At PAX Australia, I had to opportunity to try out Just Dance 17, the latest instalment in the Just Dance series. When I say opportunity, I really mean that I went to seek out these booths so I could play the game.
Standing up there against three others, two of whom were Just Dance representatives because nobody else had the balls to get up there, we shook and shimmied to Justin Bieber’s smash hit ‘Sorry.’ Following the prompts on the bottom of the screen, we were made to drop, twirl, slide and glide. It’s straight forward and easy once you remember the order of the dance moves, as most songs usually have three to four sets of moves that repeat as the song goes on.The dance moves themselves aren’t particularly hard or intricate, but to score the points, you have to have perfect timing. I played on the Wii U version and found the response and tracking of my moves to be very accurate.
I then made my way through to the second Just Dance exhibit just to play again, and this time it was a 2 v 2 battle round to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.” Just Dance 17 offers four modes of dance to play in: Single, Duo, Trio and Quadruple, for up to four players. It’s the perfect party game, really.
The visuals are great, providing a bright and whimsical backdrop that doesn’t distract you from your mission, and it really propels the game onto another level of engagement.
Some songs take the dance moves right out of the video clip, for example, Fifth Harmony’s hit ‘Worth It’ has various dance moves lifted right out of the official choreography performed by the band. Personally, this was a huge advantage for me as I was familiar with the dance moves prior to playing this level.The song list consists of 41 songs, taken from hits of today and the past. You’ll find a mixture of songs from DNCE’s 2015 hit “Cake By The Ocean”, to Queen’s classic “Don’t Stop Me Now.” You can also find hits from Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, PSY, and Sia to name a few.
A great thing about Just Dance 17 is that it comes with a 90 day pass to Just Dance Gold, a subscription to Just Dance Unlimited, which gives you access to every song in Just Dance history as well as a selection of songs only available through this service. You can renew this after your free period is up.
I then had the chance to play this at home on PS4, but because I don’t have the PlayStation Camera, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to play. Luckily, Ubisoft has created an accompanying free iPhone app that lets you use your phone as the controller when you play Just Dance 17! Connecting via the same Wi-Fi network, you can navigate the menu with your iPhone and then use it as the controller while you dance.
There are over 230 unlockable avatars that you obtain after every song you play, which adds for a nice touch for those who enjoy being rewarded for their hard efforts. The score you earn also gives you some coins to purchase unlockable songs. I’ve yet to delve deeper into the game, but the replay level is high as I constantly aim to hit five stars and unlock all the trophies.
My highest score so far is 9,800 on Selena Gomez’ “Love You Like A Love Song.”
Parents who complain that children spend too much time playing video games and not getting exercise will regret ever saying that if they purchase this game. You will be most definitely be sweating by the end of it. Just Dance 2016 is fun for the whole family, and I’d highly recommend it.
The PS4 version of this game was primarily used for the purpose of this review.