We’ve spoken about sexism in gaming quite a bit in the past and it pains me to have to bring it up again, but a little while back Just Dance 4 arrived on my desk with a Post-It note attached stating that it was for Yolanda… what can’t us guys play dancing games? I was offended…
So offended in fact that I took it home and gave it directly to my wife and daughters as I have the dancing ability of an epileptic rhinoceros.
Unfortunately my disability has never actually gotten me out of a dancing game as a house full of women aren’t content with Halo, Call of Duty and Gears of War all day. Apparently there are other types of games and I couldn’t count the amount of hours that I’ve sunk into the Just Dance franchise.
Before Just Dance 4 arrived in my house the ladies were hopping between Just Dance 2 on the Wii for the four player experience and Dance Central on the Kinect for the full body exercise.
When I saw that Just Dance 4 was for the Kinect I’ll admit that I was a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong I do like the Kinect but it isn’t the most accurate piece of technology and as such as I expected this to be a bit of a sad attempt at a dancing game.
The girls put the disc in and went straight into a dance, after choosing from a huge list of songs, where low and behold the Kinect allowed us to start up a 4 player game. You each place yourself in a coloured band and the Kinect will grab a picture of your face and wait for you to signal that you are ready to rumble.
After which the game is pretty straight forward; you need to copy the motions of the characters on screen where you all copy the same moves or in certain songs each character has different moves to create an entire dancing scene.
But what was really entertaining about the game is that the Kinect does a great job of picking up your body movements and giving you a full body exercise while trying to dance along to "Call Me Maybe". Okay so maybe dancing along in my case is a bit of a tall tale but I did thoroughly enjoy it and it’s pretty obvious that this title has completely replaced the Wii version and Dance Central as the dancing game of the house… and the default go to title when it rains on birthdays.
Just Dance 4 ships with over 40 tracks from the ever classic Disturbia by Rihanna to the currently hip and happening Time Warp from The Rocky Horror picture show. But in a sign that Ubisoft aren’t going to leave this title alone they have already announced that you can now download the current smash hit Gangnam Style from PSY… and yes here is the video that apparently is now the third most popular YouTube video.. EVER
What else can I say about Just Dance 4? The Kinect menus work really well once you get used to them and the new sticky click is a great idea from Ubisoft.
The track list is fantastic and varied enough to make anyone happy and the video montage at the end of each song is an instant classic.
The game takes photos of you all through the song and then at the end renders a fast forward version of your escapades that is utterly hilarious and can the be uploaded and shared with your social circles… if you think I’m sharing mine you are sadly mistaken though.
Gameplay revolves around you shaking your booty as best you can and the title with Kinect does a magnificent job of keeping track of all your contortions.
Design and Presentation: 8.5/10
The menu’s and in game character movements are pretty close to perfect with the new menu system being a huge improvement over previous Kinect titles… though the Kinect is still a little buggy at times.
Our last Just Dance has kept the family going for two years and has saved countless kids parties, this is simply better and now that you can’t run out of batteries in your wiimotes it finally outdoes our Just Dance 2 on the Wii
As far as dancing games go this is the best one that is currently available. It’s not perfect but neither is your dancing.
[Reviewed on an Xbox 360.. obviously]
Just Dance 4 was reviewed by Gavin Mannion