Features Reviews

Just Dance 2019 review – A Different Collaboration

Just Dance was not made with me in mind. It’s the type of game that caters for a lot of people. If you were to say you can’t find a single song on there you like (of the full library, which requires a paid subscription), I dare say you’re a liar, there really is something for everyone.

But besides frequent Dad Dancing, I’m not a fan of dancing in general. It’s just not what I spend my time doing. Furthermore, I’ve never played a Just Dance entry before. That’s why I’ve enlisted the help of my six-year-old daughter, Momo, to gather her thoughts on her very first Just Dance game! This isn’t a regular review, this is a Momo Review.

Also, the screenshot function is disabled on the Switch. Not sure if this is a limitation across the board due to complex licensing issues or ‘just cause’, but in any event, rather than use PR shots, I’ve decided to provide you with pictures of my cat instead.

Chi1

Just Cause

“Are we writing a Reggie Review?”, Momo excitedly asked me earlier today. She played all day yesterday. Seriously, all day. I’d barely opened my mouth to get started and she was on it.

Momo: “It’s cool that you copy the person.”
Daddy: “Why is it cool that you copy the person, does that help your dancing?”
Momo: “Yes, because there’s sometimes two people that you can copy. You copy the people and it helps your dancing.”
Daddy: “I’ve seen you dressing up for some songs, why’s that?”
Momo: “Because I want to be the same as the people doing it”

The visuals did great things for her imagination. Momo, with her six-year-old EXP, uses a special attack at this point, ‘Ignore Daddy Blast’. It’s super effective. She is, of course, in the middle of a round of The Ketchup Song on Just Dance and Daddy should know better.

Daddy: “…”
Momo: “Mummy’s trash because she likes The Ketchup Song.”
Daddy: “So, do you get any prizes for doing well?”
Momo: “Yeah, because you get to open a machine, you might get new artwork, a new character, a title, a new artwork, a new song, its’s very cool.”

The Gachapon model, got to love it. Harmless fun in this case, no additional purchases necessary. Then, Mummy butted in.

Mummy: Do you think small kids can play it?”
Momo: “Yeah, there’s kid’s songs.”
Mummy: “Like what?”
Momo: “I’ve not gone on the kid’s menu, it’s a bit too young for me.”
Mummy: “What age do you think kid’s mode is for?”
Momo: “About three?”

She proceeds to explore the kid’s menu and, well, she called it. There are nursery rhymes and the like to cater for the youngest. She quickly, ditches kid’s mode as it’s not refined enough for her mature tastes, as she goes on to pick ‘Crazy Christmas’.

Chi2

Starstruck

Daddy: Are you making a Dance Card there?
Momo: I love the shaky avatar one. We should do another Dance Card for ‘Chi’. I picked ‘The Blazing Star’ title because she’s cute. I’m the shooting star because I look pretty”
Daddii: “Modest, Momo.” (laughs)
Momo: “That’s not funny. C’mon, Daddy, shooting stars are pretty. I’m going to be Pac-Man.”

Chi’s our cat, by the way. Pac-Man’s her avatar. Dance Cards effectively work as per-player profiles.

Daddy: “Do you find Just Dance different to listening to music in other games?”
Momo: “Well, you copy the people but with other games… well, basically you dance freestyle when you go on YouTube.”

I’m fairly certain she’s not listening to me again, at this point. And my son is now begging for Walk Like an Egyptian. That might sound odd unless you’re familiar with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Look it up.

Who you Gonna Call?

Daddy: “Do you think the people look odd?”
Momo: “They look weird because some of them are bright white, that means they look weird, like a ghost with clothes on”.

Yes. Now for the quick-fire questions.

Daddy: “What’s your favourite thing about the game?”
Momo: “You get to pick your favourite song.”
Daddy: “Any songs you’d like on there?”
Momo: “I’d really, really, really, really like ‘This is Me’ and ‘Happy Hour’ by The Housemartins.”
Daddy: “Can I ask you a boring question?”
Momo: “Yes.”
Daddy: “What do you think of the menu?”
Momo: “It’s hard to find what song I want.”

The UI’s nice and clean, sleek colour scheme but she’s got a point, it’s crowded, though there’s the option to create your own playlists. That said, when cycling through the tracklist, the previews start immediately, it’s all very well refined and speedy. Momo really enjoyed leaving the menu on while making her own dances to songs. That’s value, right there. Plus, you get a nice poke in the ego with a score that’s bigger than yours from the ‘Dancer of the Week’ on the side.

Chi3

The Tetris Effect

Momo: “Where’s that video game one with the squares?”
Daddy: “Tetris?”
Momo: “Do you think you could pick me up while I’m lying down”
Daddy: “Yup”

Thus, I end up carrying Momo round in the style of falling Tetris blocks, which was an absolute blast.

Momo: I liked it because it was about a video game.”
Daddy: “That’s my girl.”
Momo: “It was cool because you had to pick me up and we had to work together.”

The JoyCon’s sensors do an admiral job of keeping up, giving a pretty accurate reflection of your position for scoring purposes. Obviously, you can cheese with some sofa arm waving but that makes you an ‘old man yelling at clouds’, I believe.

Mummy, cut me short again…

Mummy: “What’s the best way to play, single player or multiplayer?”
Momo: “Single player is okay, I guess but not that cool. Multiplayer is the best.”
Mummy: “Do you think you could play it with friends?”
Momo: “I’m inviting a couple of friend over, can I use it for my party?”
Daddy: “What will you say to your friends?”
Momo: “I’ll just say it’s a really fun game basically you copy the people and you dance.”
Daddy: “How would you help your friend learn how to play?”
Momo: “I’d say ‘have you played Just Dance before?’, If they say ‘no’, I would say ‘you just copy what the people are doing so it’s easy to play.’”

The drop-in, multiplayer is a breeze to trigger, just basically picking up the JoyCon and pressing a button gets you straight into the action.

Momo: “The best thing about it is, you get to go “BOOM” when the song comes on and you listen to the song to see if you think it’s good before you play it.”

Chi4

You Must Love this Drink, I Decided it Now

Let’s get one thing straight, though. Just Dance has Hatsune Miku’s vegetarian anthem, Po Pi Po. So, it wins. It’s not my opinion you’re interested in though, is it?

Momo’s Verdict:

Colours: 4/10  

“I like it but the weird people are messing the colours up”

Dances: 10/10

Energy: 10/10

Fun: 8/10 

“80% is close to a hundred”

Overall Score: 8/10

Worth mentioning that Momo’s really good. Lots of four and five-star scores! She’s far better than me, anyway.

Format: Switch (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, Fridge Magnet etc
Price: £49.99 (UK eShop) / Requires a subscription for access to full library 
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Age Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 26/10/2018 (UK eShop)

Review copy provided by publisher

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