The massively selling dance game series comes to Kinect.
Just Dance 3 is the first title in Ubisoft’s popular dance game series to appear on the Xbox360, for use with Kinect. With party season rapidly approaching, it’s time to rock your hips from side to side and wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
Using Kinect, Just Dance 3 judges how you move your entire body, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, emphasising fun over precision dance moves. whether you’re the greatest dancer in the world, or have two left feet like myself, there is plenty of fun. You’ll spend your time frantically dancing your way through a great selection of groovy tracks, flinging yourself around the room like you’ve had one too many Red Bulls.
Trying to perform the on-screen choreography in time with the music is a challenge in itself. The kinect tracks the body the best it can whilst the player tries to sync their movements with the dancer on-screen, and the game marks the player on the left hand side whilst informing them if they’ve performed perfect moves or if their moves were incredibly bad. I quite often felt that the game was not being particularly generous with the scoring and that some of my movements were much closer than Kinect seemed to register. This was most likely due to the amount of room that Kinect needs in order to work properly. You need to make sure you have enough room while playing the kinect version, become otherwise you get entangled in the nearest piece of furniture as you turn, twist, and move in some incredibly impressive dances.
The menus are well presented, but again I found them a little bit temperamental as I tried to move from track to track. I would occasionally side swipe my arm to find myself in the wrong section, due to the kinect being super sensitive one minute and damn unresponsive the next. I ended up using the Xbox360 controller to make my way through the menus.
As a first for the series, Just Dance 3 enables up to four people to dance together at the same time. Kinect is very capable of tracking all of the bodies as they are enthusiastically paraded around in front of the screen, provided each player assumes the correct position. Two players stand central and forwards, with the other two players standing slightly behind on each side. Providing there is enough room, Kinect does an admirable job. It’s ideal if you want to play with friends and I can see it being a firm party favourite around the festive period. Just Dance 3 features a selection of different game modes, including some which have four-part choreography, allowing each player to have their own individual spotlight.
In sweat mode, you can workout to any of the song tracks to earn yourself sweat points, although I am not entirely sure it is necessary. One of the great things about Just Dance 3 is that you really push your body to the limits on some of the tracks, without the need for a special mode. Breaking out in a sweat after just practising a few songs was enough to give my body a full workout. It certainly energizes you and literally makes you move in every way possible.
The “newly added for Kinect” Just Create mode is really amazing and it’s a great thing that Ubisoft have implemented within the game, allowing you to create your own choreography for any of your favourite songs in the game, and share them with the world. Sharing is no doubt best when humiliation is added into the mix, and the Just Create mode is perfect for this, especially as players can upload clips of their foolishness for others to enjoy.
Dancing around in front of the TV does make you feel a little self conscious, but this is not really a game for people who don’t want to look silly, especially with bizarre songs such as ‘This is Halloween’ with its dancing pumpkin head vampire. It certainly seems designed to make you feel ridiculous you try and replicate the uncomplicated moves. You will certainly feel silly prancing around to that particular tune, but then you have some classic favourites thrown in that raise a smile, such as Baby one more time from Britney Spears. There’s certainly something for everyone injected into this frenzied dance game, enough to tick all the right boxes and serve up a nice variety from cheesy classics to some more up to date club tunes.
Overall, if you’ve got the staying power to endure all of the super energized tracks in Just Dance 3 and have little or no shame about dancing around in front of the TV with your friends, I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t like this game. Its biggest competitor on Xbox360 is the Dance Central series. But the Dance Central games rely on precision dancing and impressive visuals, whereas Just Dance 3 has an excess of neon and is quite happy to watch you flail your arms in a vague rhythm. As the title says, Just Dance, everything else is not important. It’s all about having fun with your friends, and in that aspect Just Dance 3 does incredibly well.