Just Dance 2014 - PlayStation 4 User Review
'Just Dance 2014' on the PlayStation 4 is a musical based video game which contains over 40 of the hottest tracks combined with the dance moves to go with these tracks. The game was published by Ubisoft and developed by Ubisoft Paris.
We are truly living in the future and the world of gaming is taking over. The 'Just Dance' series serves to highlight just how far video games have come and the developers at Ubisoft are grinning ear to ear for having the gall to profit from it. 'Just Dance' has been around since 2009 when the first title dropped for the Nintendo Wii. Since then movement based rhythm games have exploded in popularity. We shouldn't be surprised by this new genre of video game, not really. Games like 'Dance Dance Revolution' and 'Guitar Hero' always alluded to the fact that rhythm games could work. So when we got our hands on 'Just Dance 2014' for the PS4 we were prepared to enjoy ourselves.
If you are the kind of cat that loves to go out and hit the club on a Friday night, then 'Just Dance' might be the right franchise for you. You can get all of the dancing in that you want without having to deal with sweaty strangers trying to grind up on you. Oh, yeah, you can also get your groove on without ever putting pants on. So that's a perk as well. 'Just Dance 2014' is one of the newest entries into the storied franchise and the first foray into the next generation of video game consoles. Coming from the WiiU, a console based around motion control, we had trouble believing that it would truly succeed on the PS4. We were pretty wrong in some ways.
If you have never played a 'Just Dance' title then we should probably break the game down a little bit for you. This rhythm and dance series has gamers stand up in front of their PlayStation camera while popular songs get played over the their speakers. On the screen you'll see your shadow and next to it you will see an animated shadow leading you through a choreographed dance routine. On the older consoles, the ones that lacked the PlayStation Camera, these dance moves would be captured by syncing the movements of the video game controller. This is no longer the case with the PS4. Now your actual dance moves will be captured by the camera to greater efficiency all while making the dancing easier in and of itself. Every time you appropriately duplicate the move on screen you will notice that your points rise up. The more points you rack up, the better your score. You can play through the game on your own or you can compete with friends. There are a few different game modes that help to create some longevity out of this popular party game series.
In the classic free dance mode you are able to dance to any songs you have unlocked for fun. You can have up to four total players on screen at any time. Routines will include solos, quartets, duets, and even sextets if you are on the XBox One. While in the classic mode you can also engage in the Karaoke mode if you have a microphone plugged in. You can play the songs how they are initially unlocked or you can try your skills at any of the alternate routines as they add new levels of difficulty.
World Dance Floor
Integrating the internet and online play into the 'Just Dance' series has been an interesting challenge. With the way that lag works, it is always hard to get rhythm based games played at a global level. Here it seems like Ubisoft got it down, though. The World Dance Floor mode allows you to compete online against players from all over the world. You'll dance to specific playlists in order to rack up points. Your points go onto the rankings chart and you can climb up the leaderboard accordingly. You can snag captures of your dance moves and save them in order to share online.
The heart and soul of rhythm games comes down to how capable the system is of rendering your specific movements. As this is the first 'Just Dance' title that we have played in awhile, we were interested to see how accurately the camera could pick up our (lacking) dance moves. From the first few notes of "I Kissed A Girl" all the way to the fading chorus, we felt like the game was giving us a fair shake to shake our moves on screen. The camera read our moves accurately enough that we never felt like we could complain about the accuracy in a way that mattered. Our scores weren't affected by anything other than our own lack of swing. When the camera did struggle to capture our moves it was due to the fact that we were quickly losing our balance and moving around just a little bit too much.
Looking past the actual rhythm elements we got a chance to peak through the tracklist. The title comes jam packed with 50 different songs that range from the '50s "Just a Gigolo" by Louis Prima all the way to 2013's "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk. The range of styles definitely swerves unabashedly toward pop stylings and we were a little bummed out that the game didn't try to include some odd genres into the mix. While we understand the decision to stick to artists like Kesha and One Direction, it would have been fun to see some wild old school rock or hip hop mixed in. We're sure that DLC can remedy the issues, but being that this is an older title we wouldn't get our hopes up for anything new.
At the end of the day we really enjoyed what we got out of 'Just Dance 2014' on the PlayStation 4. The title promised us catchy music, accessible gameplay, and an experience we could dig with our friends at a party. The game definitely lived up to these different check points and we would have no problem throwing it in the PS4 the next time we had a few friends over to hang out.