Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U
Released: October 8th, 2013
The Just Dance series has never been an acutely technical game but it’s always been one of the more fun dancing emulators you can find. Just Dance 2014 carries on this tradition as novices, even with two left feet, will feel like accomplished dancers inside Ubisoft’s pop driven world.
Track-list wise, Just Dance’s diverse 47-song list features music from artists like Katy Perry, Nicky Minaj, Lady Gaga, Village People and Bob Marley, to name a few. While most of the music normally wouldn’t be part of my iPod rotation—they are songs you’re required to play in the car when you pick up the kids from school—there are some gems mixed in. Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” and “Get Lucky” from Daft Punk w/ Pharrell are perfect examples of some of the popular music featured. For a game that is family oriented, the tracklist gets the job done.
The choreography is where Just Dance shines. Instead of using motion-captured 3D models, you get videos of actual dancers captured in all their vivacity with plenty of loud colors mixed in splashing across the screen. Unlike the other dancing game Dance Central, where you need to be exact with your moves, Just Dance cuts you some slack as it counts even the wildest of flailing as the player attempting to copy a particular routine. That turned out to be a good call by the developer as some of the dance routines are so complex that you’d have to have moves like Usher to even come close to successfully nailing all them. If there’s one downside it’s that some of the best stuff, including most of the On Stage choreography designed for three or four people, is not accessible right away. On Stage is Just Dance’s new mode and is particularly enjoyable as it casts one player as the lead and the others as backup dancers. The only way to unlock more versions of the songs is to dance more, but it would’ve been nice to have everything at your fingertips right away. It makes up for that small misstep by offering an online multi-player, taking on opponents around the world in a huge dance off, with everyone competing against the same routines. Combined with a plethora of other modes and unlocks and you’ve got a great dancing package.
Just Dance 2014’s greatest attribute is it recognized that it didn’t have to reinvent the dance floor in order for it to be enjoyable. Instead Ubisoft preserved what the fans loved most about it in sharable videos, crazy choreography, and tons of Top-40 hits all rolled up into a grooving package that invites you to have fun. However uncoordinated you may be.—Written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)
XXL Rating: L
Just Dance 2014 was reviewed on the Xbox 360.