We’re not yet past Halloween or bonfire night yet already the shops are crammed full of mistletoe emblazoned greetings cards and silky tailored party outfits in preparation for all things Christmas.
Already thinking about Christmas? Yes, now is the time to start trying to lose weight to fit into said party outfit in the hope we’ll all look our best despite so many of us usually end up suffering from what looks like serious attacks of jactitation as we hit the dance floor and wiggle/jump/stomp around like crazy at the office party. Thank goodness that Ubisoft have come to the rescue once again with the sweat inducing Just Dance 3.
Boundlessly energetic, this third dance instalment is livelier than ever before. With new features, crisper dancing figures to guide us through and more detailed dancing stages, Just Dance 3 has nearly 50 new tracks to boogie on down to. The track listing is more diverse this time and features some awesomely catchy tunes from the annals of musical history. Excellently embracing foreign language titles including Bollywood belter “Kurio Ko Uddah Le Jana”, we also find Brahms and musical sing-a-long numbers sitting alongside the expected range of modern pop and dance winners like Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green and the Black Eyed Peas. This eclectic blend of styles really should have something for everyone and there’s the option to select a genre playlist with all your fave style of tracks on.
The instruction/advice screens tend to pop up at awkward moments (just as you’re selecting which dancer character you want to be) which is a bit frustrating but you can turn this off in the options menu and there’s no warm up which is a crucial part of doing any high octane dance activity, but once you’re in it’s great fun. It’s been made easier for four dancers to join the game as there are no sub menus for multiplayer, you simply scroll through, choose a track and jump in, plus each dancer will have unique choreography at some point during your chosen song. Perfect stars are harder to obtain this time around. Forget being able to sit on the sofa and waggle your Wiimote around to gain points. This time, there is more depth to the moves and you’re rewarded depending on how energetic and accurate you are. You’ll know when you have hit a perfect move as your Wiimote will chime and vibrate which is a lovely little touch and means you don’t have to keep an eye on your progress, you can concentrate on just dancing. For the most part, it recognised every move (and mistake) we made and the routines definitely require and have a better balance of movement from both the arms and legs, though the focus remains still on one hand (holding the Wiimote) being correct to gain a score. There’s more complexity to the choreography than we’ve seen from the Just Dance series, which means you’re not going to get them right first time but practice makes perfect and although you might need a fair bit of room for four people to comfortably swing about in, it makes dancing with your friends so much more fun.
Expect to burn some calories too as all of the tracks are upbeat. The sweat option returns where you opt to sweat for fun or sign up to sweat once a day. There is more incentive to take this offer up this time around as not only will you be getting fitter, the more you dance and earn stars, the more mojo you get and what does mojo mean? Prizes! Well, unlockable secrets anyway including more tracks and mini-game type surprises that bring in new ways to use the Wiimote as you dance…
Whether you have two left feet and just want to have fun or whether you love to dance and fancy trying out some fun routines to your fave tunes, there is plenty of content here (especially as you can head to the store for more tracks), and with secret gifts to unlock as well as achievement style medals on offer, there is more reason to keep playing again and again. It doesn’t have the exact precision and eye boggling visuals of other dance games on the market but perhaps has the most authenticity and appeal because of this. For those of us that remember making up dance routines in the front room at the weekends with our best mates from school and now only get up to dance to cheesy pop classics once a year at the office Xmas party, this game is the extra prezzie under the tree. The emphasis is firmly and unashamedly on neon light fun and should definitely make you want to just dance more than once a year.