Review: Just Dance 4
As I approach my first anniversary at Xboxer what better game to review than the sequel to the first game I reviewed for the site? Step up Just Dance 4. I’ll admit when the game was sent my way I wondered whether this game could justify a sequel, I was also worried I wouldn’t enjoy it but I’m pleased today, I have been pleasantly surprised.
Utilising Kinect for the second Just Dance 4 makes another attempt at being the best dancing game about, much like Just Dance 3 the emphasis is about having fun with friends, if you aren’t much of a groover Just Dance doesn’t mind. There are rewards for those that want to get the highest score possible to though. Each song gives up to five stars and the better your score the quicker your Mojo level raises. As you go up a level you get to unlock a bonus gift from a spinning wheel such as a dance mash-up or battle. Dance quests give you the opportunity to earn more Mojo points by successfully performing mini tasks during the songs, such as getting 5 stars or performing parts of songs flawlessly. For the sum it gives the game some extra life and for other it’s a nice a bonus if we complete a task.
During each song there are little pictograms that move along the bottom of the screen karaoke style, at first you’ll probably struggle to work out what some of the moves will actually be, but with a bit of practice you probably won’t need the pictograms at all, instead you will follow the dancers on-screen instead. For the most part Kinect does a good job of picking you out. I dragged the Mrs in to have a dance along to ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ and even with two of us Kinect handled itself really well. The choreography for each song allows for up to 4 people although you will need a huge amount of space to dance with four others without someone getting a black eye. I imagine songs such as One Direction’s ‘That’s What Makes You Beautiful’ would be even more fun to prance about to with three other friends.
The Dance Battles add a bit of competitiveness to the game, two players dance off against each other over 5 rounds with one being crowned champion, this mode was quite fun to play and could generate some serious battles in households up and down the country. Dance mash-up gives you the chance to dance to some of your favourite songs but rather than using the standard dance routine you’ll be trying moves from across the whole game, it certainly keeps your on your toes.
Just Dance 4 has more than 40 songs for you to dance to and no doubt there will be more via DLC throughout the year. Songs range from classic hits such Dirty Dancing’s ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ and Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ to some of the biggest hits of the past couple of years such as Carly Rae Jepson’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ and Maroon 5’ ‘Moves Like Jagger’. There is plenty of cheese going on to; The Time Warp, Living La Vida Loca and the Ketchup Song are all there with the sort of dance moves you’d pull off at a wedding. Each of the videos you dance too definitely adds to the fun factor of the game, they all feature bright coloured dancers wear even more colourful outfits and they all have their own theme, Call Me Maybe is set on a Smartphone and Living La Vida Loca is set in the Wild West.
The Just Sweat mode is back some good improvements. When you have chosen which workout you want you can choose between three-time durations, 10, 20 and 45 minutes. Once the workout has begun a bar across the top of the screen gauges how much effort you are making based on what Kinect can see you doing, there is also a live calorie counter ticking away so you can see the calories dropping off you. It doesn’t look like it is supported by Kinect Playfit but hopefully that will change in the future.
If you are particularly brave you can head over to Just Dance TV, after each dance a selection of videos are made from your last performance you can choose which sections to save and view them in Just Dance TV. If you are mad (or an awesome dancer) you can upload your videos to the community, I spent much longer than I should have watching other people videos and feeling better about my dancing skills.
Although I have a great experience playing the game it is let down by the poor UI again. Selecting items requires you to poke the screen and not hold your hand over the section like in most Kinect games. Most of the time I ended up selecting the wrong song or scrolling past the one I wanted. Also have the title of the each of the options to the side meaning that you have to tilt your head to read them is really frustrating.
Just Dance 4 just about warrants itself as sequel, the track list is really good and the improvements to the game modes are excellent. If you have the room and need yourself a party game I would definitely recommend this.
Review: Just Dance 4 Results
What we liked:
Great improvements to the game modes
Excellent Track List
A Brilliant Party game
What we disliked:
Pictograms can be hard to interpret