Just Dance 3 Xbox 360 Review

October 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews, Xbox 360

Publisher – Ubisoft – Developer – Ubisoft Paris – Genre – Rhythm Action – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – Wii, PS3

Let’s face it, dancing with the Wii remote was never going to compare to actual dancing, but Ubisoft’s Just Dance series has been about taking part and making a fool of yourself. But now with this Kinect-powered Xbox 360 version, this third iteration of the series can be taken more seriously. Well slightly more seriously.

You see, Just Dance never pretended to be a dancing simulator, as waving your arms about could hardly be classed as real dancing. But the games found a market for those who don’t care about precision and just enjoy the participation. With Kinect, Just Dance 3 can definitely be called more of a proper dancing game.

After choosing a song, there’s two difficulties to choose from, although this isn’t really a game that tracks and judges your entire body, with it instead focussing on the upper torso in terms of tracking. This doesn’t make it any less fun, but I thought it was something worth pointing out all the same.

As far as the tracking goes, things did seem to work well enough in my experience, with bad, OK, good, and perfect popping up on the screen to tell you how you are performing. True, the game may be more relaxed in comparison to the Dance Central series, tracking less and letting you away with more mistakes as a result, but copying the moves exactly did seem to work for the most part. I probably should mention that I have never sweated as much playing a game as I did so with Just Dance 3 – towels and deodorant or perfume are certainly recommended to be on standby to freshen yourself up after playing this one.

The problem is that the game doesn’t really help you out in the same manner that Dance Central does. The latter game shows you which body parts are letting you down, allowing you to fix mistakes, but Just Dance 3 doesn’t indicate to you where you are going wrong. The icons that scroll across the foot of the screen, showing you what dances moves are expected of you next, are also rather unhelpful. Until you learn what each of the icons mean, you may find yourself a little confused, and will be keeping your eyes on the dancing avatar on the screen instead.

Remember how Dance Central breaks each move down to drum them into your head? Well, sadly there’s nothing of the sort here. But, I suppose it just goes to show that this is a game that is all about jumping around and hoping for the best as opposed to a serious dancing simulator. That’s not a criticism of course, and given time you will come to pick things up.

In a novel touch, Just Dance 3 can actually track up to four players at once, and what’s more is that it somehow actually works. It allows players to be packed in closely, thus giving those with smaller rooms a possibility to play also. Staying with multiplayer, two player makes a return, with the amount of players for each song being clearly indicated by the number of dancers pictured during the song selection.

Four players has been added, but that’s not all. The addition of Just Create will be a dream true for many, and allows you to put together your own choreography for other players to attempt to copy. Once you’ve recorded your choreography, you can then save it to your console or upload it for others to download and try. It’s a great idea, in which you’ll see your featureless self on the screen in all your neon glory, dancing away merrily, or at least trying to.

There are 51 licenced songs on the disc for you to dance to, including everything from pop and dance music to R&B, trance, funk, and more. There are other songs that can be purchased and downloaded, which is sure to keep the game in your console if you’re keen to continue to dance.

And with Just Dance 3, the more you dance, the more bonuses will come your way. The stars you earn at the end of dances goes towards unlocking extras such as new songs and modes. I’m yet to conjure up a five star rating with my moves, which tells me that I’ll probably never make a dancer.

Just Dance 3 is good, casual, sweaty fun that offers plenty of laughs and is beautifully presented. Just remember, it’s not particularly the technical side of dancing that you need to get right, but making a fool of yourself is a must. It may not be a perfect dancing game and isn’t that helpful for new players, but there’s still plenty to like here.

7/10

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