(Wii)

Just Dance 3 (Wii)

Game Review

Just Dance 3 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

It's evolution, baby

The world is not lacking in Just Dance games. Since that original perfect storm of pop style, goofy fun and lack of inhibition crashed the Wii party near the tail end of 2009, Ubisoft's dance factory has put out an additional eight releases of varying quality in a short two years. It would thus be easy to dismiss Just Dance 3 based on franchise fatigue alone, although doing so would rob you of the ridiculously good time of what just may be Wii's best party game yet.

That may sound like faint praise on a platform drowning in the darn things — like calling it the least bruised dead horse in the cemetery — but the third main entry expands upon the commercially smashing formula in energetic new ways while tightening up the somewhat modular get-up of previous titles. It's a game less concerned with reinventing the dancing game wheel than it is with making the most perfectly rounded wheel on the platform.

There is, of course, plenty of "more" here for the game to earn its digit uptick. Sporting a larger and sufficiently diverse track list ranging from Daft Punk to The Nightmare Before Christmas means that virtually anyone will be able to find at least a few pleasures, guilty or otherwise, and if Just Dance 2 is any indication then Ubisoft will keep the online store stocked with a steady trickle of new tracks — with individual tracks costing 50 Wii Points less than before, although Just Dance 2 downloads are unfortunately not playable on the new dance floor. Handy new playlists by genre and style cut out the simple slog of song selection for times when you don't really care about which 80's jam you jiggle to; and Medleys are one-upped by Dance Mash-Ups that provide smoother transitions between different styles, which makes medleys feel downright disjointed by comparison.

These additions are all well and good, but where Just Dance 3 shines is in how well everything ties together. Artificial walls between modes have been knocked over to give unity to the package or to simply make things easier to do. Last time around, exercise mode Just Sweat was relegated to playing in that particular mode and wound up as a novel but inelegant way of tracking Sweat Point goals and progress. It was a downright silly restriction that kept the mode on its own island, now bridged by allowing you to accrue Sweat Points at any time so long as your profile is loaded.

Regardless of profile, though, earning stars by dancing unlocks "gifts" of additional songs, modes, medleys and mash-ups. You can't choose what you would like to unlock and when, but the increasing amount of stars required to unlock the 20+ gifts implies that these are just extras to be enjoyed every so often and encourage play over a longer period of time. Same goes for the achievement-like medals and the titles awarded after each song: anyone can earn them and they're designed for the long-term, keeping things a bit more interesting for frequent players and give more goals to solo players.

Speaking of which, Just Dance's goal has never been to teach you how to dance like Harmonix's Dance Central on Kinect — nor is it concerned with pinpoint motion accuracy, as evidenced by the good-enough detection — but instead to napalm inhibitions to clear the way for good times with friends. Few games feel as kinetic as Just Dance's unbridled joyful energy, and the series' signature neon flare and carefree style is out in full force. Routines strike that same balance between exuberance and challenge, incorporating more interaction between the on-screen dancers and their crazy environment. And for maximum goof, the duet concept has been expanded to encompass a number of numbers with four choreographies to give everyone in your kick line their own unique role, lending a sense of cooperation among players that isn't present when everyone does the same routine.

Conclusion

There may be no lack of dance games on shelves but there has yet to be one as polished, approachable and with such joie de vivre as Just Dance 3. Those who have previously checked their inhibitions with the coats to be sucked in by the franchise's plucky, happy-go-lucky attitude will find a delightful reason to return to the floor, and for non-believers Just Dance 3 just may be the perfect place to start.

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User Comments (33)

Chrono_Cross

#1

Chrono_Cross said:

I actually enjoyed the second one a lot. I found it to be great at friend's houses and I'm sure it would be even funner at parties. Definitely checking this one out as soon as possible.

Mahe

#2

Mahe said:

Out of interest... what are the other 8 games?

Just Dance was good, Just Dance 2 was great, hopefully this will be fantastic.

JonWahlgrenAdmin

#3

JonWahlgren said:

1. Just Dance
2. Dance on Broadway
3. Gold's Gym Dance Workout
4. Just Dance 2
5. Just Dance Kids
6. Michael Jackson: The Experience
7. The Smurfs Dance Party
8. Just Dance Summer Party

Then there's of course Just Dance 3, and in the next few months we've got Just Dance Kids 2, ABBA You Can Dance and The Black Eyed Peas Experience.

Games without "Just" in the title are counted because they're Ubisoft games that are more or less Just Dance with a specific focus.

Stine

#6

Stine said:

I was hoping for a 9. Great! I'll probably get it in a few months.

Blaze

#7

Blaze said:

Seriously? 9? :-o You do remember you gave Star Fox 64 3D an 8? Don't you?

shingi_70

#8

shingi_70 said:

@MiracleBlaze

Different Game Genre's and Different Audiences mean different reviews.

Also no matter how good it is a game from the N64 era released today as fulll retail should never get a 10. especially when its's a lazy port.

she_gamer

#9

she_gamer said:

I can't justify buying ANOTHER dance game... but ... ... ok. Can't argue with 9/10. And I loved Just Dance 2, certainly more than I thought I would.

TikiTong

#13

TikiTong said:

This has the best music selection ever!!! One of my favourite games on the Wii. I love Just Dance, and I'm a boy......

Ren

#14

Ren said:

Great,
I"ve been holding out on these, despite the other twos' good marks since I'm so cautious about full priced games. Sounds like it's time to go for it.
I got the Gold's Dance Workout since it was cheap, and it is good, but holy frijoles! I thought I still had some 'Latin Fire' in me but apparently not enough. My hips lied. This one sounds more measured and fun.

Bankai

#15

Bankai said:

@11 yeah you're just so cool. Go you cool person you.

@12 I've got both the second and the third, and the third is slightly better. I think the selection of music and choreography is more fine tuned, and the little unlockables and achievements give the game more purpose than it might have had otherwise.

komicturtle

#16

komicturtle said:

A fun game is a fun game. A rating is someone's opinion.

And Star Fox 3D isn't a dancing rythm game.

Plus... the Ubisoft dance games are really the only ones out there, so...

Uhm, anyways, I'll never consider buying this but it sure is popular which is a real good thing for fans and Ubisoft. I am tempted because I like music games myself.

Chrono_Cross

#19

Chrono_Cross said:

I find Just Dance to be funner than Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The music is more... likeable. And dancing with friends is always a blast.

@The Darkness
We already have. All the way back in 1997.

shingi_70

#20

shingi_70 said:

@19

No online play or any type of streetpass/spot is lazy.

One could argue rereleasing a old game instead of a new one is lazy.

still going to pock it up as never finished the original/

Woots

#21

Woots said:

This has Party Rock Anthem. This looks like the best thing since sliced air.

LordTendoboy

#24

LordTendoboy said:

Dance games shouldn't work on the Wii, since the Wii Remote only tracks your arm/wrist movement.

Isn't Kinect better suited for dance games, since it's a camera that tracks full-body movement?

Mahe

#25

Mahe said:

Kinect is also laggy, and usually only supports 1-2 people. Just Dance gives you freedom to dance the way you like, and it's easy to have a Wiimote for everyone.

Aviator

#26

Aviator said:

@tendoboy1984 This game got a 9/10.
Just Dance 2 got a 8/10.
This game is in its third iteration, I think dance games work on the Wii.

But hey, what the hell do I know.

Squiggle55

#27

Squiggle55 said:

@tendoboy
that's right you could just make sure your arm is doing the right moves. but then you realize you aren't having any fun so you just go ahead and dance.

BenAV

#28

BenAV said:

Dancing games aren't my thing, but good to see it get a good score for people out there after a dancing game that isn't just a waste of their money.

@Viewtiful_Joe I wasn't going to bother the first time, but considering you said it in both of your comments, 'funner' isn't a word... it should be 'more fun'.
I'm normally not too bothered by how people type on the Internet, but that's just one of those things that really tends to annoy me for some reason.
Sorry if I'm being annoying. :P

Anyway, good review.

Bankai

#29

Bankai said:

@tendoboy dance games "shouldn't" work on the Kinect, either, since the technology is not good enough to recognise subtle movements or partner work.

If you want real dancing, go to a flipping dance studio. If you want a bit of fun, light exercise where you move around, Just Dance is plenty fine.

bboy2970

#30

bboy2970 said:

Great review! I got this about a week ago and think its a really stellar dance game. I also enjoyed JD2 quite a bit but this really blows it out of the water. The dance mash-ups are just so fun! Time to get back on my exercise routine with this baby :)

ILuvMusic14

#32

ILuvMusic14 said:

It was an okay game.There werent alot of artist that i knew, But i think this game is better on the kinect because holding the remote (Wii) for a long time while playing the game can get annoying plus if you dont move the remote the way the dancer is moving you loose points. :/ i give the game 6 out 10

Shotgunryugan

#33

Shotgunryugan said:

I bought this 2 days ago and the game is simply superb,it's my first Just Dance game and my 2nd Dance game(first being Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party).

I love the diversity of the songs and i had a blast playing it with my sisters yesterday(not to mention you get more points with other people :P)

It's going to be awhile to get all of the DLC songs,but i already want too buy "Toxic" and "Just Mario" :P

I agree with the score and the review was written nicely :)

Edit-I forgot to mention that it was a bit disappointing that some copies have exclusive songs(Target/Best Buy)while others don't(like Gamestop) and i bought the game in Gamestop,so no bonus songs for me :(

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