Saturday, January 6, 2018

Just Dance 2018 Review (Nintendo Switch & PS4)

Written by James Nicolay

Title: Just Dance 2018 (PS4/Switch)
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Dance, Music, Multiplayer, Party
Price: $59.99
Also Available On: PS3, XB1, XB360, Wii, WiiU

Since its debut in 2009, Ubisoft has released nine Just Dance main series and fourteen other versions and spin-offs in most home consoles, and strange enough, with Just Dance 2018, nine years after the original Just Dance, is still playable on ALL consoles that have supported it from the start. Yes, Just Dance 2018 is still playable on the Wii, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360. This strange fact alone tells us that there really is a definite market for gamers who actually like to more than just go couch-potato with their chosen gaming system. Yes, after nine years, many people like me still, well, want to just dance.

Just Dance 2018 features 40 new songs, with unlockable alternate versions of the songs, some avatars, and stickers. Every purchase of this game gives you a 90-day access to Just Dance Unlimited, which gives you access to about 300+ previous Just Dance songs and choreographies—though, a stable internet connection is required to fully enjoy this. Two notable additions to all Just Dance 2018 versions is the addition of Kids mode and the rating “Super” between “Good” and “Perfect.” Other features such as reaching Superstar status (11,000 points) or Megastar (12,000 points) after each round, the Sweat Mode (exercise mode), and accessing World Dance Floor are all still available in this new version.

I have received a reviewer code for the PS4 version of Just Dance 2018, though I really wanted the version for the Nintendo Switch—so I purchased it myself on eShop. In the past two months that I’ve had the two versions of the game, I have played only 3 hours on the PS4 version and about 15 hours on the Switch version. There is nothing really new to write about the PS4 version that cannot be found on the Switch version, and the only clear difference is the camera/video of the PS4 where you have an option to dance without a PS Move controller—and in my experience, this controller-less experience has always been disappointing for me because the camera sometimes detects weird ghost movements, which could be frustrating at times. I usually play the Just Dance series with a controller.

The Nintendo Switch version of Just Dance 2018 features some songs on Double Rumble mode, which is unique in that you can use both the Joy-con in both hands and feel the HD Rumble feature at work. Actually, in all Just Dance 2018 songs and choreographies, Ubisoft maximized the Joy-con’s HD Rumble feature as you can feel the beat of the song as you dance—which makes it easier to follow the beat and rhythm of the songs. Best of all, I find the size of the Joy-con so perfect for playing Just Dance—it beats cellphones (via JD app), PS Move and even the Wiimote controllers by a mile. Even without a strap, the Joy-con can be gripped quite snugly in your hand. Since the Nintendo Switch can be played as a portable console, Just Dance 2018 can literally be played anywhere you take your Nintendo Switch. Awesome, right?

Personally, I have brought my Nintendo Switch in China for 6 weeks and a week in Malaysia. In both trips, playing Just Dance 2018 on Switch became my regular exercise session, especially in the cold winter days in China when jogging outdoor was extremely inconvenient. In the past few years, I have played Just Dance and it has never failed to keep me aware of how fun dancing could be, even if I usually exercise more than dance. Haha.

Most important thing to note in every Just Dance iteration is how good are the song selection and choreography in the new version. I say Just Dance 2018 is probably in my top three of my most favorite in the series. The song that takes the cake for me is probably “Make it Jingle” as the dance moves require a lot of booty shaking. Haha! I’ve had the most fun making my friends come over and dance to this song and the other 20 songs which I have marked favorite in this iteration—which is quite a lot as there were previous Just Dance entries which have few likable songs and choreographies.

After nine years, the Just Dance series could still liven up parties and make people dance and exercise for fun. And good thing, Just Dance 2018 on the Nintendo Switch also made room for some really cool new features that made me excited again for the upcoming main entries in the formidable Just Dance series.

PS4 version: 4/5
Nintendo Switch version: 4.5/5