It's back for its second (full) instalment on Kinect, so how do Just Dance 4
and its new moves compare to last year's edition?
For anyone who may be somehow unaware of the basics of Just Dance
, it's a simple case of mirroring an on-screen dancer whilst following the prompts that display an upcoming change in moves. Each move you make is rated based on how well you manage to pull it off. So, basically it follows the formula of most dance games around today. The only stand-out offering that isn't seen in any other dance title is that players can dance with up to four people locally.
When Just Dance
was first released four years ago, it was a Nintendo Wii title and so only really
required you to follow the right hand movements of a dancer, rather than the whole body, making it incredibly easy to cheat or at the very least, lazily do well. Now that it uses Kinect, that's a different story. While you may not need to go as crazy or over the top as the on-screen nutter that you're mirroring, you do at the very least need to put some effort in.
The game offers a varied soundtrack of over forty songs. These range from Skrillex, to Barry White, to Justin Bieber. These are all danced along to by incredibly bright, smiley, dolled-up avatars, giving it all they've got.
Overall, little has changed since last year. The songs may be different, but the general gameplay is very much the same. We see just a few changes. The first is the addition of a versus mode, allowing you to battle locally with a friend. Although, this is one of the many random extras that the player must unlock by simply playing the game and raising their 'Mojo' level.
The second is a much more in-depth 'Just Sweat' mode. While in last year's instalment you simply turned on the Sweat mode and played as normal, this time round it's a new, dedicated workout mode. There are various themes to choose from (such as 80s or Rock and Roll), and session lengths ranging from ten minutes to forty five. These sessions will mix up regular song routines, workouts and mash ups (songs with completely random moves and routines thrown in) while counting the calories you burn as you dance along. While some of these feel incredibly cheesy, there's no doubting that if you really go for it this is a serious workout, and a welcome change from the dull repetition of your standard workout Kinect titles.
Each song now also has its own 'Quests'. These range from earning five stars to nailing specific moves for bonus Mojo points.
One tiny feature that has been removed is the ability to use your controller to navigate the menus. This wouldn't be such a big deal, if it wasn't for the fact that the new menu system is somewhat hit and miss, literally! In order to select something you must hover your hand over it before jabbing it forward and back again, as though it was a button. As simple as this sounds, it really isn't. The speed that you seem to need to select something, often leads to striking everywhere but the selection in question. It's a little baffling that this has replaced the menu function from Just Dance 3
which was perfect, both with a controller and using Kinect.
Overall, Just Dance 4
is more of the same, with a few little tweaks. If you liked it before, you'll like it now. If you like prancing around your living room, or you're not afraid to make a bit of a fool of yourself then you'll definitely enjoy it, too. While it's not the best dance title that Kinect has to offer, it's definitely one of the better ones. It might not be the deepest, most complex gaming experience out there, but it's flat out fun. Just be prepared to get a bit of a sweat on.