The Just Dance franchise will be familiar to TSA readers, as at one time both Just Dance 1 and 2 terrorised the UK Chart simultaneously for weeks on end. Well, now it’s back with Just Dance 3, and looking to claim a few more chart scalps.
The big news is that the game will not only be on the Wii, but the PS3 with Move and Xbox 360 with Kinect. However, for clarity I should stress that our review code was for the Wii, which weighs in at a wallet friendly £25, rather than the £35 the HD console versions command.
On the surface things don’t seem to have moved on very far from Just Dance 2. Visually it’s instantly recognisable, with that funky neon styling, bold characters and user friendly on-screen icons that literally jump out of the screen and poke you in the eyes. Despite the Wii version not being in HD, you never get the feeling you’re missing out that much.
To chuck out a well-used phrase, the 50-strong track list in Just Dance 3 really does have something for everyone. Newer songs from artists such as Katy Perry and Taio Cruz nestle happily alongside tracks from 2Unlimited, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, and Queen. It even ventures into Bollywood territory with Kurio ko uddah le jana. It’s a good list, and in my opinion it bests the other big dance games coming out this year. You can expect decent post-release DLC too.
As with other Just Dance games, the aim is to match on-screen prompts to earn points and ratings. As there is no dance mat or body recognition, the game tracks the movement of the Wiimote. It’s not the most accurate method in the world, but it does the job. Saying that, there were a few occasions where movements weren’t registered correctly, and this can lead to frustration. “These types of games are just about having fun with friends though” I hear you cry. Well, this is true but I know games with my friends certainly do get competitive, and to lose points through no fault of your own might irritate.
In terms of routines, Just Dance 3 certainly is energetic, and after an extended period of play a sweat will have been built up. It’s all about big, exaggerated movements as you step, spin, clap and shake your way through songs. The key word here is “fun”, which is something the game has in spades.
Completing routines earns you stars, which go towards unlocking various modes, songs and mash-ups. For example, earning your first 15 stars will unlock ‘Simon Says’, which sees you start a routine as normal, but then do the action Simon says (such as clap) at certain intervals.
No matter what type of gamer you class yourself as, if you really let yourself go and get into Just Dance 3 I guarantee you’ll be grinning like a loon. The look of shock/horror/disappointment on my wife’s face as I did some of the more feminine routines was absolutely classic.
So what about new stuff? Well, certain routines are set up for four player choreography, so rather than you all doing the same moves, you each have a set part of the dance to complete. Fear not, two player choreography also makes a return. Just Sweat mode has also seen an improvement, and you can reach your personal ‘Sweat Points’ target via the Free Session or 7 Day Challenge. To be honest, you’ll be sweating plenty on some of the harder songs.
- Looks good.
- A great list of songs.
- The perfect party game.
- A really enjoyable experience.
- Very similar to Just Dance 2.
- Some Wiimote inaccuracies.
Ubisoft has done a great job with Just Dance 3. Those who are new to the franchise will find it far more inviting and immediate than games such as Dance Central. There is also plenty of content here to keep you plugging away for quite some time.
Fans of the previous games should be made aware, however, that 3 is very much an evolution rather than revolution. The feeling of familiarity will be strong, although whether that’s an issue or not is entirely up to you.