Just Dance 2016 has returned for another year of spectacular hits and new dance moves. The game is pretty much described in the title and even if you’ve not played it before, you know it’s all about dancing. Utilising the use of Kinect to track your dance moves, you’re taken through a series of moves while listening and singing along to some popular hits such as Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Fancy by Iggy Azalea.
This year there are 44 songs to chose from at the start, with more due to drop via DLC later on and you can sign-up to the game’s premium service called Just Dance Unlimited, which will grant you all the latest hits on a weekly basis. I would say that after you’ve played through most of the songs, you start to feel a little jaded with the tunes, but there are unlockable remixes for most of them, which you can use Uplay/Ubisoft Club points towards. If you’re not prepared to spend money on this premium service, then chances are you’re going to play through the game for a few hours then stop. However, I’m sure there are some free songs to release in the future and with Christmas around the corner, there may be some good ones.
I used Kinect throughout this review and was mightily impressed by the accuracy of the motion sensor device. A lot of these games like Xbox Fitness are very poor at following you and tracking your skeletal frame, but Just Dance has this tuned in perfectly. There are a few occasions such as when you do a group routine and have to move around that it loses track of you, but that’s the only issue really. There’s also a performance prompt after each dance move to let you know how well you did, so if you’re constantly hitting bad ratings maybe you need to calibrate your Kinect sensor or opt to use the mobile platform.
The mobile Companion app is actually brilliant, especially when you consider that Microsoft has stopped making the Kinect sensor with console bundles now. It works exactly the same, but you need your phone with you, so it’s a bit like the Wii version in a way. Either way, it’s great that usability is being thought of.
My partner was genuinely excited to play Just Dance, especially as she sticks to a fitness routine – Just Dance gives her a great way to keep fit whilst listening to some of her favourite music. We also did some group routines such as Summer Nights from Grease, which was quite comical. It’s nice to think that the developers thought about group dances, as they’re very interactive with each other and can make for a lot of laughs too.
There’s also a Workout mode, which is specially designed to get your heart pumping and your body working out. The songs are generally more fast-paced and will definitely get your blood flowing. The other mode I personally enjoyed was Showtime, which gives you the chance to make your own performance. The lights went down and Ellie Goulding starting to sing her track Lights, with the camera making me look like a true performer whilst letting me dance and sing. Luckily, there’s no video evidence of this!
One of the standout features of the game though has to be its use of bright colours and models to demonstrate the dance moves. I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to dancing, but at times I would say I picked up the moves okay. I wasn’t perfect I know that, but I still had a laugh and the highlight reel at the end didn’t make me look too shabby. Thankfully, I opted out of sharing any of these videos though. The only thing I struggled to use as guidance were the dance move diagrams, as they were quite hard to make out and with the song continuously going, you get lost very easily.
Just Dance 2016 is great for keeping fit and getting a party going. I can picture lots of friends and family in their living rooms dancing along to Angry Birds or singing to Meghan Trainor whilst having a chuckle. Kinect handled this game like a dream and it’s rare that I say that for many Kinect games. I’d like to see a bigger library of starting songs in future titles, but nonetheless, Just Dance Unlimited offers over 100 songs if you’re willing to pay.
- Enjoyable and a lot of laughs
- Best played with friends and family
- Plenty of starting songs to keep you going
- Dance move diagrams a little confusing
- Kinect doesn’t work so well with a group moving across each other