The 4th main iteration in the Just Dance series is here, but in case you have never played any of them, here’s the short synopsis:

As long as the pop charts keep turning out new hits, Just Dance will keep giving you reasons to hit the dance floor! Throw a dance party anytime with 40 new hits including “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida, “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera, and the unstoppable “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson. Each song now has four different routines. Pick your favorite or try and master them all. Prove you have the best moves by challenging up to six friends in the all-new Battle Mode. Just Sweat recharges its dance-based workout with new routines, customizable programs, and a calorie counter.

Overview

As long as you aren’t expecting to learn how to really dance with the Just Dance series, these games make for great fun. Like I mentioned in my Just Dance 3 review, these are more about when you were a kid at a wedding and just bouncing all over the place with your family and friends, not caring about what you look like, and the Just Dance series tends to make you feel that way.

The Menu

The menu is pretty condensed with only 4 main options and they seem to be backwards in my opinion. Anyhow, for whatever reason, Ubisoft introduced a new menu style. It’s this weird hover and push towards Kinect gesture. It’s kind of not natural and doesn’t work all the time, yet in the same sense, it can be very precise. It’s odd and takes a while to get used to, but it works for the most part. Anyhow, the main menu options are Extras, Just Sweat, Just Dance TV and Just Dance. You can get into the Uplay actions/awards by pressing X on the controller. I suppose since the menu is backwards I’ll start the review backwards.

Extras

Extras consist of your normal options, but they are somewhat limited. Create will let you create a Uplay account if you don’t have one, which I would think most people have played some Ubisoft title and already have one, but I could be wrong. Redeem Code just allows you to redeem a code (I believe there is one on specially marked Cheeto’s bags that have a downloadable song). Options just allow you to turn off the in-game lyrics, the pictograms which are the cue cards, captures which is a video recording actually and to reset your settings. Lastly, you have your credits.

Just Sweat

This is the workout mode of the Just Dance series. Basically you choose a type of playlist to dance to and it records your calories burned and what not. It’s pretty self-explanatory. There are a variety of different playlist/workouts that you can use though which include:

  • Aerobics In Space
  • Sweat Around The World
  • Electro Body Combat
  • Cheerleaders Boot Camp
  • Swinging 60’s Workout

There’s also an option to change your dancer card, which I have no clue what they are for. When you click on them they make this strange noise. That’s all I gathered from them.

Just Dance TV

This is new to this version, basically every time you dance you have an option to save your performance. Doing so allows you to share it on Just Dance TV. Basically you can look at anyone’s videos and some are quite entertaining. In here you can choose what you want to look for, these options include Friends, My Channel, Featured, Most Recent and Most Popular.

Just Dance

This is the normal dance mode that were used to. Once in here, you can choose any of the songs to dance to. Keep in mind, a lot of the routines are geared for fun so the choreography can be somewhat cheesy at times. New to this version are dance quests. Dance quests are extra little bonuses per song. Things such as getting 3 stars, getting “Good” during a phrase and things of the sort. Obtaining these dance quests scores you extra Mojo which is the games experience point system. Gaining levels with Mojo will allow you to spin a wheel that unlocks additional things such as alternate choreography, verse mode which battles two songs and choreography against each other.

There’s also Mash-Ups which consists of a lot of different parts of songs choreography that are all mashed together. Extreme versions are another choreography for certain songs but I didn’t really notice anything more challenging. There is another mode to unlock which is the non-stop shuffle mode, which basically plays all types of songs without any interruptions. You can also choose a dancer card as well. A new store option is available that allows you to preview and purchase songs. Here is one of the goofy songs, there’s quite a few actually. Me and my son had a blast playing “The Final Countdown”:

Uplay

As with most popular Ubisoft titles, Uplay is here again with more actions and award. As always, I’ll list them below:

Actions
10U – Let The Party Begin! (Complete your first song)
20U – Dance Quests  Master (Complete 5 dance quests)
30U – Dance, Sweat and Fun (Complete a sweat class)
40U – Are You A Real Dancer? (Get 5 stars on a song)

Awards
10U – Just Dance 4 Theme (Exclusive JD4 theme for Xbox)
20U – Good Feeling (Unlock Dance Mash-Up)
30U – Beauty and a Beat (Unlock Dance Mash-Up)
40U – Call Me Maybe (Unlock Alternate Version)

Conclusion

In my opinion, I feel a lot is missing from this iteration that was available in Just Dance 3. For example, you could turn on or off to use your legs which made for a bit more accurate detection. Even though the game is geared is for fun, there are those of us that do try a little bit. I noticed in JD4, you rarely have to move your legs which I wasn’t too keen on, why not just hand us Wiimotes? I mean it’s great for kids and families but still, Kinect is about using your body, not just your arms.

The soundtrack isn’t over the top, the choreography is a little better, well more entertaining to say the least, the menu is quirky, a few things are missing, it just seems like this one went backwards. I guess if you are the ultimate party animal and bust out these types of games, then it’s probably a must have. More than likely, those with kids will enjoy dancing to some of the songs with them, but you can probably wait until it’s in the bargain bin if you want to get it eventually and test out your dance skills.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Just Dance 4
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