If you read any of my tweets last Wednesday, you know I finally got my copy of Just Dance 2, and that I started playing it just as soon as I could tear the wrapper off. Hubster and the kids and I got right to it, jumping in with James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” I kid you not, Just Dance is a terrific game, but Just Dance 2 really kicks things up a few notches. The dance routines are more challenging, though the motion detection seems to be better at catching your moves. The songs are terrific, although there are one or two that I’m not as likely to play, unlike the original game. But that’s okay, because Just Dance 2 offers the option of downloading new songs from an online store! We haven’t downloaded the first song yet, but it’s a Katie Perry song, and given how much Pixie loves “Hot & Cold” in Just Dance, I’m certain we’ll be downloading this new song very soon.
Other things to like about the new version of Just Dance. There’s a “Sweat Mode” that tracks your level of effort as you dance. You’re given the option of easy, medium or hard levels which set a goal is “sweat points” for you to achieve in a week. Then you get to pick which songs you want to dance to and the game lets you know how hard you worked after each song. I like this a lot, except for the fact that the game is tracking effort level in sweat points as opposed to estimated calories burned. I have no idea how many calories a sweat point is worth, and that’s what I usually go by in other programs like Wii Fit Plus or Gold’s Gym Dance Workout. But since I am soaking wet by the time I’ve danced to a few songs, I’m pretty certain I’m burning enough calories to maintain my level of fitness and my weight.
There’s also an “endless shuffle” mode in Just Dance 2. Endless shuffle selects the songs at random and keeps playing them until you finally tell the game to stop. It’s a good way to work through all the songs and saves on time spent arguing over which song to play next (something that happens quite frequently when I play with the girls).
There are also various challenge modes so players can compete against each other, just like in the original game. We haven’t bothered with these yet and probably won’t. Our goal when we play is to get everybody up and moving, not necessarily to see who’s the best at dancing. This lets everyone play as much as they want, and gives an individual the option of sitting out on a particular song if you like. We sometimes have 5 people dancing at any given time, since we often play when Mich comes over for dinner. That means 4 of us will have Wii-motes and the fifth will just dance along. Usually one of the girls will drop out for a bit and pass their Wii-mote on to whichever adult doesn’t have one, so it works out.
Other notes – you can set your own name in the game, or just go with whatever name the game assigns, like Funky or Sunny or Baby. I ended up putting a name in for me when I set up the Sweat Mode for the first time. You can change names at any point if you hand off the Wii-mote to someone else, like we tend to do. There’s also a few songs that are done as duets. These are nicely choreographed, so that dancers are actually dancing with each other as well as interacting with the game. The girls in particular like April Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” which includes a few cat-fight like moves in it. The animation and graphics are really nice too. “Cosmic Girl” and “Monster Mash” have some fun animations in them that really add to the song.
So over all, we really, really enjoy the game. In fact, I only have two criticisms of it. First, it looks like only one person at a time can play the Sweat Mode. I’ll have to double check to be certain, but on my first try, I couldn’t see a way to log in Pixie so she could play with me (not that she needs to sweat, being the skinny little four-year-old imp that she is).
My second criticism, and this one is big, is that the game includes a song that is not suitable for kids. The song “Tik-Tok” is definitely not a kid friendly song, and if Hubster hadn’t recognized it when he saw it on the play list, chances are good I would have played it while the kids were around and regretted it later. I’m not saying Just Dance 2 should not include more adult songs, but a rating on the song or an option to play the game in endless shuffle mode without including adults-only songs would have been nice.
Otherwise though, the game is good! We played on Friday night for 90 minutes and we were all dripping with sweat and having a good time. I highly recommend both versions of the game, but Just Dance 2 is definitely an improvement on an already good game.