Just Dance 2016 is the seventh game in the mainline series. To begin, the PS4 version supports three types of controls: the Move, the PS4 Camera, and Smart Phones. Adding an App is a great, cost effective idea for people without a lot of controllers. The same goes for the camera, but aside from capturing video, mirroring moves doesn’t work well. It’s better in larger, well-lit areas, but even then it’s unpredictable. The best way to play is with the Move controller. Mastering the moves, on the other hand, is a toss up as there’s still no way to learn the moves intricately akin to Dance Central aside from repeating the songs monotonously.
The seven modes included are as follows. Dance Party is the standard dancing arrangement. Dance Quest is like a score based attempt at a competitive RPG. World Video Challenge is the VS mode wherein players compete against others with ghost recordings. Sweat and Playlists is just how it sounds. Show Time is like karaoke, but it also creates a music video based on the player’s unique routines. Just Dance TV lets players watch other uploaded videos. Lastly, Uplay isn’t so much a mode as it is a list of unlockables for members of the service.
Out of all these features, Dance Party is the one. Jumping in with up to six friends is a blast, though more is not necessarily merrier as it crams up the screen. Again, bigger areas will have better results. Just Dance TV is a neat idea, though if one is not a good dancer, uploading bad videos is embarrassing. On the flipside, watching genuinely good players can be disheartening. With that in mind, Just Dance is at it’s best when not caring. Skinny, fat, pretty, or ugly have meaning here. It’s all about the experience and the series has never faltered on that point.
The set list is decent this year and it’s accompanied by a new service. Instead of buying songs, Ubisoft has created Just Dance Unlimited. It’s a subscription service that not only lets users stream new songs, but old songs from the previous games. A free, two day pass is included in the box. Past that it’s $7 a month, or $40 a year. It streams the songs, which result in long loads, choppy visual quality, and unresponsive reactions. It’s more rewarding than paying $3 a song, but it’s not a perfect solution to the cost either.
Just Dance 2016 gets the basics right. While that may be enough for most, it’s in desperate need for an overhaul. It still needs a teaching mode and this writer isn’t necessarily sold on the costly, poor execution of Just Dance Unlimited. Complaints aside, grab some friends, and Just Dance. It’ll be okay.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review copy. This article was originally published on October 22, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.