Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Just Dance 2

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

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            Ubisoft’s Just Dance surprised many last year, gripping the UK’s multi-format sales charts despite considerably less publicity than many of its competitors. The comparatively smaller development budget and widespread adoption of the first title of course paved the way for a sequel, but this time both publisher and platform holder are prepared for the demand, with Nintendo putting considerable weight behind Just Dance 2.

            The confidence the hardware manufacturer has in Just Dance 2 isn’t unprecedented, with Activision’s Guitar Hero series having proven to be the strongest third-party productionElectronic Theatre Image on Wii. Just Dance 2 appeals to a much wider demographic (and one more acutely in line with many of Nintendo’s own software productions) without alienating core members of the family. The tracklist is designed to compliment the less formally distinguished audience, with a range that incorporates Lady Gaga and Outkast, Ke$ha and The Rolling Stones, Pussycat Dolls and Blondie. Some may say that taking the Guitar Hero: World Tour approach to track selection may have left Just Dance 2 with a little of everything and not enough of one thing, but every single on-disc track is an internationally famous song from a completely different sector of the Pop music spectrum.

            Some of the included tracks are performed by the original artists, while others are cover versions that directly imitate the original recording. In play, the tracks are presented in a very similar manner to those featured in the original Just Dance, although seemingly with more personality afforded to each one. On many tracks the unique feel could be considered patronising by those intimately involved with the act in question, Supergrass’ indie boy boogie andElectronic Theatre Image The Rolling Stone’s satanic overtones being the most intrusive, but Junior Senior’s pixilation and Beyoncé’s feverous jiggling are hardly likely to offend anyone.

            Of course, the actions players will commit to as part of their dance routine reflect these personalities, bringing much more variety to the proceedings than with the first title. Gold Moves and On Fire bonuses add an extra layer of challenge to the gameplay – again, reflecting the lessons learnt from the success of the Guitar Hero franchise – and though more multiplayer options invite high score chasers to attempt their self-imposed objectives while playing with friends or family, it’s the Just Sweat mode that is undoubtedly the great renovation Just Dance 2 offers.

            Just Sweat is effectively a fitness variation of the game, with the player’s dance activities recorded and monitored as part of a daily workout. Though it’s hardly as impressive a presentation as Wii Fit, Just Sweat mode is certainly a Electronic Theatre Imagewell devised compliment to the main game, and could offer those who are less concerned with high scores a reason to play Just Dance 2 when alone.

            Just Dance 2 is a remarkably well presented game, offering immediate access to each of it’s gameplay types through a simple yet lively menu system. And this aesthetic is evident in all aspects of the game, with the sublime animation of the dancer’s models more than adequately presenting the routines, and the complimentary backdrops remaining thematic without becoming an encumbrance.

            As a follow-up to the best-selling original title, Just Dance 2 checks all the right boxes. From the welcoming presentation to the more explorative tracklist, Just Dance 2 is every bit the successor to a mainstream hit. With that or course, it’s unlikely that many of those who felt little encouragement to take part first time around will find any greater reason here, but with those player who enjoyed the original the new selection of tracks may just confirm that purchase. Just Dance 2 doesn’t break any new ground for the series, but in delivering more of the same with a fresh lick of paint, it’s a sure-fire hit this time around.

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