Just Dance 2015 Review (Wii U)
Not too long ago, the world took note of the philosophical query, “What does the fox say?” Now, thanks to Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2015, we work as a community to dance out the answers to such important mysteries.
Okay, so playing Ubisoft’s sixth and newest addition to the Just Dance series probably won’t lead to any philosophical breakthroughs, but it will make you want to get up and move your booty. Whether you want to play solo, or with a bunch of friends, you can party it up with some of the series new features.
Those who know the series know what to expect with Just Dance 2015; you’ll be shaking your groove thang along with stylized, real dancers on-screen, as tunes both new and old rattle your eardrums and infect your brain. The Wii U version of Just Dance 2015 only tracks the movements of your right hand using the WIimote, which is nice for those of us who have lead in our feet. The controls are about as best as they can be with this type of game- whether through camera or controller, most of your movements will come through accurately, but there will be the occasional move here and there that won’t be picked up.
The song selection follows the typical pattern of having mostly pop music with a few 'old school' songs thrown in for those of us who are past that pop/tween music stage in our life. Some of the options include: '4x4' by Miley Cyrus, 'Best Song Ever' by One Direction, 'Bad Romance' by Lady Gaga, 'Maps' by Maroon 5, 'Diamonds' by Rihanna, 'Birthday' by Katy Perry, and 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams— the usual crew of goobers haunting every ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ album for the last five years. Fortunately, Just Dance 2015’s selection extends beyond today’s pop music, with awesomely weird songs like: 'The Fox' by Ylvis, 'Tetris' by Dancing Bros, 'Macarena' by The Girly Team, 'Xmas Tree' by Bollywood Santa, and 'Don’t Worry Be Happy' by The Bench Men. While the pop songs are what will draw in many players, these more unique offerings are what will probably keep them around, as they’re fun, unusual tunes with great choreography.
Just Dance 2015 has all of the same game modes as 2014, with a couple of extras thrown in. Players can still create their own playlists so they don’t have to take time to pick a new song every time they finish one— which is a welcome option so you can avoid accidentally hearing that one song you hate and have it get stuck in your head for two weeks straight. The World Dance Hall allows you to dance with players from around the world. You can form teams, compete to see which team gets the better score, or just see how you rank next to the whole world. This mode adds some nice community elements to Just Dance 2015, and while it doesn’t drastically change the gameplay, seeing other people’s high scores adds a little extra incentive to replay the tougher songs to topple the opposition from the leaderboards. There’s also a karaoke mode, which is about as lame as you’d expect, and 'On Stage' mode in which one player dances the main part while the others act as back-up dancers, which, while fun, isn’t as fun as the standard game modes since the back-up dancers have to let someone else have the spotlight.
A new Challenger mode adds online challengers to empty player spots so you always have someone to compete with. This is a welcome addition to Just Dance’s typical format. Having random online challengers to compete against makes solo mode a much more inviting option, as there’s only so many times you want to try to beat your own high score. Plus, with the option of challenging individual players, if ever a player should serve you on the dance floor, you can try to serve ‘em right back.
Ubisoft also added a Community Remix feature which allows people to record themselves dancing to a particular song and submit it to a contest. Other can watch and rate your video and the best ones are chosen for a remix made by the developers and added to the game as an alternate video to dance to. This adds another great wrinkle to the online social aspect of Just Dance 2015, as it’s fun to see just how creative other players can be with their dances. Whether this function continues to be utilized in the future, however, will remain to be seen, but for now it makes for a fun time watching others rock out.
Just Dance 2015’s graphics are fantastic, with bright colors and detailed scenes for each song. The real-life dancer’s costumes are eccentric and whimsical, giving us people in frog, zombie, Santa, and donkey suits. Their dance maneuvers are energetic, varied, and fun to perform, with different styles like ballet, salsa-like dancing, hip-hop, and Bollywood. There’s even a dance that has you sit in a chair to perform.
If you’re in the mood to shake some grooves, Just Dance 2015 provides a lot of fun and entertainment for players both solo and in groups. It’s still, however, basically a retread of Just Dance 2014 with a few new additions that are neat, but not earth-shattering. Still, if you like the previous entries in this series, you’ll probably love this one, too.
This review is based on a purchased digital copy of Just Dance 2015 for Wii U.