|System: Wii, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Ubisoft Paris|
|Release: October 7, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-720p||Lyrics|
Ubisoft has added some extra incentives to keep you drenching your favorite shirt with perspiration. This comes in the form of unlockables and medals. Unlocks are gained after obtaining the previously mentioned Mojo stars. After racking up fifteen stars from a few dance rounds, your prize will be revealed and available. Most of the 27 unlockables come in the form of Dance Mash-ups, which blend different dance styles into one song, the even more challenging Smart Shuffle, and the eight-player Flash Mobs. But the first you'll unlock is called Simon Says, which is exactly what it sounds like. While going through the dance motions, you'll suddenly be prompted to stop, shake, clap, or spin to gain a sizeable bonus. The clash of the dance and the minigame breaks a lot of the rhythm, but it's also the easiest way to score five Mojo stars every time. So if you're looking to quickly unlock everything, keep doing what Simon says. The medals won't be as easy to collect, but getting those bronze, silver, and gold awards are great for bragging rights and personal glory. A few are obtained just by persistent playing, but some require near perfect scores on every song, and others can only be acquired with the help of friends (who also need to be adept dancers).
It's hard to imagine Just Dance 3 pushing the neon visuals further than its predecessor, but your eyes are completely bombarded with orange, green, blue, and purple fluorescents. It may seem like a bit much, but following the onscreen avatar has never been easier. The backgrounds are hit-or-miss, depending on the song, with some capturing the theme of the lyrics and others just displaying bland geometric shapes pulsating to the beat.
The sound resonates perfectly throughout, as it should considering this is a game about music. Each track is crystal clear, and Ubisoft used proper technical skills with the in-game Dolby Digital—so much, in fact, that even substandard stereo TVs can crank out a smooth sound. The virtual cheering section and other effects are nice, but subdued as to not drown out the music itself.
A few extra unlockables, some medals to earn, and a cardio mode may not seem like innovative alternatives, but remember that Ubisoft plainly puts their intentions for you in the title: Just Dance. This official third version tightens up the core aspects with bold visuals, responsive motion controls, and crisp sounds. And with weekly additions to the song library available for purchase, you can always count on some fresh vibes and a new playlist for your next party night.
CCC Contributing Writer