Just Dance 2014 Review

Screenshots courtesy of Ubisoft.

The Wii U version of “Just Dance 2014” was reviewed, and is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U, Wii, Xbox One and Playstation 4. The game was provided by Ubisoft.

If for some reason you’ve managed to avoid the “Just Dance” series up to this point, I regret to inform that Ubisoft keeps the dance game craze going with “Just Dance 2014.” It’s the fifth main series entry of the franchise following last year’s “Just Dance 4.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, “Just Dance” is a dance party game where players dance to songs and try to get the highest score. This is a simple concept on paper, but somehow works in execution when you get a group of friends together.

In “Just Dance 2014,” there are new songs, new dance moves and some new features, but not much else. I can’t imagine Ubisoft changing the formula for the “Just Dance” series any time soon, as new games in the “Just Dance” series feel more like a compilation album of different dance tunes than a full new game.

That said, depending how you value the songs in “2014,” it may be worthy investment, especially if you enjoy the “Just Dance” gameplay and the new songs.

These new songs include “Blurred Lines,” “Get Lucky” and “Applause.” (For the full tracklist, click the below.)[show_hide title=”Click here for the Just Dance 2014 tracklist.”]

-Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)– ABBA

-The Way – Ariana Grande Ft. Mac Miller

-Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley

-Isidora – Bog Bog Orkestar

-Fine China – Chris Brown

-Limbo – Daddy Yankee

-Get Lucky – Daft Punk

-Ft. Pharrell Williams

-Moskau – Dancing Bros.

-She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) – David Guetta Ft. Sia

-Prince Ali – Disney’s Aladdin

-It’s You – Duck Sauce

-Turn Up The Love – Far East Movement Ft. Cover Drive

-The Love Boat – Frankie Bostello

-Careless Whisper – George Michael

-I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

-Rich Girl – Gwen Stefani Ft. Eve

-Feel So Right – Imposs Ft. Konshens

-Wild – Jessie J Ft. Big Sean

-I Kissed A Girl – Katy Perry

-C’mon – Ke$ha

-Applause – Lady Gaga

-Just Dance – Lady Gaga Ft. Colby O’Donis

-Just A Gigolo – Louis Prima

-Blame It On The Boogie – Mick Jackson

-In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry

-Pound The Alarm – Nicki Minaj

-Starships – Nicki Minaj

-Troublemaker – Olly Murs Ft. Flo Rida

-Kiss You – One Direction

-Feel This Moment – Pitbull Ft. Christina Aguilera

-Gentleman – PSY

-Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.

-Maria – Ricky Martin

-Where Have You Been – Rihanna

-Candy – Robbie Williams

-Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke Ft. Pharrell

-99 Luftballons – Rutschen Planeten

-Miss Understood – Sammie

-Nitro Bot – Sentai Express

-Flashdance…What A Feeling – The Girly Team

-Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In – The Sunlight Shakers

-Y.M.C.A. – Village People

-#thatPOWER – will.i.am Ft. Justin Bieber

-Follow The Leader – Wisin & Yandel Ft. Jennifer Lopez[/show_hide]

There are some odd ball songs in the game like Disney’s “Prince Ali” from “Aladdin” and the “Ghostbusters” theme song. There are some older songs like “Careless Whisper” and “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” along with lesser known songs like “Nitro Bot” and “Candy.” These songs definitely change up the population of the “Top 40” hits, and if you’re playing this game at a party, the variation allows for almost everyone to have at least one song they can enjoy dancing to.

The dancing mechanics remain the same, as players must match the movements of their right hand to the dancers on the screen. While actually matching the dance movements on the screen is encouraged by the game, a lazy gamer could easily sit down and get three stars on most of the songs by moving their controller accordingly with the versions of the game that require use of a motion controller. I wouldn’t encourage this kind of gameplay, especially at a party, because it would make you look like a jerk compared to your active dancing friends.

If you’re not a dancing type and don’t want to be a jerk, there’s also a karaoke option, so you can sit back and sing along to the songs while everyone else dances. The multi-layered gameplay during a song is appreciated, and the party focused design helps the game succeed at its goal of being a “dance party game.” There is also some joy to be found as a spectator, as watching friends play the game is entertaining.

Depending how fit and energized your friends are, expect an average “Just Dance” playtime of about 30 minutes to an hour if you have a gathering of friends.

One of the stranger songs in the game, “Ghosbusters” still has a fun dance routine.

Outside of party usage, “Just Dance 2014” does feature an online mode that allows you to dance along with players around the world to the same songs. It’s an interesting mode and the idea of having individual players around the world dancing to the same song is a little strange, but it’s convenient to have a random playlist of different songs and seeing your dance skills compared with other players. It’s a good way of racking up points to unlock new dance routines and unlockables, and makes the idea of dancing alone less goofy.

Another online feature that’s included is Just Dance TV, which allows you to browse and share dance videos that have been recorded. The clips play out like gifs, showcasing random segments during your routines. It’s an interesting feature, especially if you’re inclined to share your dancing escapades online.

The Just Sweat mode returns, which may be an option for those that would rather dance to lose calories than hit the gym. Some songs feature unlockable routines designed for you to be more active for certain songs, thus burning some more calories. While including the Just Sweat mode is nice, I don’t think it’ll work for everyone.

The Wii U version features an updated “Puppet Master” mode, now called “Party Master” that allows whomever is holding the gamepad to choose the songs and dance moves for the dancers. (Note this option is also available on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions through Smartglass.) This asymmetric gameplay is effective when used appropriately, and can be used to benefit the dancers and enhance the experience, or frustrate them by choosing difficult dance moves. It’s a “use at your own risk” feature.

The Verdict:

[one_half]

The “Just Dance” games are fortunate enough to have a simple design behind it: you pick up the controller, follow the movements on the screen and have a good time. In my case, I enjoyed dancing to some of the tunes in the game, and the World Dance Floor mode makes playing solo enjoyable, by dancing alongside players around the world.

[/one_half] [one_half_last][alert type=”red”]BUG ALERT: I had encountered a game freezing bug in my copy of Just Dance 2014 on the Wii U, and it was a rare case where my Nintendo Account was causing the freezing. I solved this by creating a new account so I could play the game. If you do encounter this bug, I’d advise to make an alternate Nintendo Account to use the online features.[/alert][/one_half_last]

While “2014” isn’t a major change from previous Just Dance games, it provides the same dancing gameplay you’ve come to expect from the series. The biggest feature to the series lies with the World Dance Floor mode – it allows for great replayability outside of party usage.

If you’re interested in this new iteration of “Just Dance” you’d look through the track list and determine whether it’s worth purchasing for your gatherings of friends or playing with family.

The heart of the game is the music on the disc (and the downloadable content.) If you don’t like a particular song, there’s a good chance you won’t enjoy dancing to it.

If you can actually get friends or family together and play this game, you’re probably going to have a good time. There’s joy to be found in dancing to some of the songs in the game, and you can get some enjoyment in watching friends and family attempt at being as precise as the dancers on the screen.

About the Author

Luis Bolaños
: FIUSM.com webmaster, avid techie, majoring in Information Technology and Digital Media Studies, likes video games and writing about them too.

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