FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Review: Get your groove on and exercise with Just Dance 2017
Fri, 11th Nov 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The Just Dance series has been going on since 2009 and the franchise is still going strong. This year sees the release of Just Dance 2017.  For Xbox and PlayStation gamers, historically the series has not been as accessible. This is because you needed additional accessories to play on it such as the Kinect, PlayStation Camera and/or PlayStation Move controllers.  In more recent iterations though, the series has been more accessible thanks to the addition of a smartphone app. The app is only around 70MB in size and connecting it to the game is relatively easy.  I haven't played Just Dance since the 2014 and 2015 versions came out. Back then, I only played with a PlayStation Move. Just Dance 2017 was easier to set up as using the smartphone is so much better.  The smartphone is not tied to where you are standing in the living room so it's easier for other people to join in. All you really have to do is wave your hands around and the game is able to detect your movements quite easily. If you have never played a Just Dance game before, the 2017 edition is not much different to the ones in the past. You are basically just copying what is shown on the screen and if you mimic the movements correctly, you will score better points. What I like about the series is that multiple songs have more than one dancer. You can replay some songs while doing different movements which adds to the replay value. It is also fun just trying to beat your high scores. Some dancing enthusiasts might find Just Dance 2017 (or the series in general) to be too simplistic. The game does not track movements done by the players' legs or even their left hand. All you have to do is wave around your right hand and that's how the points are scored. I still find it enjoyable since I cannot dance properly in real life. Playing Just Dance 2017 gave me a workout and it wasn't too strenuous on my body. It's more fun to play with friends and family as you can compete for high scores or even laugh at how uncoordinated they are...    Aside from just playing the playlist, there are other modes that have been included in Just Dance 2017. One of these modes is Dance Quests which acts like a career mode. You have to be in the top 3 in order to advance. It can be hard to complete if you are not skilled at dancing like me... Brand new to Just Dance 2017 is a mode called "Just Dance Machine". In this mode, you have to dance well in order to power up an alien ship. This mode is different from the rest of the game because you dance to generic non-licensed music. This includes doing air guitar during a rock instrumental to even shaking your booty to a created twerking song!  Just Dance games are fun, but the enjoyment mainly lies on the playlist. Musical tastes will vary from person-to-person, but Just Dance 2017's choice of music didn't appeal to me as much as previous years. I only knew a couple of songs included in the 44 tracks that are included.  The songs I knew were:  "Scream - Shout" by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears, "Into You" by Ariana Grande, "Cake by the Ocean" by DNCE, "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean, "Sorry" by Justin Bieber, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" by Beyoncé and "Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia.  Knowing only seven out of 44 tracks is not a good sign. I tried dancing to the other songs, but it's not as fun if you never heard of them before. Not to mention the other songs weren't even catchy. I kind of miss dancing to songs from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cryus... Thankfully, Just Dance 2017 does include a 90 day subscription to Just Dance Unlimited. This is a streaming service that allows you to dance to numerous other songs from the past games. Adding Just Dance Unlimited is pretty cool because you get more songs than what is included in the base game.  Anyway, Just Dance 2017 is still an enjoyable game that is fun for the whole family. It doesn't add too many new things, but your enjoyment is dependent on the playlist. You are better off buying an older version of the game if you are not into the new songs. Verdict: 7.5/10