Just Dance 2016
Developed by Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Reflections & Ubisoft Pune
Published by Ubisoft
*Please Note: This Review is of the Xbox One Version*
As with every current entry in the Just Dance series; Just Dance 2016 does not feature an actual story or campaign mode. While I do still feel that a campaign mode would make for an interesting concept in this series. The closest the game comes to an official campaign is competing on the leaderboards in order to prove your skills in becoming the best dancer in the world.
Overall, there isn’t exactly much I can say for story since the game doesn’t have one but while I still personally feel like a campaign mode would be interesting for this series; it’s fine without a story mode because the gameplay and music are what really makes this series so special.
The gameplay in Just Dance 2016 is very similar to it’s predecessor from last year in the fact that it retains the fun and familiar gameplay of the series to date in which the players follow the dance moves of the dancers on screen and instructions moving along the bottom of the screen to which they are ranked at the end of the song based on the accuracy of the moves. While a good majority of the time when I was playing the game everything ran really smooth; There was some issues at times involving the Kinect not reading me and thus causing some issues in logging my movements. I enjoyed the fact that after every dance performed it once again recorded your performance giving you the chance to share your incredible skills (or blunders in my case) with the whole internet. Other features that I enjoyed was the Dance Quests mode in which you compete against an A.I. opponent to three randomly selected songs and the showtime mode in which you could record short lip-sync videos. These features were nice little inclusions since it changed things from the last entry in the series and gave the player more fun options to choose from.
All in all, The gameplay is great exactly the way it is and other than maybe fixing up a few issues with the connection for the Kinect; the gameplay for this title is pretty solid.
As with every other entry in the series; Just Dance 2016 has a huge soundtrack with hit songs from across the years. Like with 2015; There is some good and bad songs by my personal tastes but the game has something for everyone. The soundtrack includes many songs including Lights (Ellie Goulding), Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars), I Gotta Feeling (The Black Eyed Peas) & All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor) to name a few. The game also features multiple covers of famous songs such as Copacabana & You Never Can Tell aswell as some songs from films and Video games such as The Little Mermaid, Grease & Angry Birds.
All in all, the soundtrack for this game was fantastic despite their being some personal songs that didn’t suit my tastes but as I mentioned previously it’s range of songs is great and there is literally something for everyone.
As with the other entries in the Just Dance series; Just Dance 2016 is absent of any realistic visuals (apart from the recorded videos of you dancing to the songs) but instead once again opts for animated dancers that appear on screen to show you the multiple dance moves that you will have to perform in order to complete each song and as with last year they look much sharper and fluent. In addition to this; there seems to be a lot more in terms of vibrant colours in this years dancer animations which I have to praise since the art styles are gorgeous to look at whilst you dance around to some great songs. In terms of the visual department in this installment however I feel that the background animations and images steal the show just by the bright and vivid colours used in addition to the dynamic features and frenetic energy that comes from them as seen in the image below from the dance for Lights by Ellie Goulding.
The visuals in Just Dance 2016 are easily the best the series has had to date and truly one of the big strong points of this entry.
Just Dance 2016 is a never ending game which means it has hours upon hours of replay value. The game is essentially a rhythm/music game like many others out there (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, PaRappa The Rapper) which means that as long as there is a song on the game that you like to dance to and as long as you still enjoy the game a great deal; You will always find more reasons to play it. As mentioned under the story segment of the game; there is an online leader board which you can compete on in order to try and become the best dancer in your region or maybe even the world. In addition to this, the game does also feature Achievements/Trophies for all the hunters out there.
All in all, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Just Dance 2016 and found reasons to play it even months after release. The lack of a campaign to this series is still slightly disappointing but honestly this is just something that I would personally like to see. The gameplay is still fantastic apart from a few issues with the Kinect and the soundtrack is great along with visuals that are beautiful to look at and plenty of replay value. This game is a real entertainment package rolled up into one that is a definite buy for people looking for a fun game to play.
Score = 9/10
- Fun and familiar gameplay returns
- Dance Quests Mode
- Showtime mode and being able to make Lip-Sync videos
- Some really good songs (Lights, You’re the one that I want, Uptown Funk)
- Absolutely beautiful visual and art style
- Dynamic Backgrounds
- Plenty of Replay Value
- Some issues with the Kinect prevented moves from registering
- Lack of Campaign (Not affecting score just personal opinion)
- Some songs not my personal taste (Not affecting score; Personal Preference)
Just Dance 2016 is available now for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4. Thanks go out to Ubisoft for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee