The Just Dance series has never been something which should be taken too seriously. Though there are features where you can focus on increasing your fitness level (such as Sweat & Playlist), this is more of a social game to get your friends and family involved with when someone’s birthday, or Christmas come around.
These aspects are great, but there is a lack of information for the player in general when playing the game. There’s no form of tutorial, so you can actually learn the moves, nor is there any way of slowing down the song in order to make sense of what’s going on if you’re new to this type of game.
There’s plenty of modes to strut your stuff to. Dance Party is your standard mode where you pick a song and then are suggested a choice of three to follow it up with, while Showtime requires you to own a PlayStation Camera (or Kinect) and allows you to create your own music video, complete with lip‐syncing to your favourite tracks and sharing them with the masses if you like.
Dance Quest is what can generously be described as the single player mode, which pits you against AI‐controlled dancers and challenges you to beat their score over set songs ‐ sadly you don’t get to see the AI mess up though. Finally Sweat & Playlist is the fitness element, which has more intense versions of the dances and measures how many calories you burn. The Playlist part lets you make your own mix for a set time.
Playing Just Dance with the PlayStation Camera can be a bit of a nightmare when attempting to select songs and you will become frustrated with it quite quickly. On the Xbox One, Ubisoft clearly responded to how awkward navigating by motion control can be and switched it to controller only for this version. Back on PS4, the camera worked fine once we managed to get the song up and running, though the camera sync with the game wasn’t as responsive as we felt it should be.
...It’s a nice break and you will definitely get some giggles, especially with some friends.
A new feature this year is that you can install the Just Dance Controller app onto your mobile device, and control the game that way instead, working in practice like a PlayStation Move controller. This really opens the game up to a much wider audience, since the motion control hype has trickled away (especially on Xbox) and most people own a smartphone. In practice it’s quick, easy, and saves the host rummaging around the house looking for enough controllers for everyone. Up to six players can join the party in this mode as opposed to four.
If you’re taking a breather between songs, you can also check out JD TV. People from all over the world upload their dance videos there, which often entails an enthusiastic young guy flailing about while their significant other sits on the sofa in the background looking unimpressed. It’s a nice break and you will definitely get some giggles, especially with some friends.
One more thing to note is that microtransactions come in the form of a Just Dance Unlimited subscription, which adds an additional 156 songs, including favourites from last year’s version which you may have purchased as DLC (which sadly don’t carry over), and 4 Dance Quests. This is of course optional, though you can try it for free as each copy comes with a one month trial to hook you in.
Despite pointing out a few things that I did not like, if you are someone who enjoys rhythm games or likes to invite a load of friends and family over to your house, then I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of this. It’s a great party game tailored for all ages, which is fun and also gets everyone up and moving. The mobile app feature is just a genius idea.