“Just dance, gonna be okay, spin that record babe!” All you dancers out there, professional and wannabes, ready your boogie shoes because the newest dance game has been released by Ubisoft -- Just Dance 2014. Will this claim victory as the best in the series, or will it fall flat on its face?
Just Dance 2014 comes with over 40 songs to choose from, a majority of which are today’s biggest pop hits. Unless you're a tweener, you’ll probably find Just Dance 2014’s discography to be just shy of abysmal. We’re talking about Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” Ke$ha’s “C’Mon,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and some freaking song from One Direction. There’s more from Gwen Stefani, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Chris Brown (they keep his song far away from Rihanna’s), and Justin Bieber. If you like those artists, then you’ll love the song selection. They do have a few of the classic songs like “Careless Whisper!” and a few more that have been run into the ground like “YMCA” and, “I Will Survive.” One nice touch is that they also include some multicultural songs you may not have heard of.
The dance routines to go along with every song are done quite well. The videos are super bright, full of neon colors, and have real people performing the routines. Each song is appropriately labeled as Easy, Medium, and Hard so that you can pick a song to fit your dancing skills. In general, the routines offer moves that are performable by even the most awkward of people. No matter what, you will sweat and burn some calories all the while having fun.
There are all kinds of extra features, too. If you don’t want to dance, plug in a system appropriate microphone and sing karaoke. Just Dance 2014 provides the lyrics and will score you on your ability to hit those high notes as well as your friend’s dancing abilities. Randomly during each song, it will record video of your amazing moves and play it back to you at the end. This opens the door to horribly embarrass you and your friends -- you can even post the video to various social media sites! There are mash-up versions of each song that can be unlocked with the coins you earn in-game, adding a reason to keep playing. And as always, you can purchase different songs through their online store to make the song selection more your style.
You have the option of playing with up to four players (up to six if playing on Wii-U). Specific songs are designed to be duets and four player, which is fun if you have that many people. However, doing those songs by yourself is not the best and mostly just makes you look like a jackass. You really need to have someone else there because the choreography interacts with the other person.
New to the franchise is a World Dance mode that allows you to play online against other real life people. This mode adds the last missing piece to these types of games, making Just Dance 2014 the best of this series. It still has a Sweat mode that tracks your calories fairly accurately and comes with preset lists designed for 10, 20, and 40 minute workouts.
Depending on your taste and tolerance for pop music, those looking for a fun, dance-oriented party game will probably have a great time with Just Dance 2014.
Just Dance 2014 was purchased for review on the X-box 360.