* Prices may differ from that shown
Once a month myself and 4 friends get together and have what we call a 'Wii' night this involves descending on one persons house (whosever turn it is) with armfuls of alcohol and treats. After a few glasses of wine we stick on various Wii games and generally have a great laugh. When Just Dance 1 came out I decided to give it a try and we were all hooked.
With Just Dance 2 arriving on the scene the choice of songs we can dance our socks off to have expanded. All you need to do is hold you wii remote in your right hand and copy the moves that appear on screen...its so simple and fun!
Just Dance 2 has so many more song to choose from and you can purchase more from the online shop with your Wii Points. I have picked out just a few to show you the wide range of different songs you can pick from:-
Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Ke$ha - TiK ToK
Mardi Gras - Iko Iko
MIKA - Big Girl
Outkast - Hey Ya!
Rihanna - S.O.S.
Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
The Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up
Up to 4 players can dance together so it's great fun! And you can have a 'Dance off' with up to 8 players! There is a 'Just Sweat' section to burn off some calories and get your heart pumping!
The game responds quickly and saves all your high scores for you. You can use your Wii motion plus as well but I find this is too sensitive for the game and it doesn't always register all your moves so I would recommend just using the standard remote if possible. (No nunchuck needed)
I would like even more to download from the online shop as although there is a good selection it could do with being updated more often.
The Just Dance series of games now features four titles, including this one. I've only played them on the Wii, but they are available for a few different consoles. The aim is to mirror the figure on the screen to replicate the dance moves. Get the timing right, and you'll acquire points, which earn you...well, nothing, but you can keep trying to beat your high scores.
Ok, well first off, to clear up the confusion, you don't need Just Dance 2 to play this extra songs game. Personally I find this title a bit misleading, but it's playable as a stand alone game. It's essentially a Just Dance game with about half the usual number of songs on it, and all the songs are ones that were previously available to purchase online as additions to Just Dance 2. I get the impression that they weren't finding the online sales especially inspiring, so packed it all up on a disc and charged a slightly lower rate for the lot.
On the extras menu, you can get yourself set up for the game. There's a short warm up routine that takes you through a few stretches and exercises with your neck, arms, waist and legs. It's fairly gentle and there's no scoring. I don't normally bother with this, if I'm honest, but if you don't exercise much or if you're worried about overdoing it, then I'd recommend it. You do throw yourself about a bit in some of the songs so a warm up definitely can't do any harm! (By the way, don't be discouraged by any of the impressive stretches the girl is doing through the warm up - if that puts you off, you'll never make it through the dances!)
You can also change a few of the settings in the extras section. There is a little picture that moves across the bottom of the screen during the routines that gives you a little clue as to what's coming next, so you can prepare. This can be turned on and off. You can also choose whether to have the lyrics displayed so you can impress people with your voice as well as your hot dance moves!
You'll find the most well known tracks listed first, although to be honest Katy Perry's Firework, the top billed number, isn't a bad place to start anyway. When you're choosing a song, you can see how long it will last in the top left hand corner. There's also a rating out of three for difficulty - meaning the complexity of the moves - and a 'sweat rating' out of three which tells you how energetic the song is. The ones that are rated three on the sweat chart usually involve quite a lot of footwork and jumping up and down, where as the lower rated ones are more geared toward waving your arms about and shaking your hips. Both are fun in their own way!
Copying the dance routines is fun and quite easy. I'm certainly not very athletic or particularly flexible and I can pick up most of the routines after three or four goes. It can seem to all move very quickly at first and if you tried a difficult one as your first dance then you might find it very off putting! After a while you start to notice patterns and repetitions in the routine and it gets much easier. Every time I do a dance for the first time I get really frustrated because I think I've done a move perfectly well but I've only been graded 'OK' rather that 'good' or 'perfect'. I find this really annoying and I'm always convinced that there's something wrong with the remote or that the game has sensitivity issues, but then on the second or third go I'm always doing much better, so it looks like it's not the game, it's ME! It's a lot of fun but ultimately this isn't going to make you into a dancing legend.
I do really like the way the dance routines match the songs - for example, there's Futebol Crazy, where you have to hit away footballs that come flying towards you from random directions. This one is quite frantic so you end up just jerking your arms about indecisively (er...unless that's just me!). American Boy is a bit boring, but has the advantage of being quite good as a duet, whilst Firework and Jai Ho, which is a cool Bollywood number, are both really enjoyable. Maniac is just insane and extremely tiring!
There are only two tracks with the highest difficulty rating, which are Professor Pumplestickle which I've never heard of before but is a fun duet that reminds me of Fantasia and the Mambo No 5, another cover and a duet, which is quite fast moving. It's very difficult but manageable with practice - and I feel very proud of myself when I get a good score!
There are some songs that aren't particularly geared at dancing eg Born to be Wild where your figure is dressed like a really camp monster and it doesn't really feel like dancing. The moves aren't really suited to the song and there's a really pointless section in the middle where you're pretending to drive a motorbike. That's not dancing!
Helpfully, the characters you have to copy each wear a glove which represents the hand in which you hold the controller. This does help when they start twisting around or turning sideways, so it's clear which arm you should be moving when. However, I also find that the routines do tend to favour your remote hand, which always seems to be the right hand. This means often by the end of a routine one arm is killing, and the other is fine. Also I haven't seen any options for a left handed person to switch the remote hand to the left one. Being a righty, this doesn't bother me and I'm unsure whether it would particularly bother a left handed person - I know my lefty sister plays this a lot and she doesn't seem too bothered about it.
As you get better at the game, you'll be able to look ahead to what move is coming next by looking at the little figures moving along the bottom of the screen. Occasionally you will see a bright gold figure, which means if you get that move right, you get tons of bonus points. This is a good way of improving your score as there are a lot of points at stake!
With just twenty three songs on this disc, I have to say that it does become repetitive very quickly. If you've got some of the other Just Dance discs then you can just keep swapping them about but this could probably get a bit annoying. Just Dance 3 has over 50 songs, in contrast.
~~Just Sweat mode~~
This part of the game is the only part really aimed at creating any kind of gameplay. The idea is you sign up to a challenge promising that you'll earn so many sweat points every day, and you go back each day to choose which songs you will do. To be honest, whilst this might get you to keep playing for a few days, it's not really any different to the main mode and nothing special happens when you actually meet your targets. Also , the sweat points are accumulated based on how fast the remote is moving, so for me it's a bit too tempting to just shake my remote around to get the points!
As with the main game, the tracks get a bit repetitive. If you did three songs every day for a few weeks, you'd be sick of some of the songs and routines, and you'd have done them enough to be so good at them that not a lot of effort is really required. What I'd really like to see is some unlockable content, so you start off with just ten songs, say and you have to unlock the rest by getting high scores. I have heard this is a feature of Just Dance 3, although I haven't played that myself.
My experience of the multiplayer aspect of the game is quite limited, as we've usually had it on at parties and I've dipped in and out of it. You can either work individually or in teams, and you complete to see who can do the moves the most accurately and therefore earn the most points. The duets really come into their own here! This is where most of the appeal of the game lies, I think, because people can just jump into the game and go for it, then swap with someone else, and no-one gets bored. You do need a lot of space for this one as up to 8 people can play at once!
The dancing figures that you have to follow are quite realistic in their movements, and seem to be based on real dancers. They're much more than stick figures but they don't really have faces or any other detail. They're dressed in typical dance gear in neon colours that are fun and bright which makes them easy to follow. Their outfits are generally matched quite well to the songs - for example, the Pussycat Dolls' Bollywood cover Jai Ho features a dancer wearing something approximating a sari, if most of the material were slashed away to make it ten times more revealing. The thing I like the best about the dancers though is that they tend away from the stick thin dancer figure and toward something more realistic - toned women with strong thigh muscles and a defined shape. It makes me feel ten times better whilst doing this to see a realistic figure in front of me with a trained dancer's body rather than an anorexic twig.
The musical accompaniment is of good quality as you would expect. Many of the songs are the originals and are listed as such but there are also several covers. This doesn't bother me especially although if I'm honest I would prefer them all to be originals. Covers by rubbish party bands aren't really the same and it can be a bit off putting, but I suppose covers will help to keep the cost down, which is definitely a good thing! In particular, the Barbie Girl cover is *even more* unlistenable than the original.
I have to say that this game is definitely fun to play both alone and in groups or at parties. It's great that there are duets as well as solo tracks and I like the idea of a Just Sweat mode as a weight loss/exercise tool. However it seriously lacks longevity, because of the limited number of tracks and because getting high scores doesn't get you any kind of reward. I honestly think this was just released as a way of getting more money out of fans who wanted more songs - which is fair enough. If you're a huge fan and you have all the other titles, but want more songs to mix it up a bit, then I definitely recommend this title.
I did think at first that this might be a good way to dip your toe into the water and see how you liked the game, but actually it's very difficult to get hold of compared to the main titles. I've seen prices ranging from £24.99 on Amazon to £59.99 on eBay - insane! If you just want to have a go without spending too much, then get the original Just Dance for just £13.49 with over 30 songs.
To improve this game, I'd like to see more tracks and unlockable content, because unless you're a huge fan it's not really worth the money. It is tons of fun and great at parties but not as good value as other titles in the range.
I'll give this three stars - it loses one for poor availability and a high price and another for being quite limited in gameplay. Only for real enthusiasts, I'd say.