It’s time to throw on your dancing shoes and zip up those jackets because Happy Feet Two is making it’s way to a console near you this holiday season. Based on the release of the new penguin movie, a sequel to the original Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two is a fun musical family game that can be enjoyed by all ages. For anyone familiar with the Happy Feet soundtrack, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that the musical score by the Grammy award-winning Ozomatli made it’s way into this title. It’s refreshing to know that enough time and development was given to the game, as many games lack, along with actual characters and names from the movie.
The gameplay is fairly simple and geared mostly toward younger gamers but it can still be enjoyed by any age, especially in co-op. Basically, players work together using dance moves to save their fellow penguins from extinction. The game uses a controller based dance system which allows the player’s rhythm to stun enemies and recruit other players with special abilities to help them advance in the story. The musical dance system is really nothing new and can be compared to other adult musical based games such as Guitar Hero but is still easy enough for younger gamers to grasp.
Players control their character around the icy backdrop that you would expect from the Happy Feet series. As you move around you need to collect other penguins for your group in order to move on to new areas. You’ll have to do this by smashing large ice structures with your bass pounding dance moves. The more penguins you collect, the larger the smash you can create. The fun of the game is that almost every move you do relies on music and rhythm. This is a perfect match of gaming and learning basic music rhythm for younger gamers with mom and dad. Having children, it’s very rare to find a game like Happy Feet Two that will teach kids while not losing the fun and direction of playing the game.
As you smash your way through levels you will begin collecting music notes like a traditional platformer, sliding and diving through a chutes and ladders type of landscape. If you correctly time your button presses to the rhythm of the music you will be rewarded by large dance numbers from the penguins who have joined you on your adventure. One fun aspect of Happy Feet Two is that even though most of the game is based on dance and rhythm, kids can make their own fun dance moves by holding down the B button. As they walk, climb or create their own dance routine, this is a nice little added bonus for anyone who wants to stop and show off their skills while taking a break from the game’s objectives.
When you’re not dancing around the frozen tundra, Happy Feet Two also has a racing mode were you challenge other penguins by sliding on your belly down some slippery slopes. This is a welcome distraction from the normal platforming you’ll find throughout most levels. As you race down the slopes you also collect music notes and pull off some fancy moves while jumping off large ice mounds by pressing the correct button at the height of your jump. Be careful! If you don’t time it perfectly you’ll find your penguin landing on his head as your opponent zips off to the finish line.
Happy Feet Two was a joy to play with my nine year old and some of her cousins. Each one took turns taking the controller so they could save the next penguin or show off some of their ideas for a nice dance routine. It’s exciting to play a game with children where you can see the enjoyment on their face and Warner Brothers Studios as done exactly that. If you and your children enjoy the movies, then it’s a guarantee they will enjoy the video game version including all their favorite penguins. Also, if you happen to own a 3D TV, Happy Feet Two comes with the option to turn it on so the dance moves act as if they’re moving right in your living room. It’s a nice touch as you glide around and watch 3D snowflakes fall right in from of your eyes. Just another reason that Happy Feet Two will reach out to your child just as if you’re taking them to the theater. Don’t worry if you don’t own a 3D TV, because the old red and blue glasses will also work and does a fine job at that.
So if you’ve have seen the movie or are making plans too, give Happy Feet Two a shot on your gaming console. It’s difficult to find games for younger players that adults will find enjoyable but this is one title that happens to work. Warner Brothers Studios captured everything that made the film a hit and brought it home so you and your family can continue sharing the fun. I couldn’t help myself from putting together my own dance routines as I made my way through the Antarctic just like the kids. You just can’t help yourself. Go ahead, I dare you not to smile. Now go get your groove on and pick this one up.
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