Dancing is a great form of exercise no matter how uncoordinated you might be, and Ubisoft’s Just Dance line of games has helped even the most uncoordinated of people get up off the couch, learn a few dance moves, and maybe become a bit more coordinated. At Ubisoft’s San Diego Comic-Con party we got some not-so-graceful hands-on experience with the newest installment in this booty-shaking franchise, Just Dance 2014. By the way, Ubisoft’s party took place on a pirate ship in celebration of Assassin’s Creed IV, and yeah, it was awesome.
One of the best parts about any dancing game is its musical selection. They have to have songs worthy of having you get your groove on, and Just Dance 2014 seems promising in that department. The preview we got included newer pop songs mixed with older, awesome classics. We danced to “Starships” by Nicki Minaj, and then switched it up to Gloria Gaynor’s classic “I Will Survive.” They also had the theme to Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr., “Rich Girl” by Gwen Stefani, “She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)” by David Guetta featuring Sia, and another classic bound to get everyone up and dancing, “YMCA” by The Village People.
Now that we know there are some decent songs queued for Just Dance 2014, we have to wonder how the dance moves hold up. The dancing ranges from basic stuff most people can pull off with some degree of accuracy to borderline-professional moves for the more acrobatic gamers out there. One caveat about any of these dancing games is that sometimes just getting your hands in the right place will fool the game into thinking you’re following along perfectly, when in reality you’re just standing still moving your arms, and that still seems to happen some in the new version. The display demo was running on the PS3 and required the Move controller in hand, so ultimately it seems that players will have to use the honor system since the game itself isn’t so concerned with accurate movements. You might be able to get a high score by holding your arms in the right place, but will that really be as satisfying as dancing your booty off?
This iteration in the increasingly-crowded Just Dance franchise comes equipped with new modes and features. Instead of tracking your calories in the designated sweat mode, you can now track calories burned in any mode you’re playing. There’s also “On Stage” mode, which allows one player to be the star dancer while others play back up dancers using different routines. There’s the ability to sing karaoke through a microphone (except for the Wii); and, the previous “Puppet Master” mode is now upgraded to “Party Master” where the “master” can switch songs, dish out challenges, or change the dance moves to keep the players pleasantly confused.
Just Dance 2014 looks like it’ll be bringing back some of the core fun elements of the previous installments while upping the ante with new modes, songs, and dance moves, warranting us to keep a watchful eye on it as it develops. Despite the name, Just Dance 2014 will be released October of this year.