Dance now

Review: Just Dance 2020 (PS4)

8

Great

Another year, another Just Dance edition. Yes, it’s also available on just about every platform released in the last 15 years (including the Wii) and while it gets its fair share of derision, the Just Dance series continues to deliver what an obviously massive fanbase wants – a mostly similar edition with a few small tweaks. The 2020 edition marks the 10-year-anniversary of the series and contains all your favourites with libraries from both 2018 and 2019, the Just Dance Unlimited one month free subscription, more themed playlists, online versus modes and even a painfully short but fun ‘story’-like mode called: All-Stars. It’s not breaking any barriers. Not ‘advancing the dance-game’ genre in any way. But like your favourite pop song – it’s fun, nonsensical and all your friends actually secretly love it too.

The way you look tonight

Like the editions before it, Just Dance 2020 tries it’s best to allow everyone to play. The motion controller options (Wii, Switch, PS4 and the like) are really the best way to play. Joy-Cons on the Switch provide dual hand capture which makes it harder to cheat, but while reviewing on the PS4 we mostly used our smartphones (the Just Dance app is easily available on most stores) and that worked well enough. Just be careful about not throwing your mobile devices at the screen. Considering this wide target audience though, the main gripe with this year’s edition is probably the menu and general UI.

Considering this wide target audience though, the main gripe with this year’s edition is probably the menu and general UI.

The 10-year-anniversary provides a new All-Stars mode that is like a short story mode giving you 10 songs in 10 steps of travel. It was a really fun option, despite being a little Katy Perry heavy and way too short. It was, however, front and centre and very easy to navigate to. There are, however, a lot of options in Just Dance and accessing other modes is much less obvious thanks to the convoluted menu system (especially if you’re only an occasional gamer). My wife fits this category perfectly and while she loved the game in general – she often commented about how hard it was to navigate the menus to find new modes. The menu set-up isn’t too clunky as you can see in the image below, however, knowing where the modes are can be a challenge at first. Thankfully, after some practice, you do get the hang of the UI – but it would be great if the multiple modes were a little more obvious.

Mambo No. 6

Last year the song selection left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, the game included Ubisoft’s Just Dance Unlimited service for free for a month. Over 400 songs are available and I found that this collection really does have something for everyone. This year, the song selection fitted my tastes a little better, but once again the great subscription is included and so for at least one month you’ll definitely find something to dance to you can enjoy.

Just Dance continues to be a great way to keep healthy. and the return of lots of different modes keeps things interesting if a little familiar…

The themed playlists are still fantastic. There are kid-specific ones that ensure your little ones are only exposed to songs with family-friendly lyrics and subjects (although even in the regular modes lyrics are censored). These are wonderful and the already bright visuals are taken to another level to appeal to younger players. Other themes include stuff from specific decades, hits from Disney or even the more exercised-focussed hyper motion dances. Just Dance continues to be a great way to keep healthy. A regular playlist had me sweating within just a few songs and it’s definitely more fun than the gym. The only small addition I wish the playlists included was a countdown timer or in-list reminder of how many songs were left. When you first select a playlist, the time and number of songs are displayed but later when you’re 5 or 6 songs in I would’ve loved an on-screen indication of my progress.

This time around, my wife and I had a lot of fun in the online versus mode – World Dance Floor. Also under a series of themes and even several different Dance-off varieties, you compete against other players around the world usually in a quick 3-song challenge. Dancing like nobody’s watching is already quite a lot of fun, but this competitive element remains a fun way to spice things up a little more.

Just the two of us

Just Dance does its best to cater for single-players. Not only are there daily challenges, points and stickers that keep things fun, but the online modes bring a little extra. And offline – all the dances we encountered could be done solo. However, as is to be expected (and like the 10 years worth of games before it) Just Dance 2020 is best enjoyed with friends. Up to 6 players can join up and as a party experience – it is the karaoke of dancing and racking up the points against friends is really hilarious and enjoyable. Plus, if you’re not the competitive type, you can also play in co-op mode. Thanks to its very straight-forward control scheme, a large collection of songs and rather forgiving difficulty it’s something everyone in the family or in your group of friends is going to enjoy (especially in short spurts). Both my wife and I enjoy dancing though and even just as two players the game offers a lot to enjoy.

If you’re still on the fence and need a game to enjoy with friends and family over the upcoming holidays Just Dance 2020 is a great option.

Last year I mentioned how much my wife enjoys the series and how much it had grown on me. Playing it with friends has often led them to go out to get their own copy of the game. It’s always been fun, silly and wonderfully simple and thankfully, Just Dance 2020 continues this tradition by providing the type of comfort-food-style party game you’ll love to have in your collection. Sure, if you already have last year’s edition and have signed up for the Just Dance Unlimited service there’s probably not too much you’ll find to force you to buy this year’s. However, if you’re still on the fence and need a game to enjoy with friends and family over the upcoming holidays you can do much worse than Just Dance 2020.

Good

  • Just Dance Unlimited (one month free included) has a great selection of songs
  • Themed playlists are still great
  • World Dance Floor adds a fun competitive element
  • A great party experience
  • Better song selection

Bad

  • Menus and UI are a little convoluted
  • All Stars mode should've been fleshed out a little more
  • Quite similar to last year

Summary

The 2020 edition marks the 10 year anniversary of the series and while It's not breaking any new barriers, like a favourite pop song that just got re-released - it's fun, nonsensical and comfortingly familiar. Plus, all your friends actually secretly love it too.
8

Great

Nintendo Nerd, sharing my love of Mario with the world one pixel at a time.

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