|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Paris||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 12, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Lets get this out the way right now: I dont dance, dont know the name of a single dance step, and though I used to groove to the Grateful Dead and other jam bands back in my younger years, I have little interest in the art form outside of watching episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. That being said, Just Dance 2 is a surprisingly fun party game that is easy for anyone and everyone to jump right on into.
Unlike other music/rhythm games on the market, Just Dance 2 does not tell a story or offer a career mode of any kind. Though there are definitely some great single-player options on offer here, Just Dance 2 is at its best as a party game its like the karaoke of dance. Upon starting the game up for the first time, I was a little bit intimated by the fact the game offers no real instruction outside of telling you to simply mirror the actions of the dancer(s) onscreen. To my relief, theres really not much more to it than that.
You might not think it to look at the initial menu screen, but Just Dance 2 comes complete with a hefty selection of content. Your main gameplay options are Just Dance and Dance Battle, as well as Just Sweat, a remarkably fitting addition to the package.
The Just Dance mode offers free play for up to four players, and though youre each scored on your performance, the focus isnt competitive. In addition to solo dances, there are medley and duet options, though the medleys are less than stellar. Generally speaking, a medley maintains the same basic rhythm while switching up melodies. For a dance game, keeping the tunes all within the same tempo would seem like an especially important consideration, but the medleys in Just Dance 2 are all over the place rhythmically, making it more frustrating than fun.
In terms of actual gameplay, the premise is simple, but theres definitely a learning curve. Oddly enough, learning dances in Just Dance 2 is similar to playing a typical level in a 2D Sonic game. Youll have to run through each song several times before you know whats expected of you, but the getting there is still quite fun.
One Wii Remote (per player) is all youll need to play Just Dance 2. A dancer(s) appears onscreen for each number, and he or she wears a colored glove youll need to focus on. The dancers perform very specific, recognizable moves, but you really only need concern yourself with the direction of their hand movement. To be sure, its not a very exacting system, and its pretty easy to get an Okay on every move just by simply waggling in any direction with the remote. However, folks who let loose and follow the motions carefully will be rewarded with better marks and a higher score at the end of each tune.
And thats about all there is to it, really. Just Dance 2 is not a complicated game, and again, the motion recognition is a bit dubious. Nevertheless, Just Dance 2 is infectiously fun. Self-conscious participants arent likely to get the most out of the experience, but in a party environment with other folks open to some good, clean fun, this software offers tons of value.
When youre ready to get a bit more competitive, Dance Battle has additional modes that mix things up nicely. You can compete in either Free For All (for up to four players) or Team Battle (up to eight players), playing through five different dances in an attempt to take first place. There are five options to choose from, with Simon Says and Race adding something completely new to the roster of gameplay types. In Simon Says, youll follow the onscreen dancer the same as you would in Just Dance mode; however, each player will periodically be told to perform (or stop performing) specific actions mid-dance in order to earn extra points. You can lose points too if you perform poorly, so theres extra incentive to surrender yourself to the music. Race, on the other hand, rewards whichever player hits a specific score first. Both modes are quite fun, and when blended together as part of a Royal Flush, theres plenty of variety to keep things fresh.