Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Just Dance 2
Just Dance 2 review: Insert Electric Boogaloo joke here...
- 45 great tracks, brilliant fun in multiplayer for up to 8 players, online shop for even more music
- You get tired playing this game
Forget Just Dance, the sequel redeems the series in every way imaginable.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
I don't think anyone saw this coming. The original Just Dance was a terrible game, bordering on shovelware. It barely worked, it looked like a budget title, and the dance routines and music were largely uninspired.
Just Dance 2 is the complete opposite. Evidently Ubisoft reinvested the bucket loads of cash they made out of the first game, and the result is one of the best multiplayer and casual games on the Wii.
Firstly, the music. Forty five tracks come packed into the box, and there are very few duds. Ubisoft has been clever and represented just about every genre of music you could hope to dance to — from popping-style hip-hop to disco, Brazilian carnival, reggaeton and Bollywood. There's even some oddball tracks, like Monster Mash, Austin Powers-style Bossa Nova, and The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian for extra comedy value.
Each of these tracks has been choreographed by professional dancers, and the little avatar on the screen that you'll be doing your best to copy is a hyper-stylised version of a real person. The choreography is never too difficult, but energetic enough that you'll work up a sweat pretty quickly.
You play by strapping the Wiimote to your wrist, and dancing along. There's no buttons to press, no peripherals to load up, and no Wiimotion Plus to invest in, because any of that would make the game less accessible.
Gameplay is simple: The more accurately you mimic your on-screen character, the higher your score. And somehow, it actually works. While you'd think that you could play the game sitting on the couch and waving the Wiimote in time to the music, in reality it is hard to be a killjoy and cheat. The better you get at the routines, the better your score gets. It's almost like the game is psychic. It's creepy.
Of course, like any casual game, Just Dance 2 works better in groups. Up to eight people can play across a number of gameplay modes — if there are more than four you'll be split into ‘groups' and taking turns trying to work together to beat the other group's score.
Some tracks also feature duet options, where you'll find yourself dancing with a partner. The only difficulty there is trying to pull off some of the moves while keeping an eye on the screen to see what's coming up next.
For single players there is also a “just sweat” gameplay mode, which will keep track of how much dancing you do each day, and provide you with a very scientific “sweat score graph” that tracks your daily and weekly targets. It's not as deep as, say, Wii Fit Plus, but it's the closest to a score incentive this game offers — with no unlockables or other bonuses for playing, there's not much else to get a solo dancer coming back each day.
One other big feature that deserves special mention is the new shop, where you can buy and download even more music to dance to. The selection is small at the moment, with just six tracks on offer (though they're all good), and relatively expensive, at 300 Nintendo points ($4.50) per track, but taking into account that each of those tracks have entirely new choreography, the $4.50 is well-spent. Hopefully Ubisoft continues to support the shop through the year, because it really does add a lot of value to the game.
Just Dance 2 is a game perfectly suited to the Wii. It's accessible for people of any age and skill, and it's hugely entertaining. Most importantly, it works well.
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