Just Dance 3

jd3boxart
6.5 Overall Score

Great song selection for all ages

Super sensitive menu that picks up even the slightest body movements.

Written by on November 22, 2011 in [, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ]

The pizza has been ordered, the soda has been chilled, and you are trying to decide what you are going to put into your Xbox 360 to play in order to get your groove on tonight.  Ubisoft’s Just Dance 3, is a sure fire way to get your feet tapping and your hips swinging.  Not only that but you will be singing along with the words as they scroll along up the screen as you watch your friends dance to the song.  This version of the Just Dance family has found itself to the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Kinect sensor as well as the Wii and PS3.  Now you are able to track your body and not just your arm movements.

As the Just Dance games began out on the Wii, most people are used to the movements being arm-centric. The first thing that you need to realize is that this is not a simple port from the Wii to the Xbox 360. What they have done is take the Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness engine and then they started to build the game for the Xbox 360.  It is true that if you play on easy that you are able to move only your arms and get a 5 star rating on the song, which makes it feel as if you are cheating on the game.  However, as soon as you bump up the difficulty you are forced to move along with the character on the screen.  Even with this new engine running the game feels as if there are many things lacking.  The Kincect sensor does not track every part of the body.  In fact, the only glowing part of the body seen on screen is the right hand; leading one to believe that this is all that you need to move.  Therefore, it is very easy to cheat the system to thinking that you are doing all of the other movements, if you are able to figure out where your right hand needs to be at any given moment.

When it is time to start dancing get ready.  There is no prep time, the dance movements are just thrown at you at the bottom of the screen and you learn them through trial and error. They will come across in a chunk of movements, three or four at a time, and it is expected that you will just understand how to do them. This can cause some confusion and frustration.  There is no way to slow down the movements nor is there a place to learn the movements.  It would appear that it is just a have struggle while learning the dance or have fun trying.  As you are playing the different songs, it may be more fun to have a friend play with you so at least you are able to laugh while learning the motions.

While some of the songs are able to be played singularly, many can be danced by more than one person.  If you want to dance them by yourself you stand in front of that character and it will track you.  The other characters will dance their own routines.  At the same time, this can cause a bit of confusion however as long as you remember which color your character is you should be okay. The color of your character is the same as the color of star tracking at the top of the screen. If more than one person is going to dance, make sure that you start off in a staggered pattern otherwise Kinect may have a problem tracking everyone due to space.  The game does remind you of this and it does work best this way.

The song selection in Just Dance 3 ranges from the typical teeny bopper “Lollipop” by Mika to the ’80 sound of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Bangles to the just bizarre of “This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman.  The music and dance style really seems to reach out to the tween and teen age group of the population.  With the backgrounds flashing bright colors at you and each song having something in the background that is unique to it, this brings in a fun element.  With the lyrics on left hand side so you can dance and sing at the same time, the karaoke element is also in the game.  If you are able to get at least 10,000 points in the song, you will start collecting stars.

These stars are then turned into Mojo points.  The more Mojo that you collect, the more special areas are unlocked for you within the game.  One of the first things that will be unlocked for you is the game Simon Says.  Within this game, you are able to play any of the songs on the disc, but you must keep your eye on the left hand side and perform special movements within the song.  It is a great party game that will keep you laughing.  The other areas that you unlock are mash ups of the songs available on the disc that take dance moves from other songs and cause hilarity to ensue.

Another area of the game that is unlocked from the very beginning is the Sweat mode.  As soon as you enter into this area, you are able to choose the type of music that you would like to work out to.  If you have no preference whatsoever, place it on random rotation and the game will put the songs on for you.  While this seems like a fantastic concept, it does not work as well as it sounds.  Sure you are able to get somewhat of a workout but there is a load screen between each song, as well as needing to swipe through the end of each song to get to the next.  Not only that, there is no way to know how many calories you are burning during your work out.  Instead, you are collecting sweat points to get achievements; while these are nice to have, calories burned is much more necessary during a workout.

Overall, it is not a terrible game but it does have flaws that are a bit of a detriment to the game.  When it is only appears to be tracking one body part the entire time and you want to get up and learn new dance moves, it is a disappointment. When you play the game for over an hour and a half, and don’t once break a sweat that cannot be a good thing.   Also the menu area is extremely sensitive.  At times, simply walking by the screen would cause it to launch into a song. You do want to see it being responsive to the movements that you are making in front of the Kinect but to have it that sensitive seems ridiculous.  Even with some of these problems, this game does make for a great party game when you are having your tween or teenage children’s friends over, or even when you are having a huge group of people over and you are not sure what you want to but you know you would love to have some fun Youtube videos of your friends dancing to LMFAO’s “Party Rock.”

A copy of Just Dance 3 was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Kelly Brown View all posts by

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