Ubisoft’s crazy successful dance sim returns. GET ON THE FLOOR!!! Etc….
Video review transcription below with extra content.
Much like Assassin’s Creed, The Great British Bake Off and Manchester United’s away form, something else that comes but once a year is Just Dance, and Ubisoft have blessed us with their yearly iteration known as, um, Just Dance 2016. If you think the games are getting as formulaic as their titles, you may well be right, luckily Just Dance has a trick up its sleeve that sets it apart somewhat from what’s gone before it.
Firstly you do know what you’re getting with Just Dance. This is a good thing, if you bought the game and it turned out to be a stealth horror game requiring you to moonwalk past your enemies, you might be a little narked off. Wait. That sounds awesome. Write that down.
Does a new game need to be released every year though? Well, perhaps not. Sure, a years worth of new music is always going to find its way into titles like this and fans will surely be saying throughout ‘OMG I can’t wait to dance to this in Just Dance!’ right? Do they say those things? I’m gonna assume they do. I would. Just Dance is the best in its field at what it does and it’s back again to prove such a claim. Dance Central jumped the shark a long time ago as Kinects across the world gather dust on television units.
So what’s new this time around? Well, the World Video Challenge is the ultimate highlight for me and other social savvy dance crazed folk around the world. It’s essentially YouTube if all it was were people dancing to Just Dance songs over and over again. And it’s fun! It’s a solid way to combine the Tube mentality with the Just Dance community and brings them all together, uploading pictures of yourself dancing and players can challenge them wherever they are in the world. I tried this more than one and got my ass whupped – on Uptown Funk, which is my jam, annoyingly – but hey, I’ve no doubt it was vastly entertaining to watch. Showtime is also a great addition for fans of the series, where you can make your own music videos and share them over at Just Dance TV.
To the games credit, the playlist is certainly getting a shakeup. All the usual (read: manufactured pop products) acts are here such as Jason Derulo, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, One Direction, Lady GaGa and the like are all present and correct with their chart botherers, but they’ve mixed it up with classics such as CopaCabana and These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, which, as I’m getting old, found to be plenty of fun. Trying to 5-Star Under the Sea is undoubtedly the funniest gaming experience I’ve had all year. Sadly the majority is filler including plenty of stuff I’ve never heard of – although the Just Dance hardcore may know them better than I do. To keep it all fresh though Ubi have created Just Dance Unlimited, a subscription based model that promises 150 new dances you can play as often as you like. It’s not cheap mind, so take it into consideration if you want to take your experience that seriously. And because of course they did, they put all of the Unlimited tracks on the main playlist, y’know, to show you what you could have if you paid double (and more) the price of the game. Not cool, Ubi, not cool.
The classic Dance Party has been modified everso slightly, allowing you to team up with a buddy to earn more points. Dance Quest mode – which is where I seemed to spend most of my time – lets you take on 3-song challenges that unlock more points and playlists once you beat them. The Sweat and Playlist mode allows you to well, create a playlist. Huzzah! Still, there is something rather new and fancy to this years iteration.
The highlight of the game is the fact you can use your smartphone as a controller. Downloading the app on the App Store or Google Play will allow you to connect to the game over WiFi and with your phone in your hand, capture every move you make (in your right hand) whilst you’re dancing. The app is genuinely brilliant and works like a dream, with no slowdown or lag issues whatsoever. You don’t need to put it down between dances either, as you can control the game fully from your touchscreen. Glorious, and a great way to ensure more of your friends can play together. Y’know, if they’re not poor and have a Windows Phone.
Visually, you know what you’re getting. It looks neon and crisp and as clean as ever. Your flat screen is turned into a disco with a billion different colours being thrown at you at any one time. Everything is shiny, bright, sparkly and OTT. The dancers are still captured very well and all information is easy to read and you’ll be on your way in no time.
The simple formula hasn’t really changed, only tweaked as technology has improved but is there anything particularly wrong with that? What it does, it does better than anyone else. What it doesn’t do well is still agitating but hardly something to complain about too much when what’s on offer does exactly what you want it to do. You wanna dance to Fancy? Go for it. Just download the app and you’re away (you can also play with the PS Camera and Playstation Move) and you’ll have ruddy good fun.
And that’s the thing about Just Dance 2016, and Just Dance in general. If dancing with your friends is your thing, it’s a damn good time. Knock yourself out, you’re going to have a blast.
JUST DANCE 2016
JUST DANCE 2016 is out now on PS4 (reviewed).
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review we were provided a copy of the game from the publisher.