Customer Reviews: Just Dance - Nintendo Wii
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on January 12, 2010
I admit, I wasn't expecting much when I first heard about Just Dance a few months ago. I figured it'd be just like another one of those games like Dancing with the Stars and High School Musical where you see characters on screen dancing, but all you're doing is waving your remote to match the visual cues on the screen. Ho Hum.

The first thing that struck me when I popped the game into the Wii was that these were fun songs from every era. They're all family-friendly, and there's something in the track list for everyone, from baby boomers to Gen X'ers to Gen Y'ers. Here's the entire track list. Most of the songs are not covers, but original tracks from the original singers.

Girl Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix) - Elvis vs. JXL
Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
Heart of Glass - Blondie
Womanizer - The Gym All-Stars
Groove Is in the Heart - Deee-Lite
Jerk It Out - Caesars
I Live to Move It (Radio Mix) - Reel 2 Real feat. The Mad Stuntman
Not N Cold (Chick Version) - Katy Perry
Mashed Potato Time - Dee Dee Sharp
Girls and Boys - Blur
Fame - In the style of Irene Cara
Lump - The Presidents of the United States of America
Kids in America - Kim Wilde
Pump Up the Jam - Technotronic
I Get Around - The Beach Boys
Le Freak - Chic
That's the Way (I Like It) - KC and the Sunshine Band
Louie Louie - Iggy Pop
Funplex (CSS Remix) - The B-52s
Jin Go Lo Ba - Fatboy Slim
DARE - Gorillaz
Bebe - Divine Brown
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Can't Get You Out of My Head - Kylie Minogue
Acceptable in the 80s - Calvin Harris
Who Let the Dogs Out - Baha Men
Wanna Be - Spice Girls
Step By Step - New Kids on the Block
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer

The second thing that impressed me was that this game features actual dance moves to the songs. In other words, not only are you playing the game, you're learning actual dance steps. You'll learn the "Mashed Potato" that was all the rage in the 1960's to Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time". You'll learn the best disco moves of the 70's with songs like "That's the Way I Like It". And my personal dream come true--you can dance like MC Hammer with "U Can't Touch This".

For the controller, they went for a decidedly simpler approach, and they hit a home run. For using one Wii remote, the controls are remarkably accurate as far as detecting whether you're dancing correctly or not. For each move, you'll be given a grade of "Great", "Okay" and "X". Now, I won't lie and say the controls are the most precise in the world. There'll be plenty of times you'll be doing the moves precisely, but the Wii will tell you you're not. But where this game triumphs is that even though the controls may be off, the game is so fun that you really don't care.

And you also find that the more you practice the moves and "feel the music", the better your scores become. If you've gotten to the point where you've memorized the dance and are just doing the moves to the music, your score will be great.

The game is simple. You choose a song, and then after a countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, you'll see a silhouetted character on your screen doing the dance moves. The character is generally dressed appropriately for the song: a disco dude will lead you through "That's the Way I Like It", a cowgirl will do a two-step to "Cotton Eye Joe", and a dog (yes, a dog) will dance to "Who Let the Dogs Out". You basically just have to do the mirror image of the character's moves.

They also have multiplayer games. In the first game (Challenge), you can basically have a dance-off between you and up to three other friends to see who'll get the high score. Again, you don't mind in this case if the controls are not completely precise because you're all on the same playing field. In the second game (Strike a Pose), it's like a game of Red Light / Green Light where you have to freeze in your tracks when the music stops. The third game (Last one standing) is an elimination game where the person who makes the least mistakes wins the game.

As fpr the exercise value, with virtually every song, I ended it panting because I was out of breath, and even though I was out of breath I wanted to try it again and again until I got it right. To me, that's the sign of a great exercise game.
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on December 10, 2009
Bought this game for the kids based on the commercial showing all the activity and the songs. Told my wife we had to try it out first and she balked because it was late, after the kids were in bed. I nagged she gave in I lasted 3 songs she danced every song until 2 in the morning. She had so much fun the game never made it under the Xmas tree. The next day the whole family had a blast. That night friends came over and danced for 3 hours. I'm taking it to the company Xmas party.

Pros - It's fun, fun, fun. The best family or group game since Wii Sport Bowling. It doesn't take a huge amount of skill or even rhythm. It's for the very young, anyone who can get up and boogie or simply the young at heart. If you try to play the game as intended you will get one heck of a total aerobic workout especially the smile muscles.

Cons - Primarily it's just that there is only 30 songs and surprisingly it's not enough, the developers should or had to have known they needed more (so that's the 1 star deduction.) It isn't for hard core gamers who are driven to be able to conquer a stage, solve a puzzle, revel in a high score or master a total game. They simply won't get it at all. The scoring is not spot on for the competition minded. I imagine if you wanted to cheat and just move the wiimote you could bypass the fun all together. May be to much exercise for those with physical impairments.
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on December 20, 2009
While the game play mimics Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution style games, one thing sets this game apart: if you're not good at matching the dance moves, the song (and the game) keep going. You don't get interrupted, or have the song get cut short because you miss a certain number of moves.

What that means to players: you can play any of the songs, regardless of difficulty or effort rating, and make it through the entire song. You also get to choose abbreviated or full-length versions of the song.

While other games claim to be great at giving you a cardiac workout, this will *really does*. Songs are rated on difficulty and effort. Difficulty relates to the complexity of the dance moves, while effort is how fast you'll be moving. There is a nice combination of songs with low difficulty/high effort, and vice-versa.

Also you have up to 4 players at a time, and anyone can join the song mid-stream.
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on November 28, 2009
I'll admit: this game may not be for everyone. You can't be shy. You have to let it all out and not care who's watching (or you won't score points!) But for the goofball dancers out there who loved doing the "Whop", "Running man", "Monkey", "Disco Hustle" back in the day, you're gonna have a BLAST! You have a choice between short or regular versions for real workout! It may not score accurately- but really, if you're looking to score points; you're playing the wrong game.
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I'm overweight and scared of dance pads (would I break one?) ...I hate stepping on the balance board to be weighed...this game doesn't have any of that. You just need the controller. It's really simple, and has some good songs from various times - there's a few oldies, some good 80s and 90s dance tracks, and a recent Britany Spears song. That said, I wish there were more music- twice this would have got it 5 stars.
My 14 yo son doesn't get it. At all. There's no one to shoot. The actual competitive aspect just is missing. While that causes him to miss the point entirely, I'm really glad for something fun on the wii that is straightfoward, good exercise, and a joy to do.
I always liked to dance but I've got a foot injury that restricts me. You really DO NOT have to move your feet all that much to do this if you don't want to, or can't. You get out of it what you are able to put into it. That's nice. :)
I've not experienced any freezing.
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on January 12, 2010
I love this game. It is so much fun. My son and I have danced around the living room since we've had it. I bought this game to secretly get my son to do some exercise. It is very cold this winter and my son doesn't get out as much. He doesn't realize it though because he is having so much fun. I love it myself because it allows me to dance and do some cardio as well -- although after 5 songs it is so exhausting. I don't care though because you don't want to stop dancing. I highly recommend this game.
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on December 18, 2009
I plugged this into the wii to check it out and about 10 minutes later I was out of breath...but I kept going because it was so fun. Then I challenged the spouse and we both danced for at least another 30 mins. I didn't realize how much time had gone by because we were having so much fun trying to beat each other! I' totally cheese and the graphics are not very good...but who cares - it's a great workout without even thinking about exercising! I love it!
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The Wii Gaming System is a perfect alternative for rainy day exercise and sports simulation. When I saw "Just Dance" offered by UBI, I excitedly envisioned myself moving and grooving to a wide spectrum of music that would provide me with an alternative exercise option. Unfortunately, after playing this game for over an hour, I found that the limited playlist cut the action for me.

Instead of moving from song to song, I found myself surfing for something that moved me to dance. A more complete dance game that would appeal to all ages should include at least 7 or 8 songs from decades spanning the 50s through 2010. The thirty-two songs offered here are just not enough.

In addition a tutorial of sorts should be included so that participants can monitor their use of the Wiimote and see how the points will be scored. Other Wii games include some instruction when the gamer consistently moves incorrectly. The creators of 'Just Dance' assume that participants will just dance and not worry about the scoring. However, for the most part, as the choreography is repetitive and not that difficult to master, the inefficient way that the controller monitors the participant's dance moves is most evident. While dancing, the next moves are shown in stick figure format in a sequence on the bottom of the screen. As the participant dances, his/her moves are scored with either a psychedelic "Great", "OK" or "Miss" and points are garnered at the top left hand of the screen. Even when getting the moves down expertly, the monitor still misses the beat and the dancer frustratingly finds that he/she 'misses' more times than expected.

The idea of the game is to follow the dance steps and body movements of a song-appropriately dressed avatar. After the first two or three songs, I found myself wishing there was more of a selection and that the selection was ranked based on tempo rather than difficulty and effort level. Songs should also be cross-referenced by decade so that if a participant wishes to dance to the beat of the 70s, he/she should be able to tune into an immediate 70s playlist.

I would imagine that this game can be fun for more than one participant, but as I am a solitary exerciser, I can only make comments based on what I have experienced. However, any of the suggestions that I have made above would also make this game better for more than one participant also.

Bottom line? For the most part, "Just Dance" disappoints. The scoring does not work well and the playlist needs more than double what is already offered with cross-referencing that will allow gamers to solely dance to a particular decades music. For those who want to use this game as an exercise alternative, look elsewhere. A shuffle playlist option should be included to increase the tempo to facilitate warm-up, heart-rate and cool-down sessions. Also a tutorial should be included to instruct the user as to how the Wiimote is used with scoring. Not recommended for exercise, but might be fun for a younger age group in birthday party mode.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
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on December 31, 2009
My family and I love this game. We already have the Dance Dance Revolution game, but with only one dance pad. This game makes it possible for four of us to dance at the same time, which is an incredible amount of fun. I feel like I'm getting a great workout, and it does not require any additional hardware to play, which is a great thing. I would like to see more games like this with more songs, but until then, we'll just have to keep dancing to the same ones over and over.
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on December 15, 2009
This is the best exercise video I ever bought! I know! I know! It's a video game! But I still consider this as an exercise video. Actually, better than a regular dance aerobics video because this one actually tells you if you're doing the movements correctly. Whenever I'm doing it, I feel like I have my very own dance aerobics coach!!!
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