Overall - 70%
Just Dance 2016 has got its dancing game down to a science. It may not revolutionize the world of dancing as we know it, but it is the best iteration of the series thus far. Here's to another year of hits.
Ubisoft’s Just Dance series keeps on trucking with Just Dance 2016, the latest installment in this rhythm-based series. There’s no denying the allure of its time-tested gameplay, but does this entry do enough to stand out this year?
Just Dance 2016 Review
Rhythm games live and die by their track list and Just Dance 2016 completely shines in this regard. Tracks run the gamut from top 40 hits (Meghan Taylor’s “All About that Bass”) to Disney classics (The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea”) to even classic songs (“Hit the Road Jack”). Select dance remixes also exist, giving players the chance to try out wildly different routines. There is something for everybody in its 45-song tracklist, one which offers a good amount of replayability. The Mojo coins (synced up with the Uplay system) accumulated from each performance also give the game some legs, allowing players to unlock avatars and other goodies.
As one of the best features from last year’s iteration, Just Dance World makes its return to Just Dance 2016. Proving that dancing is more fun with others, Just Dance World shares others’ highlights (called “Autodances”), routines, and more. There are also weekly tournaments, Community Remixes crafted by Ubisoft, and “Just Dance TV”. Everything is connected to your ID, allowing you to network with a universe of dancers. This may not be anything new, but it gives players a reason to keep coming back…at least until the next iteration comes out.
It’s just a shame that the game does not change up other aspects of its formula. Features like difficulty settings for songs or dance tutorials that break down routines (a la Dance Central) are still noticeably absent. While not a deal breaker, its one-size-fits-all approach to songs makes new routines an exercise in trial-and-error rather than a chance to be taught by a mentor. Other features, like the Smartphone-enabled dancing, are also limited to the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U versions.
This also ties into Just Dance 2016’s dance routines. Much like previous entries, the moves here will most certainly test your abilities – Dance Dance Revolution this is not. These skills, when done correctly, will greatly benefit your dancing game. Spins, hand and leg motions and more translate into a serious workout, one that looks excellent once you pull it off. Its choreography makes sense, and the time-tested gameplay works swimmingly with the Kinect – any mistake rests squarely on your shoulders. The same goes for its karaoke capabilities – while not as robust as Rock Band’s offerings, it is still a welcome addition that works as it should.
Just Dance 2016 has got its dancing game down to a science. It may not revolutionize the world of dancing as we know it, but it is the best iteration of the series thus far. Here’s to another year of hits.