The Holiday time of year is approaching, which certainly means the next year of Just Dance is here! Just Dance is back in 2017 — including a best-in-class World Dance Floor mode. As always, Just Dance 2017 comes packed with over-the-top visuals, neon lights, crazy game modes and an emphasis on moving and having fun over perfection.
Like last year, up to four players are able to groove to their favorite yearly hits, mirroring neon dancers who demonstrate moves on-screen. Tracking can be done via Kinect, Wiimote, PlayStation Camera or a smartphone app available on all major phone types. Peripheral tracking is the same as ever, so no matter your choice, make sure you’ve got some space and decent lighting. Remember, the core of Just Dance 2017 is getting up off the couch and getting some exercise and there are some new dance moves in Just Dance 2017 to keep you occupied. Some of them are easy to pick up and others are much more difficult all while playing through all 40 on-disc tracks.
Just Dance Classic is the the traditional mode where you select a song and play through it mimicing the movement of the dancer and earning points. Just Dance Machine is a rather unique mode where you’ll dance like crazy to make sure aliens can harness your “dance energy” to make their way back home. Just dance your heart out to fuel their ship. World Dance Floor is a mode where the game turns into a dance party. This mode allows you to dance with dozens of people at the same time from around the world and let loose. Just Dance TV allows you to watch clips that other players have shared online. Lots of them are hilarious as you can imagine, but some are insanely memorable for being as close to professional as possible. Dance Quest is the campaign mode of the game. This mode adds more depth to the game instead of playing the same songs over and over- and more objectives are added as you complete tracks. Sweat Playlist is a mode that holds true to the name. More physical routines and a calorie counter will definitely have you coming back if you so happen to just skip the gym that day. Video challenges can be best described as a duel between two players. You can challenge people and try to beat their score, but as a terrible dancer, I was getting destroyed fairly easy.
If you’re on PS4 or Xbox One and have access to the camera for that console, I’d suggest sticking to that method of tracking. For one, you’re not going to have to keep your phone in your hand – I imagine the Wiimote has wrist straps for a reason. The combination of a Playstation Eye camera and a few move controllers worked for me. Tracking was more accurate, and it’s more fun to see yourself as well. So if you have them, use them! Second, your phone’s screen stays powered on while you’re being tracked, also sending sound effects through your speakers when you do well. It’s a neat little experience, but it really just means your smartphone battery is going to take a hit if you plan on playing for awhile. The app worked perfectly thought! Still, slight issues aside, multiple methods of tracking mean you can dance no matter what your setup is. The only issue with using a camera is that you’ll still need a controller nearby to progress through Just Dance 2017‘s many menus.
With core game play that’s as familiar as ever, the soundtrack has to be a big draw. Just Dance 2017 emphasizes recent hits, with very few classics included. One exception is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”, and everything else that is pre-2000 uses a cover band version – which is a real shame. “Last Christmas” should have been done by Wham, not the Santa Clones – and Ultraclub 90 and the Equinox Stars aren’t Haddaway and Earth, Wind and Fire. If you’re interested in the classics, then this probably isn’t the compilation for you. If you’re more into present day hits, then you’ll be happy to know that there’s a good amount of songs from 2015 and 2016 present, as those two years make up about two thirds of the tracklist.
Just Dance Unlimited, a subscription streaming service that’s best described as Spotify for Just Dance, continues to appear since it’s introduction in 2015. This time around, you seem to get three free months without the need for a secondary code, so at least you get a bunch of songs for a short period of time without dropping any cash or having to put in effort in-game.
* Review copy provided by the development team or publisher