Ubisoft – Wii – Out Now (also available now on 360 and on PS3 from December 9th)
Reviewed by Juanvasquez – Videogames editor
When a copy of Just Dance 3 landed on the HCF doormat, there ware mixed feelings of surprise and reservation. Surprise that we’d received the game, given that it’s not usually the type of thing we’d cover, and reservation, because it’s me who has to dance around in front of the TV, and that’s not a pretty sight. But we thought why not. It’s only the third instalment of the biggest selling game franchise on the Wii.
The first thing I noticed was the surprisingly impressive number of songs, a lot of which are actually good. Yes, there is a few songs on there that are ‘down with the kids’, like Jessie J’s Price Tag, for example, which personally, really isn’t my cup of tea. Some of the better artists include Sugar Hill Gang, Kiss (in what is possibly the campest dance routine ever), Madness, Queen and even Robin Sparkles, which unless you’re a fan of sitcom How I Met Your Mother, will be lost on you and you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an actual pop song.
The main play mode is Just Dance. You have the choice of the majority of songs available and you and up to four players dance to the choreographed video on screen. The dancer on screen you are shadowing has a highlighted hand, which is a representation of which hand you should be holding the remote in. Each number has its own unique choreography which you have to dance a long with as best you can. The better the moves, the more points you earn. With each dance you will earn between 1-5 stars. The more stars you receive, the more features in the game you can unlock in the specials section. The features range from different game modes to extra songs. There are 49 songs in total (51 on the 360 version), but some of them will have to be unlocked as you progress through the game.
With the developer seeing the potential to tap into the fitness market, there is a Sweat mode. Although it’s not unlikely that you’ll burn away the calories in the standard mode, Ubisoft see fit to have a mode where exercise is the focus. However, this is a mode where you can have marathon dance sessions and count the calories you’re burning away. There’s also a weekly mode where you can set how many calories you wish to burn off for that week, so while you are doing casual dances it counts what you’re burning into a collective overall total, meaning you don’t have to stick to certain modes.
As well as all the unlockables in the game, there are also medals to collect. These are awarded for pulling off certain feats or reaching milestones throughout the game. There’s also an online store, so if you feel that the 49 dances on offer aren’t enough you can add more to your library.
On the surface of it all, Just Dance 3 is surprisingly entertaining. Get a few friends round, dance in a group or take it in turns and you can have a good laugh. However, unless you are using it for the fitness aspect, there isn’t much appeal in playing alone, although if you’re determined to unlock all the medals the game has to offer. Fun for five minutes, but will gather dust until one of your friends wants a go!