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“Just Dance 2014” Review

 

Another year, another Just Dance game.  This year also marks the first time that the Just Dance series features a year in its name, so it’s probably safe to assume that this will be a yearly Ubisoft release similar to plenty of other rhythm-based games.  Fortunately, Just Dance 2014 is just as fun as its predecessors have ever been.

What Is It?

For those unfamiliar with the Just Dance series, it’s a game that anybody can play regardless of skill.  Unlike Dance Dance Revolution, you don’t get docked for making the wrong step, and unlike Dance Central, it’s not about choreography.  Just Dance is all about mirroring what you see on the screen the best way you can with a remote in your hand — unless you’re playing it on the Kinect.

Why Should I Care?

Since the game doesn’t punish anybody for sucking, it remains a complete joy to play.  A variety of modes such as the classic free dance mode make a return in the game to please series fans, but to breathe more life to the party, the new On-Stage and World Dance Floor modes were introduced.

In On-Stage mode one player plays the lead dancer while everybody else can dance alongside as the backup dancers.  After years of having friends dance behind you for no reason, they’re definitely having fun now.  World Dance Floor is perhaps the most interesting multiplatform mode as players all over the world can dance to the same setlists and share their silhouette videos online.

Some platform-specific modes also exist this time around.  Players who own the Wii U or Xbox 360 version of the game have access to Party Master mode, which is sort of a Simon Says kind of game.  Players with the Wii U GamePad or SmartGlass have the ability to pick cards to force players to make certain moves, allowing the pupper or party master to wreak all kinds of havoc in people’s living rooms.  This game mode was also confirmed for the Xbox One, also with the use of SmartGlass.

Another platform-wide feature is the addition of karaoke to every dance routine.  Granted, singing and dancing are both hard separately, but like the dancing aspect of the game, there really isn’t much grade with the singing.  In fact, the game really just encourages people to yell the lyrics… something I won’t be inclined to do with a Miley Cyrus song.

What Makes This Game Worth My Time And Money?

Just Dance 2014 is a game that has virtually never seen change since the release of the first Just Dance 3 on the Kinect, but even then it was the same game.  But while it’s seen no change, it’s virtually needed nothing done to it.  The game has seen an annual release since its inception and because of that, the franchise has always been up to date with the latest in popular music.

There within lies its problem.  It just seems like it would be a lot easier to buy one Just Dance game, and then download music DLC as songs people like get released.

Of course, you can’t really add different modes of play with DLC, and the new modes in Just Dance 2014 really set this game apart from the rest while maintaining its casual fun factor.  It’s just hard to recommend for the same $59 every year.

 
 
 
 
 
Title: Just Dance 2014
Platform: Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: Party
Release Date: October 8, 2013
ESRB Rating: E
Developer's Twitter: @ubisoft
Editor's Note: The Wii version of the game was supplied by the reviewer, and the reviewer rented the Wii U version and bought the PlayStation 4 version. About 2-3 hours were spent playing each game, noting differences in gameplay.

  Another year, another Just Dance game.  This year also marks the first time that the Just Dance series features a year in its name, so it’s probably safe to assume that this will be a yearly Ubisoft release similar to plenty of other rhythm-based games.  Fortunately, Just Dance 2014 is just as fun as its predecessors have ever been. What Is It? For those unfamiliar with the Just Dance series, it’s a game that anybody can play regardless of […]

 

Another year, another Just Dance game.  This year also marks the first time that the Just Dance series features a year in its name, so it’s probably safe to assume that this will be a yearly Ubisoft release similar to plenty of other rhythm-based games.  Fortunately, Just Dance 2014 is just as fun as its predecessors have ever been.

What Is It?

For those unfamiliar with the Just Dance series, it’s a game that anybody can play regardless of skill.  Unlike Dance Dance Revolution, you don’t get docked for making the wrong step, and unlike Dance Central, it’s not about choreography.  Just Dance is all about mirroring what you see on the screen the best way you can with a remote in your hand — unless you’re playing it on the Kinect.

Why Should I Care?

Since the game doesn’t punish anybody for sucking, it remains a complete joy to play.  A variety of modes such as the classic free dance mode make a return in the game to please series fans, but to breathe more life to the party, the new On-Stage and World Dance Floor modes were introduced.

In On-Stage mode one player plays the lead dancer while everybody else can dance alongside as the backup dancers.  After years of having friends dance behind you for no reason, they’re definitely having fun now.  World Dance Floor is perhaps the most interesting multiplatform mode as players all over the world can dance to the same setlists and share their silhouette videos online.

Some platform-specific modes also exist this time around.  Players who own the Wii U or Xbox 360 version of the game have access to Party Master mode, which is sort of a Simon Says kind of game.  Players with the Wii U GamePad or SmartGlass have the ability to pick cards to force players to make certain moves, allowing the pupper or party master to wreak all kinds of havoc in people’s living rooms.  This game mode was also confirmed for the Xbox One, also with the use of SmartGlass.

Another platform-wide feature is the addition of karaoke to every dance routine.  Granted, singing and dancing are both hard separately, but like the dancing aspect of the game, there really isn’t much grade with the singing.  In fact, the game really just encourages people to yell the lyrics… something I won’t be inclined to do with a Miley Cyrus song.

What Makes This Game Worth My Time And Money?

Just Dance 2014 is a game that has virtually never seen change since the release of the first Just Dance 3 on the Kinect, but even then it was the same game.  But while it’s seen no change, it’s virtually needed nothing done to it.  The game has seen an annual release since its inception and because of that, the franchise has always been up to date with the latest in popular music.

There within lies its problem.  It just seems like it would be a lot easier to buy one Just Dance game, and then download music DLC as songs people like get released.

Of course, you can’t really add different modes of play with DLC, and the new modes in Just Dance 2014 really set this game apart from the rest while maintaining its casual fun factor.  It’s just hard to recommend for the same $59 every year.

Date published: 10/20/2013
3.5 / 5 stars

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