Just Dance 2019 Review
It’s time to get Shaky Shaky and feel that Rhythm of the Night because this is Not Your Ordinary game, Sugar. Get ready to give some Mad Love to Ubisoft’s latest entry in their body shaking franchise, Just Dance 2019. Seriously, this Sweet Little Unforgettable Thing will make you scream OMG as you Bum Bum Tam Tam (don’t ask). Featuring 40 brand-new fully choreographed dance tracks that will set the floor on Fire. Join me as I Work Work my way through this game and Bang Bang Bang out a review, just for you!
Confession time. Just Dance 2019 is the first Just Dance game I’ve ever really played. I’ve tried previous dance games before, but only briefly – and usually under the influence of a rum and Coke. I was a bit reluctant to even try Just Dance 2019 – since I now own an Xbox One X, my Kinect is useless (why Microsoft can’t offer a simple cord – even for purchase – is beyond me). Fortunately, Ubisoft is one step ahead and they’ve developed a Just Dance cell phone app that connects via magic to my Xbox One X. While dancing, I hold my iPhone in my right hand and the game assesses my dancing based on movements from my hand. Obviously, I could probably just sit on the couch waving my hand around to rack up 5-Star efforts for each track – but watching countless episodes of So You Think You Can Dance has inspired me to get off my butt and move. The Just Dance app is a pretty decent solution and works relatively well, but it is hard to compare to something like the Kinect since I wasn’t able to try that option. I did find I’d accidentally hit my iPhone buttons from time to time which would cause the game to pause – frustrating, but it just forced me to be more conscious of how I held my iPhone. All in-game navigation can be handled via the Just Dance app as well, so once you’re in the game, there isn’t a need to switch between it and the controller.
Just Dance 2019 features a few different modes. There is a Kids mode that includes a collection of family-friendly dance tracks, mostly classic songs you’d sing in Kindergarten. The concept isn’t that bad of an idea – the choreography is far simpler making it more accessible to really young kids. However, my two kids – 4 and 7 – were not interested in this mode at all, they much preferred the more upbeat pop songs and bigger dance moves in the standard Just Dance mode. Within the Just Dance mode, there’s the option to turn “Sweat Mode” on, which calculates how much time you’ve been playing and calories you’ve been burning. For someone interested in incorporating Just Dance into their fitness regime, Sweat Mode is a welcome option.
No Need to Dance by Yourself
The game features two types of multiplayer modes. Local mode allows up to six people to compete by using their own cell phones (they’ll just need to download the app). Then there is the online mode, which is surprisingly fun. Within the online mode, you’ll be paired up with dozens of players from around the world (including players from other gaming platforms!). You’ll all be dancing to the same song and a live leaderboard keeps track of your ranking among the group as you play. It’s the perfect way to get competitive, without a lot of the trash talking you might find in other online games. Occasionally, the online mode will throw in a Boss Battle, where you’ll team up with all the other players and try to rack up enough stars to defeat the boss.
As mentioned, Just Dance 2019 features 40 songs covering a number of different eras and genres. It’s a nice mix, though admittedly, I hadn’t heard of most of the tracks before. Some of the tracks are newer, upbeat covers of the originals – which makes sense, as it keeps licensing fees low and allows more flexibility with the dancing component. I really don’t have any complaints with the selection of songs – and I loved the fact that the song’s lyrics also popped up on screen. With Just Dance 2019, I received a one month trial to Just Dance Unlimited – a collection of 400 additional tracks, I assume compiled from all the previous Just Dance games, all in one place. The annual subscription for this service is $32.99 (CDN), which isn’t that expensive, but a one-time fee would have been far better.
Just Dance 2019 retains the fun visual style developed in previous Just Dance games. On-screen dancers feature bright-white skin-tones adorned in colourful attire that makes everything pop. They look like dressed-up lightbulbs, and I love it. The backgrounds are fun and playful, but not so excessively animated that it distracts from the dancing. On the lower right-hand side of the screen, the dance moves scroll by – but you really just use them as cues, as you’ll need to also watch the on-screen dancers for the actual moves. I found the first couple times I’d dance to a song, it was an embarrassing mess of flailing limbs – but eventually, I’d recall the various moves and actually start to assemble something more than a drunk at a dance club.
Just Dance 2019 really doesn’t do much to separate itself from previous entries. While they’ve added a new “Kids” mode, it just seems like an unnecessary addition. The 40 new tracks are pretty good; I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Elton John’s I’m Still Standing, Britney Spears Work Work (a censored version of Work Bitch) and the cute Mi Mi Mi by Serebro. My kids absolutely loved this game. We’d take turns holding my iPhone, and when we weren’t in control, we’d support each other as backup dancers. It was a fun way to keep the whole family involved – heck, even my non-gaming wife joined us for a dance session. If you’ve played previous Just Dance games, you know exactly what you’re getting into and that will probably be enough to sway you one way or another. However, if you haven’t played Just Dance before and you’re are looking for something fresh to play – especially with a group of friends or the family – Just Dance 2019 is an excellent option.
***Just Dance 2019 key provided by publisher***
- Fun visuals
- Excellent multiplayer offerings
- Great selection of music
- Kids mode seems unnecessary
- Annual subscription fee for Just Dance Unlimited