Just Dance 3 Review
Game: Just Dance 3
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Available on: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 with Kinect, PlayStation3 with Move (Reviewed on Xbox 360)
With summer now long behind us, everyone is staying in their homes and out of the cold, and this gives people ample opportunity to socialise with each other and wind away the winter months. But what is there to do? There is usually nothing on TV that is worth watching and besides dusting off the box of Monopoly or Operation in the corner, there isn’t really that much to do. Thankfully, we have our consoles and PC’s to keep us company, but this can generally be a solo experience and our partners may get bored with only being able to watch, however, with the arrival of all these dance games, family and friends can get together and dance the night away.
The latest entry into the dance game popularity craze is Just Dance 3. Developed by Ubisoft Paris, the popularity of this title is very impressive, with its neon colours and catchy tunes allowing gamers to just throw off the shackles of boredom and, well…just dance. Is the third outing now the best dance title that money can buy? Or is it simply a way to emulate that drunkard in the karaoke bar thinking he’s Justin Timberlake? Let’s find out!
GRAPHICS: Just Dance 3 is a very colourful title, and interesting look at, it may not break any technical records but it is very pretty and visually stimulating. The choreographers are in their usual neon outlines and seeing their facial expressions catch the mood of the song you can’t help but start dancing too. The backgrounds to each song varies, some with interesting effects and pictures, but some come across as quite bland, having flashing lights in a vain attempt to make them mildly interesting.
While the graphics are not anything to make a gamer excited about, and are not technically impressive, the developers have made a good attempt at making the whole game look very visually pleasing.
SOUND: The amount of tracks that are in this title, (51 to be precise) are very varied, ranging from 70’s Disco and Motown numbers to Rock, modern day pop music, dance and hip hop. There is a wide variety of tunes that many will have heard of and will enjoy, and with lots of downloadable content from previous titles, and more on the way, you will have a wide selection to choose from.
The majority of the songs are the original tracks, with some covered due to legal reasons which still sound as good as the originals, if not a near exact replica of the original track; the menu music, however, is quite forgettable. You would think that the menu music would be something to build you up into a dancing mood and capture the reason for you buying this game, but sadly it’s not to be; this is only a minor quarrel though.
GAMEPLAY: When reviewing this title, the Kinect was my weapon of choice. My reasoning was that recent Kinect titles have been extremely accurate in your movement, Child of Eden and The Gunstringer to name a few, however, with Just Dance 3, it is a bit of a mixed bag. On the positive side the Kinect sensor does pick you and your movements up quite well and, for the majority, your dancing and the choreographers dancing is in time with the music, but sometimes this isn’t always the case, as on a few of occasions your movement and the choreographers is ever so slightly out of synch with the music. This can add up to quite a distraction when you’re attempting a high score.
Another distraction is when an Achievement/Trophy pops up, as they notify you whilst you are dancing. You are overcome with joy when you do get one as usual, but it does take your attention away from what you have to do and, when you are on a higher difficulty setting, you do not need this popping up. It would’ve been a lot better to have them pop up at the end of a song.
Although the choreography is good, the symbols at the bottom do not always show you the full movement that you’re required to do. Obviously with practise (and you’ll need a lot) you’ll be able to nail these but if these were more clear you wouldn’t find yourselves doing a slight stutter in between every dance move.
The menu system needs a little work as well. To get in between menus, you have to do a sweeping motion with your hand, similar to navigating the Kinect hub. But you really have to over emphasise the movement and do it slow to achieve the desired effect. This is annoying as you’ll want to get to the next song and you have to remember to go slow to continue navigating. Occasionally everything seems to go haywire, and you have to step out of the Kinect sensor’s view and back in to sort out the problems.
With all these problems aside however, the basics of this game are still enjoyable and would most definitely be ideal to play with friends and could potentially make an evening very entertaining.
LONGEVITY: Gamers with the wish to purchase this title will probably spend a few nights playing this title and will then retire it to the bookshelf, collecting dust until you have friends over. But depending on how many visitors you have will decide how often you play it.
The hardcore fans of this series will definitely be playing this for a long time, and with the additional downloadable content available at your fingertips, you’ll be playing this for many moons to come; or at least until the next dance/music game is released.
VERDICT: Just Dance 3 is not a bad title to play, but does have some design flaws that can make the experience a little frustrating. Unless you’re a professional dancer, obviously you won’t be able to get all of the dance movements correctly first time. But you do know when you have pulled off the move incorrectly and sadly this game punishes you for it, leaving you with a sense of injustice and annoyance. But when everything is in synch and you pull everything off correctly, the experience is quite rewarding.
As a solo entity, this is probably best left alone unless you are a dance fanatic, then it will be right up your alley. In order to actually benefit from buying this title you will have to play it with friends, as that whole experience is exactly what this game is designed to do. Otherwise people will be looking in the window of your house wondering what you could possibly be doing. Time to close the curtains then.