Just Dance 4 Xbox 360 Review
Just Dance 4 is the latest release in Ubisoft’s dancing franchise. It is a game where even if you fall quite far outside of its target demographics, it still manages to generate a lively atmosphere. When you first look upon the brightly-coloured game, it seems deceptively easy. You choose a song from its line-up, consisting of over forty different songs from a range of time periods and genres. Then, you stand in front of your sensor and copy the faceless dancer or dancers on the screen. There are even instructions on the dance moves coming up. Nevertheless, you will soon realise that regardless of whether or not you are interested in dancing, or even if you are a serious middle-aged man rather than a group of younger girls, you can’t help but continue dancing to songs like Never Gonna Give You Up. Just Dance 4 is a great example of an instalment which has managed to stand out in a genre of games that is slowly becoming less and less popular.
To begin with, because of the large track list there is almost certainly something in there for everyone. Younger players will easily recognise some of the many pop songs which have been played seemingly endlessly over the radio, and the older players will be pleased to see some older tracks seeping in. In close relation, the way the dancing stage is finally presented is in a fashion that all players can find appealing. The colour scheme is bright and utilises bold colours, but the dancing itself is also done professionally. The dancing in front of you is always faultless, but at the same time dressed up in a way considered quite silly which adds to the amusement factor.
It is simply impossible to not have fun. The scoring system is almost sidelined by how much attention you have to pay to what you have to do next. Even if you were truly atrocious, the game will not berate you or make you feel like you are doing something wrong, so you never feel as if the game is punishing you or that you should feel bad because you cannot dance. Just Dance 4 set out to be a game which you can simply enjoy and is very successful in being just that. For each song there are certain boxes you can tick if you are really interested in the actual dancing aspect, such as getting 5 stars or getting perfect scores at certain points in the game, so if you are interested in mastering your technique, the game accommodates for this interest.
Furthermore, the other reason this game could be used is as a way to get you up and moving in a way that is interesting and fun. There is a Just Sweat option where you can dance along with the concentration being on you leaping around the room rather than getting incredible scores. Just Dance 4 does actually require a fair amount of energy and you will be surprised at how quickly you will feel the need to catch your breath – something you don’t really tend to notice whilst the dancing is in motion. Once you’ve started the music, you will always feel compelled to dance right to the end so there is some form of motivation to see it through, plus you are exercising in an enjoyable way that half an hour on the cross trainer will never be able to match.
Moreover, the game is full of some really interesting features which are all definitely worth a look. Up to four people can play at any one time, each getting different dance moves that, due to the nature of the game, will imaginably descend into a heap of laughter in a short time. At certain points during the dance, the game will tape you and then at the end stitch the videos into a little music video, which can then be uploaded online and, if you are feeling brave enough, Facebook.
Whilst the game is reasonably responsive to your moves and is accurate in locating your limbs, the movements can be quite hard to get around sometimes. For example, you can navigate the menu by simply using your hands to swipe across and then stabbing your option with your finger. Due to the stabbing motion required, it can be quite difficult to eventually hit the button you are trying to aim for, which in some cases isn’t helped by the options being quite close together. In close relation, the game does require quite a lot of space and there are points in certain dances you might not be able to do, simply because you don’t have the room required to run around in a wide, sweeping circle. Also, with some of the smaller movements you might need to make your actions more obvious than they should be to try and get the sensors to pick up what you are doing, but generally this isn’t a problem.
What is more, although there are instructions in the corner that tell you what is coming up, they are arguably quite confusing and might take some time to get your head around. Perhaps a few attempts at the same dance are in order before you can get it perfectly, but be prepared for the inevitable situation where you find yourself looking in the corner to see what you need to prepare to do and not having the faintest idea what the instruction is. You can always copy the dancer in the middle, but you have to be pretty fast with your movements.
In conclusion, Just Dance 4 is a good game which utilises the Kinect in an impressive manner. The game definitely has something in it for almost everyone, regardless of your age, interests, or gender. It is a party game which sets out to accomplish everything it wishes to do nearly very well. The notable need for space can cause problems and the confusing instructions could possibly cause problems, but in fairness it would not be too hard to imagine it adding to the hilarity. A game fully worth its price for the lengthy amount of time spent joking around, working out, or improving your dance moves, and a fine example in a failing genre.