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E +10 (Everyone)



November 17, 2009



- Music quality is fine



- Not many tracks

- Detection is sloppy

- No progression, no unlockables

- Generally unremarkable



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Just Dance

Score: 3.0 / 10


just dance          just dance


Some games are just plain, out of the box, hard to review. I don't think any gamer is a stranger to the idea that the Wii has opened up the gaming market to a lot of new people. A lot not all, but a lot of these people have no contact with things that many more old-school gamers would consider touchstones of the hobby. There's nothing wrong with that. A lot of the time they also don't care too much about game mechanics, or unlockables, or competition. As long as they can pick up




- Wii Game Reviews

- Music Game Reviews

- Games Published by Ubisoft

a remote, do something stupid with their friends and have some fun, then they consider what they're playing a "good" game.


This is a game for those people.


Not being in that camp myself it has been hard for me to turn this into a review that's more than a few words long. I've had to do some thinking on why we play games, and what we should expect from them. As some know, and as


previous editorials have indicated, I'm big into the idea that game reviews are an important part of the 'buyer beware' element of gaming. I believe you should be able to look up any game and read a reasoned review of it, and determine whether or not you're likely to have fun with it before you plunk down your money. So I'm just going to dive in with my usual fashion, with the caveat that if you're a regular at Armchair Empire then this very, very likely just is not for you. At all. Ever.


The game mechanic of Just Dance (and I use the singular because there is only the one) is that you basically strike poses in time with music, while holding the Wii remote in your hand. That's it. You get graded based on how close your poses are to the ones shown on the screen. This doesn't sound too much worse than any other dancing game I suppose, except that there's really no mechanics in place to encourage growth. All the songs are open from the start (again, more conducive to the 'get together with friends, do something silly' style of play) and it doesn't very much encourage competition. There is an elimination mode which livens things up a bit and adds a little more spice to things. But not much.


The detection used to grade your dancing seemed a bit on the loose side to me, but I'm torn about how important that is. It should be important when the one major gameplay mechanic is sloppy. But it doesn't actually feel that way in practice, since I don't think anyone is playing this for earning great scores. Why should you? There's no reward for doing well. If you're just here for the dancing (re: flailing wildly in my case) then by all means, flail on. Who cares about the score?


The music selection of the game wasn't really to my taste, but that's asking a bit much maybe. There are a few songs that I don't mind, but again the 32 tracks leave it falling short of the length and replayability of other games in the music genre. The songs themselves do sound good pumping through a nice sound system, though.


I guess the final straw to be drawn with Just Dance is that every bone in my body, every part of me that enjoys not only high scores, but unlocking things, meaningful progression, and clever mechanics, wants to say this is a terrible game. So I have no choice but to give it a low score. However, if you're one of those people that likes to get together with a few friends, do something a bit silly, and you don't generally care about the things mentioned above? This might work for you. Granted, at the $40 price tag you'd probably be better off investing more money and grabbing DDR, Rock Band, or Guitar Hero for an experience that is going to last longer, and is ultimately more satisfying.


- DT Mathers

(March 19, 2010)


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