Pros: good music
Cons: horrible graphics, difficult to follow moves
I purchased the Wii game Just Dance after seeing it advertised on Ellen. When the audience members were playing the game on stage it looked like a load of fun and I ordered it immediately. Unfortunately, when I opened the game and began playing at home it was not the fun I expected. I was simply sucked in once again my product placement on my favorite shows.
How to Play
This is my biggest problem with the game - I have no idea how to play! Okay, some of it was simple - like any game of this nature you select whether you want to do a Quick Game, Tournament or Warm-up. No problem. If you chose quick play you then get a list of songs and can chose to dance to the full song or just a short clip. From there you are taken to a screen with your avatar in the center, a score box on one side and then these funny stick men on the bottom doing poses. It was never clear to me whether I should mimic my avatar or just strike the poses the stick men did. If I did the proper move - whatever that was supposed to be - to the beat I was rewarded with a "great" or "ok" from the announcer. I then also had points added to my point meter on the side of the screen.
While I only played solo the came can also be played with up to four players. Some people would consider this a party game, but I think it is very frustrating for new comers to learn. Until you have played through a particular song a few times and start to memorize the moves you just end up flailing around the room randomly. That's not enjoyable for me and not what I want for my party guests.
You have the option of playing "classic" style where you simply compete for points or you can play "Last one Standing" or "Strike a Pose." Last one Standing has some complicated system where you lose a life for doing the wrong move and gain a life for doing a combination of right moves. Strike a Pose is a little simpler and only requires you to stop dancing when you see a stop sign and start on the go sign.
The graphics for this game are garbage. In a world with the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, HD cable, and 3D movies everyone knows the Wii is like something out of 2003. The graphics for this game are like something from 1996. Seriously, I don't think this game's graphics are any better than what I saw back in the days of the Nintendo 64. The graphics and screen layout are all very simple - It's the dancer, the strange stick men and your points bar. The simplicity wouldn't be such a big deal if they were well drawn or high quality. Instead the dancer is just some weird ghost apparition with no face and pixilated to boot! All of the budget for this game clearly went to licensing for the music.
The song selection is the only thing this game got right. With current songs like Hot N Cold by Katy Perry to older hits like I Get Around by the Beach Boys there are plenty of hits to get you moving. Who wouldn't be at least slightly entertained to see their family dancing to MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This or Wannabe by the Spice Girls? All of the songs are upbeat, fun to dance to and catchy. They also offer some variety in terms of difficulty level for dancing. There are only 30 songs available to chose from, which other reviewers seem to find restricting. I however, did not enjoy the game enough to even sample all 30 once.
I had a very difficult time with the controls. The object of the game is to obviously get up and dance. However, the only indicator of how well you are dancing is the wiimote which you are holding in one hand. From my experimentation I seemed to get just as good of results shaking the control to the beat as I did doing the actual move on the screen. It seemed to me the controller was just looking for movement on cue.
I would not recommend this game. From its low budget graphics to difficult to follow moves I was not impressed. The only redeeming quality of the game was it's music, which offers a good upbeat dance mix. If you find the game in the clearance bin in a few months it might be worth picking up for the kids to play on the old tube television in the basement - but it's really not worth anything more than that.
If you're looking for a different game to play with the whole family check out Super Mario Bros. Wii
Thank you for reading this review.