Just Dance 2
Posted 2 years ago By - David Slauenwhite
Just Dance 2, Ubisoft’s sequel to the very successful and popular Just Dance on the Wii, had me sweating and dancing to some current and classic hits over the last couple of days. The first two things that I’ve discovered are that one, I have actually enjoyed the genre, and two, I’m terribly out of shape. But enough about me, let’s get to the game. The basics are pretty simple and pretty predictable. Armed with your Wiimote, you’ll select your way to the Dance Section which is filled with various songs. Solo songs and duets fill the menu options from both modern pop such as K$sha’s Tik Tok, to the more time tested favorites like Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas. They each have different difficulty and sweat levels (which I’ll touch on in a bit), letting you have a nice variety to choose from that suits your tastes or try your hand at something off the wall like the Monster Mash!
For me, I wanted to begin with a song that I knew very well so off I went with Viva Las Vegas. There’s something about Elvis that that seemed fitting as I knew I was already not in the best shape for something really bouncy and frenetic. Once the song gets under way, there’s a dancer performing the moves you need to do. Mirror imaging the motions, once you get the timing, your off to the races gaining points for the successful completion of different moves on a particular scale. It all sounds pretty basic doesn’t it? And yet, this is where the hilarity ensues.
First, timing your moves to match the dancer on the screen and making sure your body placement matches what’s happening on the screen is amusing as you dance your way through the songs. Aiming for those coveted “Perfects” to gain the most amount of points is the first key to success. For me, I managed to get the movements down and I was earning a whole mess of “Ok!” or “Good” accolades with the occasional “Perfect” thrown in to make me feel somewhat better about my performance. Though something was off about the whole thing and I have since discovered why I could mimic the dancer, get the moves right and yet not rack up a really high score. Naturally, it could mean I just suck, but somehow I didn’t feel that was the case. The gameplay isn’t that complicated as I am just dancing around like a fool after all.
This is where my main issue with an otherwise great game comes to rear its head. Overall I’ve enjoyed myself, the dance moves aren’t beyond my ability to move around in 3 dimensional space and I don’t have to be Gumby to do most of them. So where’s the root of the trouble I was having? Well it comes down to how you hold the Wiimote. If you don’t hold it just so, “Perfect” move completion eludes you. I understand you have to move along with your on-screen dancer and I understand you have to match the rhythm of the game, but if you’re not holding the Wiimote at just the right angle, it appears you aren’t doing it just right. Finding that sweet spot is sometimes obvious, but other times it’s just plain annoying. You can see how the dancer on the screen has their hands, what angle they’re at, which direction to move in and so forth, but nothing indicates how or at what angle to hold the Wiimote.
Outside of Wiimote handling, the game plays as you would expect. You dance, you gain scores, you sweat, and you laugh and fun will be had by all. Additional modes include a multiplayer component, which comes in several flavors under either Free for All or Team Battle. Within those there are several mode options such as Classic, which is your basic dancing with competing scores. Simon Says has various actions popping up that adds a bonus scores while you dance. Duet - which is the same as in the normal Dance section - has you dancing with a partner. Of course there is a Medley mode, which is a series of 5 song samples. Finally there’s the Race Mode, in which players race to fill the score meter and get to the top first. The Team Battle mode is a dance off with your crew again another crew and makes for an uproarishly fun time as you try to beat the opposing team in score and style. The key to victory is also trying not to laugh your ass off at the other team or even your own team as you battle it out with your funky moves.
The other side of the gameplay coin is the “Just Sweat” mode which is the included work out program. You have a selection of 3 levels of intensity, Mild, Tough, and Intense. Each one has certain number of songs per day to get through along with the additional sweat gage you need to fill to complete each day’s objective. I went with Mild, which is 1 song per day and 300 sweat points for a total of 2100 sweat points per week. (Again, like I said, I’m horribly out of shape.) Sweat points accumulate based on how much you’re moving around during the dancing, and each song has a different sweat metric based around the movements of the choreography. It has motivated me to keep getting on there and trying my best, and admittedly I have gotten quite the work out in the process.
The graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but with a game of this type and genre, I didn’t expect to be amazed. The dancer(s) you mimic on the screen are silhouettes rather than a full featured person, and the backgrounds suit the songs you’re dancing to. Which makes sense when you think about it as the focus is on the dancing, not how pretty the on-screen avatar is. Overly pretty dancers and backgrounds could easily be distracting, though at the same time - especially in Duet mode - having two shadowy figures dancing, no matter how differently colored they are, can still confuse you at first.
Sound quality is first rate, and I found they made sure the song selection provides enough punch to help you with the timing as you dance and wiggle your way through the moves. It’s clear, the sound effects blend well with the song and over the course of the entire game. The one you might miss however is when you’re “on fire”. Completing moves and getting through the dance really well gives you the bonus of being on fire, but the sound effect when you achieve that can be lost in the midst of a really good song. Fortunately there is a graphic of blue flames around the top of the move achievement bubble which is helpful touch.
Lastly, the Store section is for getting additional songs as DLC, which there is already several available for varying amounts of Wii points that you can download onto your Wii’s hard drive or an SD cart. The selection includes Katy Perry’s new “Firework” track to M/A/R/R/S “Pump Up the Volume” and a couple more. This adds new songs and new choreography to the game if you want to flesh out your Just Dance library with something new and different or just want a song you happen to love and adore.
Overall, despite the sometimes finicky Wiimote controls, Just Dance! is a fantastic dance game for the Wii and one I certainly recommend for all you dance freaks out there or anyone looking for a good work-out game. It is great for playing solo, with friends and a good way to work out without feeling like your exercising. Don’t get me wrong though, you can and do generate a fair amount of sweat after a couple songs. The choreography for the dances isn’t overly complicated on the whole, though there were times where I couldn’t quite catch the moves on specific songs. That’s more a matter of practice than the fault of the game.
I’m well pleased with the experience Just Dance 2 provided and I’ll be shaking my badonkadonk to this title for a some time to come.
+ Good work-out game that’s fun and stimulating
+ Good sense of achievement through point accumulation and sweat generated
+ It can point out just how out of shape you are
- Wiimote handling can be tricky to figure out for best score achievement
- It can point out just how out of shape you are
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Release Date : 2010/10/12
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Paris
Category : Music,Tempo, Dance
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10