We have had a Nintendo Wii for several years and hit across the Wii Dance range whilst at a friends house. We already regularly had "wii" family nights with a friends family, with games like Raving Rabids, bowling etc. On this occasion it was my friends turn to host and therefore we played the first Wii Dance and had such a good time I decided to purchase Wii Dance 3 as a Christmas present for one of my daughters. It had just been released at the time but the price is still similar as currently retails for about £22 on Amazon but its worth keeping an eye out as various deals come up. Wii Dance 4 is £24.
Anyway the game consists of holding the controller and following the moves on the screen. We have 3 controllers anyway but friends often bring their own and this game will take 1 - 4 players (with a controller each). If you have 4 players you do need a fair bit of space as you all need to be able to dance in front of the wii / tv. The game notes how accurately you keep up and do the moves and you get points. Obviously the best dancer wins. There is also other games / modes but a favourite of ours is Simon says, to play this you dance again following the moves on the screen , then suddenly it will flash a move, for example spin round, shake the controller, clap your hands, stand still. This is also scored.
The graphics are animated dancers, in clothing that match the songs. You can pick which person you want to be at the beginning.
The songs are very varied, giving us non-youngsters an opportunity to strut our stuff to Madness, there are 49 tracks from artists such as;
Cee lo Green
Jesse J Feat B.o.B
Katy Perry Feat Snoop Dog
Laura Bell Bundy
Lenny Kravitz.............................plus many more
Some of the dances actually feel like a real work out and it also has a "just Sweat" mode, I have often done these on my own purely for the fitness element and has been more fun than most fitness DVD's and definitely made me work. As with anything, the Wii goes up and down with household popularity but recently my 10 year old daughter has started playing it again when her friends come round. In fact at Easter she quite literally spent the whole day on it with her friend.
The game is developed and published by Ubisoft. It has a website address www.justdancegame.com.
I would rate it 5/5 as it has had the whole family up and dancing with lots of laughter. I feel its had the amount of use which makes it a very good buy and I would recommend.
Dancing. Not something that is normally top of my hobbies list, I'm more the type to sit on the side tables drinking, pointing and laughing hypocritically. As the years have gone by though, inhibitions have been shed and self-confidence has risen, so nowadays I'm not fazed by making an utter tit of myself all in the name of having a laugh. My little sister is the reason why I became aware of the Just Dance series, and takes the opportunity to rope me into playing using my daughters as a hook. 'Look, watch daddy be funny!' is the usual line to which I then submit. Reservations aside, I discovered playing Just Dance 3 is actually a bit of daft fun; it certainly brings people together for a body wriggling giggle that seems a far way from the giant intimidating dance coin-ops that frequent bowling alleys, shopping centres and such like, usually surrounded by teenage girls squealing with uncontained excitement. As a bit of family entertainment in the home however, this kind of game becomes much more approachable for the more senior of us.
--Care for a Dance?--
Following on from its predecessors of the same name, Just Dance 3 is not a complicated format to figure out. Choose one of the 40 pre-loaded songs, select a mode and mirror the dance movements shown on screen. The better you match the dance, the higher the score. The motion of your body is picked up by the Wii remote, and this tracks your movements. Well, as close as it can. As we all know, motion controllers on all platforms are not always perfect, so performing an award winning double spin step-over with jazz hands may be missed, making you become a touch annoyed having put all the effort in for nothing. This mainly happens with complex foot movements however, obviously holding the controller does no pick this up very well, but it seems pretty accurate and responsive with hand movements. This is good news, as the choreographed dances to each song use a lot of hand movements for this very reason. I would think that the X360 Kinect version would be for unforgiving and track your body better, but this is just a guess. The Wii can suffer from responsiveness issues, but Just Dance 3 is certainly not one of the worst I have played in terms of this dynamic.
--Put your Right Hand in...--
Back to the game itself, Just Dance 3 contains all the aspects from its forerunners, including duet and dance battle modes. It also has many unlock-able modes and songs, and extra routines can be downloaded too, so there is plenty to achieve and expand on, especially for enthusiasts of this type of social party game. Advancements from the previous games include better rendering of the motion-captured figures and more flamboyant visual effects. The most significant addition however is the dance crew mode; where up to 4 players can simultaneously dance at the same time with separate choreography. Not the kind of gamer to usually enjoy such games, I found this format quite entertaining and strangely satisfying having built up a sweat. Of course, this cannot be done without ample space in your home; dancing around in circles and getting in each others way can become ridiculous. I also found that interest in playing is effected by the choice of tracks. Many dance games are full of modern pop rubbish and tiresome R&B tunes which I dislike at the best of times, that's the target audience for the main with these games. This time, it's good to see a better selection on show here; with the likes of Daft Punk and Madness to choose as well as the usual poppy and hoppy stuff. Personally, about a quarter of the included tracks get my attention, but I can see a definite attempt to make it more appealing to a bigger audience of tastes aside from the X-factor fans or bling lovers.
The presentation and dance recitals are stylised with a very sixties/seventies chic; bright garish primary colours, neon highlights and dazzling psychedelic lighting effects set against a black backdrop is the main order of the day. It's a style I actually like, and prefer it to a more modern clean cut look. The figures are not entirely humanised and wear a variety of wild clothing that sets it away from any distinct fashion or genre. Keeping things generic is a good move I feel, and doesn't dissuade music fans are any specific type. It's all very well rendered too; the figures are lucid but remain jovial, the backgrounds fit in with each song but don't distract from the action. The motion capture is top notch, the movement is consistent and the majority of the dances do fit in with the song they represent. The scoring is clear, and guide for the movements is good, and on the whole it's a well shaped and laid out game screen. The selection and menu screens are a bit dull, and not as exciting, and the scrolling between tracks and options seems to falter from time to time. However, there are some touches which make JS3 stand out from other dance' em up's; the band-themed additions to the background and clothing is fun and recognisable, and the overlaying SFX (although used quite sparingly) is fun and appropriate to the tone of the game. As you would have assumed, the reproduction of the music is pretty much on the money. The vocals may seem a little enhanced, and the SFX can sometimes dominate over the drops and crescendos of the given track, but mostly its well balanced and keeps the element of excitement and joy contained.
Unlike some other dance games I have had the misfortune of witnessing, Just Dance 3 doesn't drill home the teen culture hip-ness or hang on the cheesy bygone DJ's favourites, but achieves a balanced mixture of enjoyable songs with entertaining dance routines that even your granny could get involved in. Yes the sensitivity is not A-1, and sometimes it can feel as if you're dancing totally randomly, the game completely missing what you are doing, but it somehow has an unashamed and silly fun factor that even the biggest killjoy would be difficult to ignore. Great for a social mess around in small amounts, it also has the added bonus of being vastly enhanced by the personal consumption of alcohol. Madcap adult antics aside, it's a dance game that can cater for most ages with a bright and unique style. Far from flawless, but one of the better dance games on the market for my money.
Thanks for Reading © Novabug (This review is also published on The Pixel Empire with full permission)