Singing and dancing party games are so easy to review. Most will tell you it’s because they’re simple to play, there’s no story to plough through and graphics aren’t important, but really It’s because they are really, really fun. Sure you don’t tell your friends and you’ll always have the curtains drawn when you’re on them, but I put it to any bloke to tell me they don’t enjoy getting sweaty to the hits of Tina Turner. The wife is out and the wine is in, what an evening ahead of me!
Just Dance 2017 is the latest addition to the ever so popular dancing franchise from Ubisoft. Featuring even more hits from your favourite artists and one hit wonders, you’ll be up in no time jiving to your Katy Perrys and will.i.ams. As well as retaining a couple of funky game modes that were introduced last time round, Ubisoft has also given us the Just Dance Machine, a mini game that tasks you with filling up an alien space craft with dancing power. Returning as well is the Just Dance Unlimited subscription service, a feature that lets you gain instant access to favourites from the past and perhaps a few new ones. For those that are poor yet fortunate enough to not have splashed out on a console camera accessory, once again you can simply download a free app onto your smartphone and boogie to your hearts content for free! When it comes to yearly releasing party games, you’re effectively just playing a vaguely updated game year after year, but why do we keep coming back to them? Is this latest stab the best one yet? Why should you care, it’s bloody great fun!
As soon as I loaded it up for the first time, I was instantly pulled into the game mode which allowed me to help some aliens stuck in Earth’s orbit. Yes, Just Dance Machine, where you, a mere innocent bystander is abducted by a pair of mentally challenged extra-terrestrials who own a space craft that runs on dance power, similarly to how Monsters Inc works, but far far camper. This new mini game works in a similar way to the Warioware games, a selection of silly, challenging tasks that are generated randomly and with little warning. I found myself imitating a club raver, a band conductor and a line dancer, whilst my wife found herself stepping into the shoes of a gymnast, deep sea diver and a Bollywood A-lister. It’s a hugely enjoyable and stupid game mode which adds a great amount of fun from very little. It’s a daft and immensely simple idea, but it’s wonderfully creative and you’ll perhaps find yourself playing it a lot more than the traditional dancing modes. Seeing that I work behind a desk 5 days of the week and sit on my arse playing my Playstation for the remaining 2, you’re right on assuming I’ve put on a little weight this past 12 months. So with that, I was relieved to find that Just Dance has been approved as a respectable fitness coach with the highly enjoyable Just Sweat Playlists. I get sweaty, I have fun and no one is shouting in my face, why would I fork out on a gym membership, it’s nowhere near as awesome as this!
The tracks themselves I can’t comment on, I’ve barely heard of any of them, but I did find it a bit easier to dance to them opposed to earlier carnations of the game. The actions that display at the bottom of the screen are still rather vague and difficult to fully comprehend, however a couple more diagrams seem to have been added to them to make them a tad easier. As I have a small living room, dancing games have always been a struggle due to the camera not picking me up too well, however now because all I need to do is hold my phone with the app in tow, I can dance with as much vigour and ferocity as I want, without having points disallowed because I disappear off screen. I still pulled a few muscles trying to keep up with the dude on the screen, but at least I seemingly nailed all of the moves, a task that was near impossible for me a few games back. Featuring hits from this year, and solid numbers from a few decades back, Just Dance always seems to create the perfect playlist of tracks to dance to. Whether it’s the latest dancefloor anthems or Japanese Idol Pop that gets you off, you’ll always find something to shake your thang to. If you’re a Just Dance veteran and each track is waltz in the park for you, you can subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited that will open up a further 200 tracks for you to dive right into instantly, including classics from every previous Just Dance title, so there’s really no need to keep hold of them. It is a little cheeky asking you to pay a monthly fee to access 100% of the game, but Ubisoft have generously given you a free 90 day trial of the service, so check it out and see what you discover!
Just Dance 2017 is exactly what you’d expect it to be. It’s another great collection of terrible music to have fun dancing to at parties with friends, or on your own in the dark. The best thing about the franchise is that it’s become more than just a dancing game, with the addition of bizarre game modes and a fitness regime for good measure. It’s the biggest and arguably best edition so far with the huge catalogue of ancient tracks from games past, as well as the latest chart toppers you’re already sick of hearing. As there’s no need for a camera or expensive move controller, players now have no excuse for not getting into the groove, now that it’s even easier to access and even cheaper to play. RPGs may be my bag, but I’ll honestly play this franchise until the end of time … *cough cough* but I ain’t paying for it, I ain’t no jessy, I’m a man, an ‘ard lad … oh who am I kidding, step aside, this is how you really twerk!