The Average Gamer

Just Dance 2 Review (Wii)

Up here in TAG Towers we’ve been all over the movement games. On the Move I was a big fan of Sports Champions until I dislocated my shoulder in a particularly violent bout of two-player gladiator that put me out of action for a week. Luckily, I have hypermobile joints so no long-term damage done.

We’ve also previewed Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and will have a bunch of Kinect reviews coming out later this week. Today, however, I’m going back to the old-school technology to talk about Just Dance 2 on the Wii.

I saw a demo of this game a few weeks ago and yes, I was a snobby bitch who didn’t see the point in a full-body dance game when the Wiimote can only detect the acceleration of one hand. More fool me; it’s bloody great fun. With over 40 tracks in the retail version and a bunch more available from the Wii Store you get a wide variety of music. It’s perfect for having friends round and every song is rated for technical difficulty and “sweat” rating.

Just Dance is the basic mode. Up to four players can dance against each other simultaneously, flailing your Wiimotes through the air to rack up your points. Before every dance, you get a slightly condescending flash-card showing you how to hold the Wiimote. As it turns out, correctly positioning it in your hand is crucial if you want all the points you deserve. I’ve won several battles just because my opponent held hers with the wrong orientation.

Dance Battle is the more competitive version, with 5 different head-to-head games and a team battle option covering 4 to 8 players. Battle modes are:

  • Classic – You all follow the same moves
  • Duet – Choreographed for two dance partners
  • Simon Says – Quite a fun mode where one or the other of you must stop or clap as instructed during the song. If you keep dancing, you lose points.
  • Medley – Random snippets of about 5 songs – great for levelling the playing field when one of you knows all the moves to certain songs
  • Race – The first dancer to reach the targets number of points wins the round.

There’s also a workout mode that allows you to set and track a target of daily dancing, displaying your progress on a chart. Nothing spectacular in this but it’s a nice feature if you’re using this as part of a fitness routine.

Besides the fiddliness of keeping the Wiimote properly aligned in your hand there is one downside if you play this at parties – the outlines that scroll across the screen showing you the upcoming moves are nigh-incomprehensible. There’s no tutorial mode so your first few dances on every song are going to be confusing and just plain wrong. That being said, this is the UK. People don’t casually dance at parties without a few drinks in them, so accuracy is really only important to gamer geeks like us. If high scores are your thing, not to worry. The dances are fully choreographed to the song and a couple of times through is enough to get the hang of most moves.

All in all, Just Dance 2 is a fun dance game that gives you a brilliant indoor option for cardio workouts. Perfect for this wet wintery season. Love to dance and don’t want to shell out £170 for Kinect? This game is definitely for you. Get it with a free sweatband from HMV.

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