You know you want to.
With party season rapidly approaching, Ubisoft once again want you to unleash that tiny dancer within us all, the one which is usually never allowed out in public. What’s worse, they want us to expose our awful dance moves to the world. Good luck on that one, Ubisoft.
Just Dance 2016 is the latest annual entry in the ultimate party game. While the party game phenomena may have all but dies out, Ubisoft’s Just Dance series is still going strong with each yearly release offering up yet more ways to shake out collective booties and providing a new line up of tunes to shake them to. While the Just Dance games may only be a distraction compared to some of the more serious dance simulation games from the past, there is no denying that the games relative simplicity is part of the reason why the game is still around.
In case you have missed out on all of those parties where enthusiastic youngsters break out the Just Dance game and break into spontaneous movement, Just Dance is a game that tracks your movements as you dance along to a selection of upbeat tunes, trying to match those being displayed on the screen by some psychedelic dancers. Actually, that may well be over complicating things, as the game simply tracks your hand movements, leaving your body to do whatever weird thing it feels like.
Usually, players would require some kind of motion controller such as PlayStation Move or camera device to play the game, with the Kinect being the most likely candidate on the Xbox One. However, this time around Ubisoft have come up with something a little bit special, making the dancing gameplay much more accessible to many more players. In a stroke of possible genius, or madness, there is now an app on both iOS and Android which will allow you to use your phone as a controller. From personal experience, which I am not going in to, the app performs incredibly well, offering both accuracy and simplicity. Using the app means that almost anyone with a phone can join the dancing fun, allowing you to fill your living room with dancing strangers if you so wish. Using an app as a controller is only available on the Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U, but then players on the older formats probably already have their own Just Dance motion control situation sorted from previous entries.
When it comes to different modes, Just Dance veterans will know what to expect here. However, as always, Ubisoft have mixed things up with a couple of new ways to embarrass yourself. The new Showtime mode allows players to make their own music videos in a rather simplistic way and upload them for others to enjoy. Dance Quest has the player competing with an AI dancer across three songs. World Video Challenge takes the embarrassment one step further and allows the uploading of dance videos which others can challenge. Dance Party is by far the most used mode, with players competing or teaming up for big scores. Of course, many of these modes will require the PlayStation camera on the PS4. So beware, if you don’t have the camera, the new modes will be much more limited.
The track variety in this latest Just Dance entry seems to be flagging a bit, with the occasional well known track followed by a large selection of slightly more obscure tunes, although this could just be due to my age and not being down with what the kids listen to these days. Still, there are some good tunes, and then there are the more quirky options, such as the theme from Angry Birds and the William Tell Overture. Yeah, imagine dancing to them…
To counter the boredom that comes from dancing to the same songs over and over again, Ubisoft have introduced the Just Dance Unlimited service. This subscription-based service packs in a massive number of songs from the previous Just Dance titles, giving the player a massive library to dance to. A one month trial code is included with the game, but after that the player will find themselves having to pay out £11.99 for a three month membership on PlayStation.
Just Dance 2016 is the ultimate party game for youngsters or those who may have indulged a little too much at the party. It is incredibly bright and colourful, and so easy to play that your own inhibitions will be all that stop you from joining the dancing. Seriously, the Just Dance games are not for everyone, but if you are a fan then this latest version will give you more of the same. It doesn’t make massive strides from the last installment, but then it is a dancing game, so what did you expect?