I never really liked those Bemani dancing games – you know, the ones that Japanese schoolgirls seem to be fantastic at but is more like high speed hopscotch than dancing and whenever attempted on my part would usually result in a critical tripping incident due to my terminally flat feet.
No, like most British males of a certain age and status, I am more of an arm dancer, so I couldn’t see the point of that. So Nintendo released Just Dance, which was a bit more arm orientated but a bit… shallow to be honest and didn’t have a truly kick ass line up, an issue reflected in its relatively poor reviews. As a result, Ubisoft went back to drawing board, had a sort out and came back with Just Dance 2, and let me tell you there has been improvement.
There are three modes to choose from: Just Dance, Dance Battle and Just Sweat. Just Dance allows up to four players to dance together in friendly competition – pretty much the same set up as Just Dance. Dance Battle gets more personal, with Free for all allowing up to four players to dance against each other in a series of events: the classic dance off, Duets (where opponents have to dance together), Simon Says (I don’t need to explain this, do I?) Medley (a mix of styles) and Race (first player to get so many points wins). Team battle allows to teams of players to compete against each other and can have up to eight players with controller swappage. Just Sweat cashes in on the popularity of exercise games for the Wii allowing players to dance themselves fitter (not Eat Yrself Fitter, Fall fans). Already the game has more depth, but there’s more to come.
Now packing a whopping 44 tracks onto the game, including songs from Justice (yes!), Fat Boy Slim, Jamiroquai and Katie Perry, the game has more of an edgy but still fun feel. If forty four tracks isn’t enough though, you can now download more, including MARRS Pump Up The Volume and Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild – a small selection so far, but hopefully this will expand. Observant readers will observe that I haven’t mentioned dancing yet, but I’m waiting to pack the rest of the family off to bed. Some things needs to be done alone.
Right, I think they’re asleep now. Good, because you will need some space. They’ve had a good go at the choreography – it now feels like you’re dancing routines rather than doing moves and the addition of humorous avatars (especially the Frankenstein’s Monster figure whose arm drops off at the end of Monster Mash) and backdrops make it feel more like you’re playing a brightly coloured platform game like Viewtiful Joe rather than a dancing game – player value! You will end up shattered if you don’t pay attention to the effort and technique methods, rated from one to three – Hey Ya! Is a three/three and feels like it too – but is great for applying to the workout section.
Yes, exercise can be fun! You can set yourself up with a sweat allowance for the day based on how many songs you want to dance to – it’s not as exacting as Wii Fit and will not give you any idea of how much weight you’re losing, but you will indeed sweat.
Going back to the multiplayer section – yes, this gets competitive. To keep things fair, the computer chooses the song but offers you one chance to randomly change it to something else – you’re stuck with it though. The duet option is a welcome addition, introducing the lost art of party game cooperation, but for the most part this brings people together like Risk does.
For all that, this is a great party game in its own right, if you can let go of the whole competition thing… at least don’t break a bottle of Lambrini across Tracey from accounts face for beating you on Toxic. It’s not bad for one player either and you can always say ‘it’s for the exercise’. So there you go – better options, better songs, better choreography – definitely an Empire Strikes Back game: twice as good as the original.
- 5 Stars!
“An Empire Strikes Back game: twice as good as the original“
Reviewed by – Nintendad