Just Dance 4 Review

Just Dance 4 (Available on PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players:
Genre: Dancing
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Paris / Ubisoft Reflections
Release Date: October 9th, 2012 (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360) / November 18th, 2012 (Wii U)

Parent Talk: Outside some mild lyrics there’s very little parents need to be worried about.

Plays Like: The series hasn’t changed much since its inception. Small pictograms appear on the lower right-hand corner of the screen and players try to string those pictures together into a dance routine.

Review Basis: This review is based on the Wii U version of the game. Danced my butt off like a dancing queen.

Just Dance 4 is the latest sequel to the highest selling dance franchise in the gaming industry. The Wii U version plays identically to the Wii version, in that the game tracks the motions of the Wiimote. There are extra features added, but the dancing remains the same.

The Good:

+ Wii U-exclusive Puppet Master mode allows one player with the Game Pad to select the next routine, which results in all sorts of mischievous fun.

+ Simple menu gets you to the action quickly. Select Just Dance or Just Sweat to either work out or dance the night away.

+ The visual presentation is a clear step-up from the Wii version. Bright colors pop in HD, and there’s a finer sense of motion.

+ Wacky song selection has something for everyone. From vintage hits like Time Warp to this summer’s hit Call Me Maybe, you’ll be tapping your toes with the best of ’em.

The So-So:

+/- While the dancing is fun, the problem is the technological limitations of the Wiimote. Unlike Dance Central for Kinect, JD4 has no means of properly gauging your dancing. Instead it looks at the one Wiimote in your hand and bases everything around that. It leads to some very unimpressive scores at the end of routines.

+/- The entire game feels unconnected. The videos that accompany each song don’t fit the music whatsoever. Each stage feels like you’re taking more and more acid. Dancing animals, Godzilla, and dancing wrestlers are all worth a few laughs, but eventually feel disconnected with the music.

The Bad:

– Choreography is extremely bizarre and it’s because everything is centered around your one hand. Natural dancers will have a very hard time with these routines.

The Ugly:

Dancing on a rooftop with some weird superhero in purple tights dancing to Never Gonna Give You Up is all sorts of wrong.

The Lowdown:

Just Dance 4 is limited only by the technology of the console its available on. Dance Central has shown us the future of dance games, and at this point there’s simply no going back. While JD4 is a fun game, and is worth more than a few laughs at parties, it’s not as accurate or fun as the new king of the dance floor.

Final Score: 6.5/10

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