A month has passed since my cousin asked me for a favor and strangely enough it has nothing to do about sorting her documents or fixing her computer but to order a PlayStation 4 for her kids. As it seems that it’s already been two whole years since they’re begging for one but she had no idea about setting one up. So like any good cousin, I ordered one right away which came after a few days. But around a week ago which was also a week after Just Dance 2019 came out, I received another favor. This one is far from what I usually work with and that’s when she ends up asking about the game that my niece goes bonkers just thinking about it. But without any knowledge other than the fact that I’ve only first seen it but got too embarrassed to play it some years back on my aunt’s Wii, I am completely clueless on where to even start.
As the clueless cousin that I am, I only knew you’d need a PlayStation Camera to play Just Dance. Never have I thought you could also use a smartphone or the PlayStation Move Controllers until recently. So with a bit of searching around the worldwide web, I have only seen old and negative reviews and ratings toward the phone app or the camera itself. I’m not saying there aren’t any praiseworthy user reviews out there but all I’m really saying is people are easy to write on something when things don’t go their way but find it hard to write an in-depth review of the good things when it works as it was intended. Either that or I’m really just bad at searching for things on the web. Either way, it’s not a very good sign but still… I kept an open mind and asked around the Facebook groups I’m in until I end up asking even on our Discord chat for Invision Community. To my surprise, Craig has offered to ask Ubisoft for a copy of the game and a day later, he came back with the good news. So with the game sorted out, all I had to do was download the game and the smartphone app from the Google Play Store or iOS Store to start testing it out. Thank you, Craig and Ubisoft for the copy!
Now to my surprise it actually worked very well and without any disconnections despite the heavy traffic I was purposely doing with multiple downloads and uploads on the PS4 along with the other devices at the same time and some YouTube videos on HD and it totally debunks what users have been experiencing so far. With that amount of traffic, my PS Vita would’ve gave up on PS4 remote play and disconnected right away before I can even say “Just Dance 2019 rocks!” But all is not fun and games when it comes to using the smartphone app. Well actually the game is about having fun and not the scores but as the competitive player that I am, I still care about them. The app itself is a nice alternative but it comes with its woes, for one while it does give you credit for your moves, it only gives you credit for the one hand that moves! I could play all day long with just alternating my hands to hold the phone as I sit or stand like a rock in place and still get some “perfect but not really” scores. In fact, I don’t even need to follow the specific choreography and simply dance how I want to as long as I do the correct hand direction and pacing it needs it to be. With the Just Dance Controller app just being shy of an 80MB download it does pack a punch for being compatible for both older versions from JD 2016 to the latest iteration of Just Dance as long as your phone supports the software. That mean’s older phones without an accelerometer or gyro sensor (at least that’s what I’m guessing it needs) is out of the question. And with the app only working towards Android 4.1 and up and for iOS with 6.0 or later. And for the unlucky souls, myself included, that owns a Windows Phone too… which only works for Just Dance 2016 for Xbox One. Sadly for Nintendo Switch users, the phone app doesn’t seem compatible at all as it is exclusive to PS4 or Xbox One. Lastly, you can use the app using a tablet too… though it’s a bigger brick hold that could prove to be a bigger challenge than the dance move itself.
Controlling the new and improved menu screen for Just Dance 2019 is slick and at the same time look cleaner than the previous. Not that I know anything about the controls of its predecessor but I must say that it was easy to navigate around the hundreds of songs included if you consider Just Dance Unlimited as a must buy, more on that on my review of the game. Sorting through the list is done in multiple ways be it Just Dance 2019 songs first or sorted by catalog as you may say, alphabetical, number of dancers or difficulty. You can swipe on your phone to pick songs or swipe and hold to scroll. There’s also the dedicated icons on your phone’s screen for ease of access towards different commands. Specific and recommended playlists to cater to your mood can also be found or when you really just feel like playing than choosing each song from the hundreds you can take hours to scroll through. Either has a playlist directly catered to Disney fans or foreign flavors, its there for you to take advantage of.
All in all, the smartphone app works wonders unless you happen to own a very expensive one that you dare not to fling around the room for whatever reason. Just Dance included. Much more so when your smaller kids wanted to get in on the fun but don’t have a phone of their own. It’s either to break their hearts or let them break your phone.
So unless you care about your phone more than you care about your children’s happiness and health then the PlayStation Camera option might be for you. And in case you’re wondering, there’s not going to be any PlayStation Move Controller section here. Sorry! Now with the PS Camera setting me back or rather setting my cousin back another $60 on top of the $360 PlayStation 4 Slim Fortnite Bundle, (was the cheapest one at the time, I swear!) I think she’s regretting ever letting me get a hold of her wallet for the past month alone. But then again, that could’ve been another $39.99 if you include the game itself. So she might as well be grateful. In any case, as I said in the previous paragraphs, the reviews are either old or negative with very little good comments to back up our spending spree. From things like the camera detection being dodgy especially towards younger kids of ages around six or people losing scores as they get farther away from the camera’s detection range when moving around. So let me just put your minds at ease as I say “they’re right and at the same time… unfair” since I barely had any problems playing with the camera itself. The kids and I never found any problems other than the time’s someone gets too far off the actual camera’s angle which takes a moment to get re-detected again. So while it might not be the best option for people without the necessary space to move around in, it’s honestly the better option for people who have them and prefers to keep their phones safe from accidental flights at 200mph due to sweaty hands unless you have it on lockdown with a phone strap.
As for the actual gameplay, I find it more of an accurate scoring… “AT TIMES!” as I randomly get perfects anyway when I get tired and decided to sit on the couch for a while. You definitely can’t get better scores by moving your right arm alone but it definitely gets you to move and get some sweat dripping better than the phone app itself. Then again, as someone who hasn’t done much exercise on a daily basis, I find myself getting tired way too easily after two to three consecutive songs. Navigating the menu however will be controlled using the DualShock 4 which isn’t a huge deal breaker though it kind of sucks that you can’t do hand signals like imitating a swipe to scroll through the songs at least then other movements to confirm or cancel the selection since I sweat bucket loads and prefer not to hold a controller in between song choices.
But one of the key major points the camera has that the phone could never achieve is you can play the game even without Wi-Fi. Not sure why you’d even consider that option considering Just Dance Unlimited is obviously a must buy with the amount of added songs that could be added but it’s there even at times your Wi-Fi isn’t.
There’s definitely no obvious winner in this argument but there’s definitely a better option depending on the type of person or group playing along with the kind of environment it’s going to be played on. The phone app shines when it comes to tight room spaces that could never get enough space even when all your furniture moved. Especially when you play it in your room with very limited space to work with. Having an expensive phone used by smaller kids can be a huge No-No considering if you have limited working space and could cause your phone to hit walls or furniture to which happened to mine quite a few times when I tried to play with it in a much tighter room space than our living room. While getting them a cheaper phone would depend on how many you need or how cheap you can get them considering they also need to be compatible with the app.
Meanwhile, the camera considering its price tag is obviously a cheaper option that can pull off the same and at times better results when paired with the right working environment. Setting one up is also very easy which I recommend to use “The Playroom” to get a complete view of your spacing preferably 8ft or more away from the camera itself with height being less of a relevant factor but preferred to be at knee level and as long as there’s no direct light going in the direction of the camera or a side window that can get too bright during early mornings. Although its downside is the number of participants for each song is downed to four players to which they can only be on specific characters than what the phone app can do which is up to six and can all be imitating one specific dancer as well as being on completely different areas of the room if getting four to six dancers in line is a bit too hard to manage.
If you want to read Paul review of Just Dance 2019 click below;