The Just Dance series stands alone as the go to part dance game across all consoles, making use of the various aspects of each console. Kinect on the 360, Move on the Playstation and the Wii remote on the Wii. The forth (main) entry in the series hopes to bring a load of new features, but is it worth the upgrade?
Just Dance 3 was a fine game, offering up plenty of fun, ideal for those party nights at home. Just Dance 4 offers over 40 new tracks, from artists such as Flo Rider, Jessie J, Justin Bieber and more. But it really needs more than just new music to be worth a purchase, otherwise simple DLC would have sufficed. Luckily Ubisoft have managed to add some more modes to the extra tracks.
The basic game play elements are back and pretty much unchanged from before, it is in the new modes that the game starts to stand out. The Dance Battle allows players to go head to head in a dance off over five rounds with one being crowned champion at the end. It adds an excellent competitiveness to the game, making players face off against each other. The five rounds are well balanced and will mean players aren’t having to wait around for too long to get their turn, nor are those playing feeling overly rushed. It really is a hit when everyone gets involved and can create quite the atmosphere.
Away from simple head to head play, each song has up to four different dance routines at any one time. This can see a group of players taking to the stage at the same time, each playing their part in the action. The different routines too mean that there is variety to the action and different people of different abilities can still get fun out of the game (drunk or not). It is a major improvement over previous titles.
The workout mode returns with new sessions and more personalised programmes. Truth be told, this is a great way to stay in shape, while still having plenty of fun. Whilst not as demanding as some of the fitness games out there, it does come across as a hell of a lot more relaxed.
Visually the game remains similar to previous efforts, with the colourful on screen avatars choreographing each routine, with the colourful and hype backgrounds keeping things looking as funky as possible.
What you get out of the game really depends on the sort of person you are, what music you like, how active you want to be and how happy you are to strut your stuff in public. It’s not a game that will appeal to metal heads, however it isn’t a game that was designed to appeal to everyone. It is aimed squarely at those who simply love to dance, have a bit of showmanship about them. To that end, it really does succeed.
The track listing does have an impressive amount of variety, from Barry White’s ‘You’re The First, The Last, My Everything’ to Brittany Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’. It is a mix that should get some reaction from everyone who plays at some point. It is possibly the best opening list Just Dance has had, with more to likely come from DLC later.
When games like this start to get later into a series, a staleness can appear, however Just Dance 4 manages to keep things fresh, the new tracks, new modes and improvements to returning features see this as a solid entry, it is an essential purchase for fans of the genre and another reason to get up and hit the dance floor.