Just Dance! Again!
Posted 6 months ago By Pogo - Skyler Edgar
In a world filled with music games, it seems like every developer wants to jump on the BANDwagon (bad pun) and start creating masterpieces like Rock Band with their own little twist. However, Ubisoft did something right with Just Dance, winning “Best Music game” awards as well as becoming the biggest selling franchise on the Wii platform for a couple years. With 11 different versions of the game released in North America, it was time for me to dive into it to see what the all the fuss is all about...
One of the things I simultaneously liked and didn’t like was navigating the in-game menus. It was easy and simple to use, but at the same time could be problematic. To select an item on the menu such as a track or setting, you must push your hand in, then pull your arm back in a quick-like manner. Now, I don’t know if I am doing something wrong, but it almost felt like trying to aim an out-of-sku dart when selecting my options. Sometimes I would accidentally hit something and try to pull away from it only for it to be selected...which was troublesome when the option was to upload your sweaty half-naked body to the Internet. [Editor’s Note: Apologies for the visual] After some practice, I was able to navigate the menu with ease, but they should have implemented the option to navigate with the controller.
"Bottom line, regardless of age, gender, or experience, this is a game that everyone will have fun with."
The first thing I did was jump right into the “Just Dance” mode, which is essentially the standard dance mode we all know and love. With the ability to play with up to 4 players, this game actually blew my expectations out of the water. Arriving with a diverse set list and a party-like atmosphere, I knew this was going to be fun no matter what track I selected. Sure, they may have Justin Beiber on the list, but dancing to Europe’s Final Countdown while your avatar is dressed as some sort of wrestler and is mimicking your posing moves throughout the whole song is just an experience like no other. Just Dance 4 clearly shows that its not a die-hard serious move buster by throwing a vast array of different costumes on people, as well as the overall bright and flashy color scheme. This goes a long way to showing off its party appeal.
Speaking of the party appeal, many of the songs incorporate dancing with a friend by holding hands, synchronizing dance moves, and just plain having fun. Playing by yourself is decent, but at that point, you are purely just going for high scores and achievements. The only issue I had was actually figuring out what moves go next. On the bottom of the screen it shows a figure that prompts for the next move in the routine. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be very vague, which will cause you to miss a lot of moves and throw off your entire set. All-in-all though, the basic game was a ton of fun.
Now, the setlist, is the deciding factor in what makes a music game great. Tracks such as Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock”, “Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” are tracks which some of the older audiences will enjoy, while the younger crowd will thoroughly enjoy getting down to songs like “Moves like Jagger” by Maroon 5, “Rock N’ Roll (Will Take You To The Mountain)” by Skrillex and “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Beiber. Truly there are a couple songs for every generation on the disk, no matter what your musical taste prefer. This also makes for some crazy dance moves to be played as well, including making poses, doing the shuffle, or just plain waving your arms in the air to look like a crazed maniac.
Something that will never see the light of day are the videos and pictures the game took of me while I danced. Just Dance 4 gives you the option to share such videos of you or your party dancing online (such as on Facebook). With that in mind, Just Dance 4 also has a mode where you can share your experience online by using pictures of fast forwarded movies the game has made of you to show your skills to the world (with my dancing techniques, the world should be scared).
Staying in shape is also what the game wants some players to achieve as well with its “Just Sweat” mode. This takes an exercise you select, and then puts it together with a few tracks and other workout routines, followed by a cool-down period. The goal is to lose calories, and there are different levels of workouts to suit everyones needs. Naturally, because I am a pro wrestler from what the Final Countdown taught me, I went for the fighting workout and oh boy, let me tell you, you will get tired from this if you play it a couple times. The first exercise I tackled looked like a normal workout routine; you raised your legs every now and then, and punched and kicked the air. I should note right now, make sure you have enough space for this game. I nearly lost a cat and a lamp during this review. After the workout was completed, it went right onto Distrubia by Rihanna, then to another workout, and another song, then the cool-down. After all was said and done, I was sweating and I even happened to lose around 40 calories, which for a video game, isn’t too bad. Not only that, but after completing it I was given a random prize, which actually unlocked a new song in the game for me, so it seems there are rewards to losing calories as well!
Having a game that works well with the Kinect sensor also helps. There is no lag, or response issues, and you can generally nail perfects provided you are doing the dance moves correctly. Unlike other Kinect titles, this game actually feels built around the sensor, and it clearly shows. Even if the navigation takes a little getting used to, Just Dance makes up for it with a solid Kinect experience.
Bottom line, regardless of age, gender, or experience, this is a game that everyone will have fun with. Just Dance 4 really surprised me by its uniqueness and its replayability with its ability to share a great time when just having fun with some friends. You don’t need to be a master to enjoy this game; in fact any age can really jump in and have fun. No matter who you are, there are at least a few tracks for you to dance to, and with the announcement of PSY’s Gangnam Style coming out, the potential fun factor just got bumped up a notch! With downloadable content, Just Sweat mode, and Just Dance mode, I would recommend this 4th entry in the massively popular franchise to anyone who owns a Kinect sensor.
+ Party-like atmosphere provides positive experience
+ Engaging multiplayer and party experience
+ Even fun to play alone, better with friends
+ Utilizes Kinect’s movement controls exceptionally well
- Menu navigation takes a bit to get used to
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Release Date : 2012/10/09
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft
Category : Music,Tempo, Dance
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10