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Just Dance - Nintendo Wii
Format: Video Game|Change
Price:$20.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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 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 November 19, 2011
I am amazed that no one has asked the obvious question: Why do the creators of this game want our kids--mostly our daughters--to listen to obscene lyrics? And if the songs are not outright obscene, they have thinly veiled innuendo.

Granted, it's not every song--but then again, I haven't looked at all the lyrics; so maybe some are OK. But on the whole--just do a search for the lyrics, you parents out there, for these songs:

Jerk it out, Caesars
Wanna be, Spice Girls
I like to move it, Reel to Real
Funplex, The B 52's

In addition to the songs, there's one more thing: the dance moves. I'd like to know who in their right mind thinks these are pure, wholesome, modest dance moves? I don't mean just the dance moves in regard to the offensive songs, I mean all the dance moves in these Just Dance games, whether the song is problematic or not. They are sensual moves, suited to young girls only if their parents want them to grow up to work at "gentlemen's" clubs.

Back to the songs. I know that many will say they just like the music. The trouble is, you still hear the words, even if you're not paying attention to them. Those words will still sit in your mind and imagination. Really, unless a person wants their kids to live like the way they sing in these songs, why would you buy this? Or rent it?

Or maybe people are so lost to decency, modesty, purity, that they just can't see the problems with these games, with the songs or the dance moves. Well, start reading the lyrics; start wondering what's going on in a world where these things are considered good, wholesome fun for kids. And don't be naive--it's perhaps instinct to think the best of something or someone, but let's be honest--if it sounds like innuendo, like it has a double meaning, it probably does. And if it doesn't--well, why take a chance with your kids? You can't go wrong by avoiding these dance games.

We shape our kids by the way we live, by what we allow them to do, by what we allow in our homes, and by whether or not we live our lives according to what is good and right.

One more comment. Don't fool yourself by thinking you'll "only let them listen to the OK songs." Kids are curious, and they will dance to all the rest of the songs when you're not around.

That's my two cents. It won't be popular, but someone had to say this.

It's been mentioned to me there is also the "Just Dance for Kids" version. In reply to that type of comment:
All the kids I know who play this game (any of the Just Dance games; I have not seen the one for kids; given what the others are like, I would want to check it out thoroughly first) are in the 11-14 year-old range. That's because my daughter is 12. But I can't see how this material is appropriate for anyone who is young enough to be living with their parents. In other words, I cannot fathom how any parent would let a minor child imbibe this stuff. So I suppose it depends on what you mean by "child." I don't mean only very little kids, but any kids of a minor age for whom one is responsible. Why let them take this stuff into their minds and hearts?

That being said, I would ask any adult who plays this as well--"why on earth do you want to listen to this stuff?" It's like our world has become one vast sewer--making impurity and immodesty look like a wonderful thing, and saying it's OK to look at women like objects. So many of these songs are about that (and like I said, the dance moves are a lesson on how to dance in a sensual way). I think we all need to ask some serious questions. What are these songs about? Why do I listen to them? Are they helping me be a better person?

Addendum 2:
To comments that claim I should not "preach" to adults or speak from a "pulpit":
Parents need to know what they're getting with this game. It has nothing to do with a pulpit--it has to do with facts. And there are no other reviews that speak to the content of these games. As a parent, this is the kind of review I look for. But yes, I do wonder--and I think we need to ask--why we, as adults, would ourselves listen to this garbage? And we do have a responsibility, even without kids, in what we do, how we act, what we buy, and what we say is good. When buying a product like Just Dance, we, as adults, contribute to an atmosphere, a culture, that says we agree that this kind of stuff is good for kids ages 10 +, and good in general. All of this has a bearing on this product, whether or not we purchase it, and whether or not companies keep making this stuff.
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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 18, 2017
I read the reviews of people who said they hated this game, while others said they loved it. I did read a few reviews that said if you tried the newer games first, that you'd hate the older/original ones. So I searched around and found the first 4 for super cheap via Warehouse Deals and bought them all. I actually like it. Some of the songs I'd never heard of, but most of them I had heard of before. One of the main issues I read in the reviews about was about the scoring, and how the game doesn't register your movement very well, if at all. Luckily for me, I don't care about that kind of thing for the most part. My scores were horrible and I thought I was doing a pretty good job of replicating the dancers moves on some of the songs. Then my four year old son wanted to play, so I set up a remote for him. There he was, jumping around and not even looking at the TV at the dance moves and he was getting a better score than me. I had to laugh and roll my eyes at that. So if you're all about scoring, and perfection with the moves, this game definitely is not for you. I like it because it's so much fun, that I didn't even realize how much exercise I was actually getting while doing it. That's the kind of exercise I need in my life, for sure! After a couple of times, our son was over it, since he's not really old enough, but I really liked it, and so did my fiancé.
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on January 27, 2010
I was thrilled to find this game sitting on my doorstep when I arrived home from work. Anxious to see what it was like, I popped it in. I couldn't stop laughing at myself! I tried all the short games and worked up a bit of a sweat. Then I made dinner and wanted to play again so much that I didn't finish and started doing the full version of each song! Wanted to play all night! This is a nice little workout to boot! The only downfall is that there aren't many songs! Hopefully they will come up with a Just Dance 2?! The nice thing is there are four ways to play (short game, long game, 7 Lives where each time you miss a move you lose a life and then there is a "red light - green light" version - I think that's right!). You can let the game choose songs, you choose, play alone, play with friends but each will need a remote! Oh! Another bummer, sometimes when you are really nailing the moves it gives you a "Miss"...not cool! This is so much fun you'll want to invite friends to dress in costume (related to dance eras of course!) and have a Just Dance party! Seriously! You'll love it! And you'll laugh! And with this economy we could all use a laugh!
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on February 18, 2010
I bought this to have another option for my kids to burn some energy on those days we are stuck indoors due to the weather.

I never expected to enjoy it just as much as my 6 year old does.

The song list is varied enough that she knows quite a few of the songs which drew her in at the beginning. She often requests the 'move it move it' song because she knows it from Madagascar but has gotten into some of the others as well.

The scoring is a little screwy but as long as your purpose is having fun & not competing it matters little. However, I do feel that if they are going to have a scoring option that they need to work on making it more accurate. Why offer it if it isn't going to work very well?

The reason for 4 stars is the scoring & only having 30 songs, which is not enough. I wish they would at least offer an option (like Rock Band) where you could upload more.

I think it will take a while for this to get old, and I bet by then they will have come out with a new version which I'll probably be buying as well.
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on July 24, 2011
We're always on the look out for fun family games, as well as finding something to keep us active during cold weather months. This fits the bill, and we'll be purchasing the other editions soon.

Both of our children, including the teenager, get a kick out of seeing Mom & Dad bust a move...so long as we don't do it in front of their friends.

A side benefit has been what a good party game this has turned into, the only caution being make sure you have enough room for all participants to dance. We had a couple of friends get too enthusiastic and knock each other over. No injuries though, so all was well.

This was more exercise than I thought it was going to be as well...which is very much a positive.
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on January 20, 2011
I played Just Dance 2 over the holidays & expected to dislike it...I LOVED IT! I came home & bought JD1 & JD2 instantly. I was getting great scores on JD2 the first time I played, but JD1 is incredibly frustrating to play alone because as everyone else says, it just does not score and detect the moves properly. I tried changing batteries, holding the remote different ways, switching remotes, even switching to a different sensor...and nothing helped! As a group when you are all being judged incorrectly, it will be fun, but if you are going to be playing alone at all, get JD2. It has better songs & much better detection of your dancing!!
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on January 23, 2010
There are complaints the game does not respond correctly to your moves but WHO CARES? this game is a lot of fun. I first did the songs I knew then went to songs I didnt know and some of those I ended up doing the best at or ended up liking the song anyway and were fun to dance to.
Game is fun and you get some exercise....some songs are more active than others.
I had not even heard of this game till my friends mentioned it after playing at someone else's house so I ordered it from Amazon cheaper than it was in the stores. I played it at their house and loved it so much I ordered a copy of my own right then and there (at an even LOWER price)
All you need is the regular wii mote. You do not need the nunchuck or dance pad or anything else.
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