black_rose's Just Dance 2 (Wii) review

Just Dance 2 is a fun, accessible and hilarious game

Just Dance 2 had me from the moment I started playing the first song, which if I remember correctly was A-Punk by Vampire Weekend, one of my favorites. And that’s a lot to say considering I was expecting this to be complete garbage and something I got to keep my girlfriend and friends entertained during parties with its gimmicks. Who would’ve thought this would be one of the most fun rhythm games I’ve played and a must for parties?

The whole point of Just Dance 2 is to lose your inhibitions; it’s all about looking silly while recreating the moves seen on the screen. The Wiimote is held in the right hand and used to perform the moves. Why isn’t the balance board used is beyond me but that’s not a big deal considering I don’t have one and the motion controls are pretty accurate even without motion plus.

The most surprising thing of all is that performing the moves with just the remote doesn’t feel random at all, there’s always some level of technique required to nail the moves. Screwing up will result in no points and waving the control around randomly isn’t going to cut it, you have to do the exact moves or you’re just going to flat out fail. Another interesting thing is that real life dancing skills will translate into the game, for example I have a friend who is a pretty great dancer and was able to pretty much nail every move and perform from head to toe almost exactly like the dancers on the screen, the difference in the score was notable.

The song list is also fantastic and diverse. There are many genres and styles covered in this 40 song list. From 80s classics such as The Bangles’ Walk Like an Egyptian and Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go , international tunes from India and Africa, old school classics like Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas and Harry Belafonte’s Jump in the Line and more recent hits such as Outkast’s Hey Yah and Rihanna’s S.O.S. The variety of songs is impressive and while there are a few turn-offs, for the most part there are more hits than misses.

Graphically, Just Dance 2 is a great looking game. The neon-looking dancers and song specific outfits and backgrounds all look fantastic. It’s a nice touch that both the choreography and background match the style of the song, for example there’s a desert and pyramids in the Walk like an Egyptian stage, the dancers have mullets and short shorts in Wake Me up Before You Go-Go and Kris Kross’ Jump has a ghetto-looking background and the lyrics will appear in graffiti during the song. Though it’s lacking a bit on the menu presentation and design, Just Dance 2 is an overall great looking game.

The choreography is also excellent and more often than not, hilarious to perform and see your friend performs. Duets, which feature two dancers to follow, are probably the funniest part as both dancers have unique choreography and will have you striking hilarious poses. The only downside to the choreography is that it requires plenty of space to perform, especially duets as spins and crossovers are usually part of the routine.

The game itself lacks depth but that’s not really important and the lack of a single player career mode doesn’t hurt Just Dance 2 because playing alone is not the point of the game, it’s all about playing with friends and it works wonderfully well at providing a fun, accessible and hilarious experience. As far as “casual” Wii games go, Just Dance 2 is one of the best.

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