks available from the get-go, including Jump by Kriss Kross. Since there isn't as big of a representation of the hip-hop genre in this game, this pick is even more appealing. Still, the infectious beats that are carried throughout much of the song make it a great track to dance to.
Ubisoft did a great job with the backdrop for this routine. It's all set in a New York atmosphere with outlines of skyscrapers that have bright-coloured volume bars juxtaposed against them. Whenever the chorus is played during the routine, the background is enhanced further by moving street signs, light posts, and bridges that emit a "whoof!" sound as they pass the dancers overhead. There are also black birds that appear on occasion, as well as neon light effects that appear just above the floor whenever electronic riffs are played. The dancers are well-dressed and are easy to connect with. Overall, a good amount of effort went into this one and I loved seeing how the routine developed visually.
The dancing itself is well-choreographed with the different moves they have you performing. There weren't any segments that seemed off or totally out of place, so that was good. The game's rating system classifies the song with 2 Stars for Technicality and 1 Star for Effort. Unlike "When I Grow Up" though, which has the exact same rating, the choreography is never underwhelming or weak. And most importantly, this is one is actually fun to play more than once.
I enjoyed the slick poses you had to do with the male dancer as the female dancer pointed in his direction. I thought this was a good fit with the theme of the song. Even some of the other, let's say, "stationary" movements were active in nature. One example of this is when the lyrics read "Down down!" and you had to literally pound the ground with your hand. That was a nice touch. Right before the last run of the chorus at the end of the song, there's a portion of the routine where the sky changes from an orange-yellow sundown to a darker night shade. During this time, the female dancer takes over for a couple seconds, as if she were making a move on the guy. It was an interesting variant but I thought this whole segment could have been better. The male dancer's moves, in particular, could have been stronger. But overall, the routine contains some good movement that gets players using the space around them.
Interestingly, American Boy actually lasts the longest of all the DLC songs. And yet, it doesn't feel like it drags on at all. In fact, it's quite entertaining, especially when playing with a friend. This is easily one of the best DLC songs available. You get great value for your points here -- the visuals work well, the routine is fun to play, and you'll likely see yourself playing this one quite a few times.
See below for a video of the full routine! Let us know if there's a particular song you'd like to see us cover next!