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'Just Dance' Misses the Mark

  • Jan 13, 2010
  • by
The Wii Gaming System is a perfect alternative for rainy day exercise and sports simulation. When I saw "Just Dance" offered by UBI, I excitedly envisioned myself moving and grooving to a wide spectrum of music that would provide me with an alternative exercise option. Unfortunately, after playing this game for over an hour, I found that the limited playlist cut the action for me.

Instead of moving from song to song, I found myself surfing for something that moved me to dance. A more complete dance game that would appeal to all ages should include at least 7 or 8 songs from decades spanning the 50s through 2010. The thirty-two songs offered here are just not enough.

In addition a tutorial of sorts should be included so that participants can monitor their use of the Wiimote and see how the points will be scored. Other Wii games include some instruction when the gamer consistently moves incorrectly. The creators of 'Just Dance' assume that participants will just dance and not worry about the scoring. However, for the most part, as the choreography is repetitive and not that difficult to master, the inefficient way that the controller monitors the participant's dance moves is most evident. While dancing, the next moves are shown in stick figure format in a sequence on the bottom of the screen. As the participant dances, his/her moves are scored with either a psychedelic "Great", "OK" or "Miss" and points are garnered at the top left hand of the screen. Even when getting the moves down expertly, the monitor still misses the beat and the dancer frustratingly finds that he/she 'misses' more times than expected.

The idea of the game is to follow the dance steps and body movements of a song-appropriately dressed avatar. After the first two or three songs, I found myself wishing there was more of a selection and that the selection was ranked based on tempo rather than difficulty and effort level. Songs should also be cross-referenced by decade so that if a participant wishes to dance to the beat of the 70s, he/she should be able to tune into an immediate 70s playlist.

I would imagine that this game can be fun for more than one participant, but as I am a solitary exerciser, I can only make comments based on what I have experienced. However, any of the suggestions that I have made above would also make this game better for more than one participant also.

Bottom line? For the most part, "Just Dance" disappoints. The scoring does not work well and the playlist needs more than double what is already offered with cross-referencing that will allow gamers to solely dance to a particular decades music. For those who want to use this game as an exercise alternative, look elsewhere. A shuffle playlist option should be included to increase the tempo to facilitate warm-up, heart-rate and cool-down sessions. Also a tutorial should be included to instruct the user as to how the Wiimote is used with scoring. Not recommended for exercise, but might be fun for a younger age group in birthday party mode.
Diana Faillace Von Behren

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review by . June 14, 2010
I bought this game at the suggestion of my daughter. She saw the commercial on TV and thought it would be fun - especially to learn all the "old" dances her Mom might know.     As soon as we received it from Amazon, she immediately opened it and played. I have to admit that I was hesitant to try it out for fear of making a fool of myself. Luckily in the safety of my home, I could choose to dance in private. My daughter was immediately hooked and it was an obvious game to play …
review by . May 10, 2010
This Wii game is a lot of fun but you can't be self-conscious or you'll feel out of place doing it.     There is a list of songs to choose from and two options for each song - short version and long version. As each song plays, it counts down to the start of the dancing at which time you are to start mirror imaging the person on the screen. The dancer on screen is a simplified faceless person taken from real video. I kind of wish they left the actual person there.     As …
review by . December 21, 2009
Pros: Fun, good song mix, funny characters, real dance moves, solo or challenge, simple rules     Cons: Only 30 songs, graphics aren't great, scoring is iffy, doesn't save stats     The Bottom Line: Just Dance for Nintendo Wii is so simple to plat that it's great for kids on up. A good song mix and some great dance moves override its flaws.       I love dance DVDs and find that I get a great cardio workout when I do them. Since …
About the reviewer
Diana Faillace Von Behren ()
Ranked #166
I like just about anything. My curiosity tends to be insatiable--I love the "finding out" and the "ah-ha" moments.      Usually I review a book or film with the … more
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About this video game


In Just Dance players learn real dance moves to songs they know and love across a wide genre of music over the past sixty years. Requiring only one Wii Remote per player, up to four people can break it down at a time, as they follow on-screen choreographed moves set to classic dance tracks, covering a wide variety of musical genres and bringing everyone to the dance floor. The game includes more than 30 chart-topping and foot stomping hits designed to get players moving right out of the box.

Key Game Features:

  • One of the best dance mixes around: Just Dance features more than 30 licensed tracks, ranging from iconic dance hits such as "You Can’t Touch This" by MC Hammer to modern day pop with "Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry.
  • Scrolling lyrics lines so players can sing along to the beat.
  • Real dance moves: step to the beat and learn real-life dance moves from music spanning the 80’s, 90’s, Disco, Rock and more.
  • Start the party right: raise the roof with anyone and everyone you know via fun 4 player party modes – with simple controls, anyone can pick-up and play.
  • Workout in disguise: burn calories, stay fit, and enjoy a fun workout all while having a blast with your favorite songs.
  • Acceptable in the 80's – Calvin Harris
  • A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley
  • Bebe – Divine Brown
  • Can't Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue
  • Cotton Eye Joe – Rednex
  • Hot n' Cold – Katy Perry
  • ...
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ESRB: E10+
Number of Players: Single-player, multi-player
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Console: Wii
Genre: Music Action
Release Date: November 17, 2009
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