Most helpful positive review
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Ubisoft manages to straddle the fence quite well
on November 22, 2011
As a parent and Vine reviewer, I popped it in alone and navigated through the menus. An eyebrow did shoot up...given the diverse nature of the songs (all kid-friendly mind you), ranging from The Wiggles, to Yo Gabba Gabba, to older fare provided in the form "Just The Way You Are" (Bruno Mars), what did Ubisoft intend to do with a Just Dance Kids 2 title? Were they trying to straddle age groups and make it work?
With something as nebulous as the word "kids", I wondered exactly how Ubisoft was going to handle a target demographic of, say, a 5-year old and a 10-year old in the same room. However, Ubisoft manages to do exactly that.
As soon as my daughter (who is 8) entered the room along with a younger friend (6) and another older friend (10), I let them have at it, intending to review this product through THEIR perception, not mine. Here, we're able to find a game that a group of kids aged 6-10 can play together with and are eager to get a turn at it. I have 2 Move controllers (only 1 Move controller and Eye is required as a minimum), although the game will support up to 4 players simultaneously; if you have 4 Move controllers, I hope you have a wide area to play in! "Fun!" "Awesome!" "This is so cool!" are what I can relay from the kids. However, the 10-year old might be stretching the song choice a little bit hard; I'd say that kids 9 and younger are an extremely safe bet. Older than that and you risk the possibility of success to bomb in a heartbeat with the included playlist; I'm sure that you'll know your children well enough to make an informed decision. Like Christmas, the kids ripped through the various menus and tried to uncover whatever they could.
The menu system is relatively easy to get through and the kids managed to seem to get through the menus quite well with no input from me. You can string together songs if you want to, play them individually, start an endless shuffle, etc. It's not terribly heavy in the customizable department, but I think that's a good thing. The kids thought the menus were easy to get through and relayed as much. While all songs can be selected by default, filters exist for younger/older kids as well as easy/hard songs to dance to. You can turn lyrics (subtitled on the left-hand side) for the songs on/off. This more advanced customization is not as bold as other menu selections, reducing the apparent importance of those choices to kids but leaving it up to adults to filter as needed. Beyond that, however, it doesn't have too many frills. But, despite the lack of frills, the kids keep coming back to play it some more.
Controls are pretty tight; Move controllers are well-integrated to the live action kids dancing in front of whimsical backgrounds. Songs sound pretty good, too; however, just to warn you, not all songs are sung by the original artists. Some are and some aren't for reasons that elude me. However, the kids don't care and that's ultimately what the game is all about!
As a parent, the playlist does suffer from some unusual eclectic taste. "Barbara Ann" and "Shake Your Grove Thing" will sound like an era away for today's kids and, although they like it, they won't get the same smiles of recognition that parents will give. Take a look at the overall song list if you'd like, but I'm willing to bet that parental perception of the song choices will be completely contrary to what the kids ultimately enjoy. Ubisoft has done a remarkable job here.
I only wish that "Dance" gaming titles would learn their lesson from Activision's mistake in the Guitar Hero series and make it easier to just simply download titles rather than machine-gunning us with additional discs. One could say that there is hardly the space, but given the AVCHD (video) compression out there these days, one could easily make a single using about 100 MB of memory which on a hard-drive enabled PS3 is hardly a taxing amount at all!
I'd highly recommend this game for kids aged 5-10. It sounds/looks great, the menus require minimal parental input, and the kids are getting a workout by having fun. I'd give it a solid 4.5/5 (rounded to 5). Enjoy!