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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Just Dance’ gets into a new groove

    In this week’s Game Freak, it’s time to get down with Ubisoft’s “Just Dance 3.”

    For those unfamiliar with the franchise, it’s one of the more popular dancing games on the market to utilize motion control. It tracks a player’s movement as opposed to older games, like “Dance Dance Revolution,” which required the player to step on directional pads. “Just Dance” feels more like dancing.

    The first two games were only available for the Nintendo Wii. After the release of Xbox Kinect and the Playstation Move, “Just Dance 3” now can be used on all major consoles.

    From a financial standpoint, since the Kinect and Move are extras for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, the Nintendo Wii is the most cost effective. Still, the Kinect’s hands free play style feels like dancing. With no controller, players are free to throw themselves into the choreography as opposed to having to worry about flinging objects across the room.

    Looking at the gameplay, “Just Dance 3” is a total blast, even for those new to dancing games. It’s easy to learn, too — a player just has to follow what the on-screen avatar does in time to the music.

    It’s also different from its competitors, such as “Dance Central.” In “Central,” the moves are more complicated but less numerous than in “Just Dance.” In addition, upcoming moves are displayed along the side of the screen in “Central,” meaning a player knows what’s coming.

    In “Just Dance,” the moves come quicker. This might seem intimidating at first, but it’s better in the long run because a player has to memorize the order of moves. In “Central” the player just mechanically does what the screen says is next, whereas “Just Dance” is much more mentally engaging.

    “Just Dance” also can be played by four players. Some songs are almost designed around that number. “This is Halloween,” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, for example, gives each player a unique sets of moves in little solo dance moments while the rest support from the background.

    Speaking of song choices, they vary from the contemporary, like LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” to the ‘60s, like Aretha Franklin’s “Think.”

    The game even has some fun with unconventional songs, like the previously mentioned “This is Halloween” and, a personal favorite, “Let’s Go to the Mall,” a song is from an episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” in which it’s revealed that one of the main characters had a past as a Canadian teen pop star.

    That’s just another example of how “Just Dance 3” is all about fun.
    For an added bonus, the game doubles as a workout for the gamer that doesn’t get much cardio. Some of the songs can be intense, and while they’re fun, a player can also work up quite the sweat in little time at all.

    The only problems which arise come from the inherent difficulties of current motion control technology. On the Kinect version, selecting menus can be difficult at times, and gamers might find themselves choosing certain actions on accident. This is no fault of Ubisoft, of course, and the problem isn’t so prominent on the other platforms where a controller is involved.

    In the end, for a market that is increasingly flooded with gimmicky dancing games, “Just Dance 3” is definitely a top tier choice for the dancing enthusiast and worth taking a look at.

    — Jason Krell is a junior studying creative writing and Italian. He can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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