The good, the bad and the not so good dancers… all in one. (I am certainly not the best dancer around, trust me). Get your feet and other limbs ready to dance and grip your cellphone tight and get ready to dance. I got a reviewcopy from Ubisoft and stepped into my dance shoes, and like a true elephant in a procelain shop, I got to dance (or something that had to resemble it).
What is just dance?
If you have never played just dance, let me tell you. Just dance is a dance game, where you choose a song and the game gives you a choreography, and depending on the console and the peripherals you use your phone, switch joycons or camera (Kinect or Playstation cam) to register your movements. The game gives you points for how good you dance and follow the choreography (or in case of the phone, it can only follow that arm, so you have to dance to an honor system, as the phone is the only thing that tracks, not the exact movement of the whole body as in the kinect and playstation cam way of playing.
Next gen or still old gen?
This is one of those titles where last gen are in better shape than the newer gen. Thanks to the reusability of the Kinect and the playstation camera, you don’t have to hold the cellphone all the time, or the joycons on the switch. The cameras track your whole movement, so you are more obligated to move your whole body and it doesn’t become the “move your arm in the right direction” simulator. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a good game, but it would be more beneficial if they added general camera support to the consoles and not just to older gens.
Also, holding your phone gets tedious after a while and might result in some accidents as those that were prominent in the wii-era (controllers through tv’s and such).
The app you have to use to control the game and that registers your movement (or that of your arm at least), is a breeze to use, although the moment you open something else or you close the app, you have to resync again with a code, and it becomes tedious after a while. Still better than 100 different peripherals for all games, but still… improvement might be needed here, like universal camera support. Dancing with only your arm that registers requires you to dance with an honor system, where you still follow the movements, even though you could do whatever.
What do you get?
In the package you get 40 new songs. The songs range from all styles and genres and will get you moving as all are fantastic. What I love is that for the release of the Belgian version, they even added a song by a popular Belgian childrens pop-group especially to the game. I don’t know if this localized content is more prominent in other parts of the world as well, but it’s nice that it is put in the game, so that children can feel welcome with songs they know and love.
The sad this is that you only get 40 songs, but the game pesters you and knocks you to death with the subscription model of the game. You can get so much more songs if you pay up for the subscription model, just dance unlimited, that gives you 600+ songs to choose from. The model is gladly not that expensive at 25 dollar per year it comes out at just over 2 dollar per month, which is a steal. You don’t own the song with the subscription model, but you will get to play them and dance to them, picking your favourites and keep dancing (or moving your arm to them). In my opinion, it would be beneficial to add a pass, like a year on pass, where you get to keep the songs. Or you just buy the songs that you like. I think they should give you the option to buy the songs you like, eventually. If you, for example have the subscription and you have a list of favourite songs, it would be cool, if they gave you the option of buying those songs in a pack or one by one for a cheap price, so you get to play the songs you like, and you get to keep them.
My wishes for the game?
I am bad at giving scores, but there is certainly room for improvement here. What would I love to see in future iterations of the game? Wheelchair support. There are disabled dancers out there too and they are not represented in a game like this, while the disabled community makes out 20 procent of the general population. It would be cool to see disabled folks as dancers or dance moves catered to those in the disabled community, like a mode for wheelchair users, or people like elders that can not stand very long, but are willing to give the game a try to still keep moving.
Universal camera support is something that I would love to see as well. Support certain makes and models, so people of all budgets can choose which one they want to buy, so they can play the game with their whole body and don’t have to worry about throwing their phone around and it doesn’t become a “move your arm” simulator.