Review :: (Kinect) Just Dance Kids 2

Do the Hokey Pokey? Right After I Whip My Hair...

Written by Super User

Published Monday, 14 November 2011 19:00

Write your own review !

Remember Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and all of their iterations and off-shoots in between? Remember being beat over the head with song lists, plastic instruments, and and a constant stream of downloadable content for said games? OK, that’s a bit harsh. I’ll admit, I fell headlong into that genre and it took me a couple of years to get my head out of the sand. With the trend of instrument-based games seemingly over (the sublime Rocksmith notwithstanding), what better to take over the Saturation category of gaming, than dance titles? The runaway success of franchises such as Ubisoft’s Just Dance on the Nintendo Wii has now spilled over to other platforms with Kinect’s rise in prominence on the Xbox 360 along with the Move for the PlayStation 3. The clunky dance mats of the past have now been replaced with handheld motion controllers, and in the case of Kinect, no controllers at all. It is with the Kinect that I’ve enjoyed all of my dance game experiences thus far, starting with the original Dance Central last year, and graduating to the Michael Jackson Experience and more recently, the unreal Dance Central 2. So where does Ubisoft’s next entry fit in? Let’s boogie to Just Dance Kids 2.

Simply put, this is not a dancing game for adults. Ubisoft has done gamers a service by putting "Kids" right in the title. Just Dance Kids 2 features a forty-song tracklist that includes traditional kid-friendly fare like Itsy-Bitsy Spider, The Hokey Pokey, and Jingle Bells for the extremely young set. In addition, hits like Accidentally in Love and Whip My Hair by Will Smith’s offspring are available for the older kids. Granted, Whip My Hair can be found in Dance Central 2, but in Just Dance Kids 2, it is not sung by Willow Smith, but by other children, along the same vein as the Mini-Pops. Having said that, the “knock-off”child singers are quite good, and some of the songs even sound better than the originals. On screen, you mimic the dance moves of real kids, which is actually quite engaging. I think that Harmonix should think about taking a page from Ubisoft here, for Dance Central 3. Most of the songs are under three minutes long, catering to short attention spans. There are backdrops full of colorful imagery and kid-friendly animations. The kids that are dancing on-screen are very enthusiastic and smiley, which is quite infectious, as it turns out. My young daughter came into the room as I was dancing to Ma Nah Ma Nah (the classic Muppets tune...look it up on YouTube for a laugh!) and announced that I was having “way too good of a time”. Leave it to a seven-year-old to sum it all up in the simplest of terms.

"It’s a fun, innocent way for kids to get off the couch and get active."

Just Dance Kids 2 has plenty of content to keep the kids (and adults) entertained for hours and hours. Single-player and co-op modes abound, from Team High Score and Regular Dance to something called Pose & Shake, where players need to match on-screen poses in the middle of a song to gain bonus points, and pretend to play invisible instruments such as a guitar or maracas. The game has a filter built-in where you can choose to play only easy songs, or choose songs based on age group. Needless to say, this is very parent-friendly in respect to having the ability to pick and choose what your child dances to, and what your child sees on screen. Players can create up to a dozen separate playlists. In what is probably the game’s coolest feature, players can create and record their own videos and original dance routines, then save them to the console’s hard drive. My daughter and I had a blast with this feature, trying to out-do each other, coming up with the craziest dances that we could. The Kinect sensor reads each move precisely, and I experienced no lag whatsoever. I think that, with a year-plus of Kinect’s existence, developers now have no excuse for not using the technology in a proper manner, and to its full potential. It’s good to see that Ubisoft is leading the pack in this respect.

Following most other dance games, Just Dance Kids 2 gives the player a score based on correctly performing the dance moves and building combos. The “next move” icon comes across the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, and for younger children, they probably go by a little too fast. I had trouble keeping up the first few times, but the routines were easy to learn and I was doing well in no time. The one glaring omission to JDK2 is the lack of a tutorial feature before each dance. There was a missed golden opportunity here, especially with the game geared towards kids. I’m sure most kids could have done with a few tips on how to perform the specific dances. I sure could have, and I’m an experienced dance-gamer. There is a general tutorial available when the “Help” button is pressed, but this is not an obvious feature if a child dives into dancing right away. Let me repeat again, though: this game is for kids. We grown-ups have the Dance Centrals and the Just Dances (adult versions). But it’s a guilty pleasure to get down to some Shake Your Groove Thing... just don’t tell my daughter.

Final Focus:

Just Dance Kids 2 is the perfect game to introduce the dancing genre to young children. It’s a fun, innocent way for kids to get off the couch and get active. The on-screen kids are engaging, the game is visually entertaining, and the song selection is vast. There is little here to entertain the adults in the room, but that void can be filled by watching the kids go nuts with the Create a Dance feature. Let the little ones play Just Dance Kids 2 before they go to bed, and then put in Dance Central after the sandman gets them...or, if Dance Central is too hard for you, you can enjoy the learner’s permit that is JDK2 before you get your Dance Central license.

 


Pros
+ Create a Dance mode! + Visually engaging + Lots of great kids songs
Cons
- Another dance game? - No tutorial

Final rating
7.8 / 10
Comments
More Xbox 360 reviews
2014-11-11 :: Assassin's Creed: Rogue
2014-04-06 :: Dark Souls II
2013-11-12 :: Alien Rage
2013-09-17 :: Grand Theft Auto V
2013-09-15 :: Lost Planet 3
2013-09-13 :: Splinter Cell: Blacklist
2013-08-07 :: Grid 2
2013-07-26 :: Remember Me
2013-07-23 :: (XBLA) Sanctum 2
Game details
(Kinect) Just Dance Kids 2
Release date : 2011-10-24
Platform :
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer :
Gameplay : Music,Tempo, Dance

GameFocus High Fives, June 2015 - Jesse
There is arguably no other aspect of gaming that is more underappreciated than the Non Player Character (NPC). Serving as companions, quest ...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives Canada Day Bonus Edition
Happy Canada Day! Bonne fête du Canada! We here at GameFocus hope you’re celebrating the enactment of the British North American Act (Consti...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives, June - D.J.
There is arguably no other aspect of gaming that is more underappreciated than the Non Player Character (NPC). Serving as companions, quest ...

Read more

GameFocus High Fives, June 2015 - Jesse
GameFocus High Fives Canada Day Bonus Edition
GameFocus High Fives, June - D.J.
DLC Talk

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?


Read more
First Impressions

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Injustice: Gods Among Us, the upcoming DC fighting game by NetherRealm Studios, is set to be released on April 16th. Even though the release date is just around the corner, they continue to announce additional characters that will be playable upon release, as well as alternate costumes for numerous ... Lire la suite...

More previews
GF Blogs

Summer Gaming Guide: What to Play

Summer Gaming Guide: What to Play

Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?  


Read more

The Last Guardian Will NOT Appear at #E32015 and Here's the Reason Why...

The Last Guardian Will NOT Appear at #E32015 and Here's the Reason Why...

Since its reveal at E3 2009, The Last Guardian has not resurfaced other than in rumours and in statements regarding said rumours. Sony admits to major studio problems during the game’s development, but constantly reassures those anticipating the game that it is still not, and will not, be canceled. So is this the year that we finally see the resurrection of The Last Guardian? In my opinion, the answer is a big fat NO.


Read more

A Few Good Reasons for Grounding Players in WOW

A Few Good Reasons for Grounding Players in WOW

Getting my first mount in World of Warcraft was a major milestone. It came at a time before Blizzard reduced the cost of training for a ground mount and the gold required seemed like an impossible sum when quests were doling out a few coppers. What's more, I was foolishly selling my gathered iron or mithril to in-game vendors rather than placing it up for auction. I won't get into the particulars of my moneymaking strategy but I will say that it wasn't effective and very indicative of my n00b status.


Read more
GameFocus 2015 Top 10
1
Apotheon (PC)
9.4
2
Splatoon (Wii U)
8.6
3
Rocket League (PlayStation 4)
8.5
4
Splice (PlayStation 4)
8.4
5
Hand of Fate (Xbox One)
8.0
6
8.0
7
Toren (PlayStation 4)
8.0
8
7.8
10
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (PlayStation 4)
7.7

facebook-follow-us

twitter1

 

GameFocus Podcast: June 2015
This time the guys talk E3 2015 and see what stokes those flames of excitement.  What game is the equivalent of a Total Recall film remake? Are L...

Read more

GameFocus Podcast: June 2015

Recent comments

Powered by Disqus