Review - Just Dance 4 (Wii U)


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Review - Just Dance 4 (Wii U)
Ubisoft's party dancer gets a fresh outing on Nintendo's new flagship system.
Ubisoft (Various)
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Despite the fact that the series is little over here years old, Just Dance has proven to be a runaway success for Ubisoft, capturing the imagination of audiences across the globe and providing the catalyst to kick start countless parties in the process. The formula hasn’t changed much in those three years, and even though we’ve seen an astonishing fifteen titles released to date (including spin-offs like The Black Eyed Peas Experience and ABBA: You Can Dance) players still look to have an almost insatiable appetite for not only the franchise, but also the dance genre in general. While Just Dance 4 was originally released earlier this year for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii, the launch of the Wii U has ushered in a Wii U version of the title – but is it different enough to convince gamers to part with their hard earned cash for a title they may already own?

For the most part, Just Dance 4 on Wii U is essentially identical to other versions. Players are tasked with following a series of dance moves in time with the music in order to increase their score and beat predetermined objectives. The action is set to a broad range of contemporary and classic pop music, with specially choreographed dance routines for each. That’s pretty much your lot for the actual gameplay mechanics, but it’s the extras where the Wii U port looks to stand out.

For the first time in the series, five players can now take part simultaneously, with four strutting their stuff on the dance floor and a fifth pulling the strings via the GamePad’s touch screen interface. It’s this Puppet Master Mode that really differentiates this version of the game from all the others, and it sees the player in charge of the GamePad choosing the choreography for the players in real time, completely on the fly. It’s a nice touch, particularly as it helps to create a custom difficulty curve that’s tailored to the skills (or lack thereof) of the dancers. With a choice of four options at a time, there’s enough range here to make it an enjoyable addition to the franchise.

Another feature which makes use of the Wii U GamePad include Light Painting, which lets you draw on the GamePad using your stylus and have the results displayed on the TV for your dancing friends to see – depending on which side of the fence you find yourself on, this can be excellent for either offering friendly support, or griefing the crap out of your uncoordinated buddies.

The game also offers Karaoke Mode, which displays the lyrics to the current song on the GamePad’s screen for anyone who wants to sing along, and Stand-Alone Mode which removes the need for you to use your TV and instead allows you to play as normal with the Wii U GamePad as your main display – perfect for those times you feel the need for a dance but can’t wrestle control of the TV.

The rest of the game is pretty much “as you were” when compared to earlier Just Dance 4 releases. New features like Sweat Session, which allows you to work out to your favourite songs for 10, 25 or 45 minutes at a time (a great way to burn off those holiday pounds), Dance Quests which offer you specific objectives for both single-player and multiplayer gameplay for each song and Battle Mode, a new competitive multiplayer mode.

Like previous games in the series, there’s definitely a solid target audience for Just Dance 4. If you’re not a fan of dancing around your living room, then this probably isn’t for you, while those who are willing and able to let it all go and dance like nobody’s watching will get a huge amount of enjoyment from the game thanks to an impressive track list, numerous game modes and, of course, the party-starting multiplayer modes.

If you’re still undecided, here’s the Wii U version’s track list in full:
“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (1987)
“Ain’t No Other Man” (cover version) originally by Christina (2006) – Wii U exclusive
“Asereje (The Ketchup Song)” by Las Ketchup (2002)
“Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj (2012)
“Beware of the Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)” by Panjabi MC (1998)
“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen (2012)
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (cover version) originally by Boys Town Gang (1982)
“Cercavo Amore” by Emma (2012)
“Crazy Little Thing” by Anja (2012)
“Crucified” by Army of Lovers (1991)
“Diggin’ in the Dirt” by Stefanie Heinzmann (2012) – PAL exclusive
“Disturbia” by Rihanna (2008)
"Domino" by Jessie J (2011) – Wii U exclusive
“Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (cover version) originally by The Blues Brothers(1980)
“Good Feeling (Alice Version)” by Flo Rida (2011)
“Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood (2012) – North America exclusive
“Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” by Blu Cantrell (2001)
“Hot For Me” by A.K.A (2012)
“I Like It” by The Blackout All-Stars (1994)
“Istanbul” by They Might Be Giants (1990)
“Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley (1957)
“Livin’ la Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin (1999)
“Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez & The Scene (2011)
“Make the Party (Don’t Stop)” by Bunny Beatz (2012)
“Maneater” by Nelly Furtado (2006)
“Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes & The Black Eyed Peas (2006)
“Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera (2011)
“Mr. Saxobeat” by Alexandra Stan (2011)
“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley (1987)
“Oh No!” by Marina & the Diamonds (2010)
“On The Floor” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull (2011)
“Oops!… I Did It Again (cover version)” originally by Britney Spears (2000)
“Rock N’ Roll (Will Take You To The Mountain)” by Skrillex (2010)
“Rock Lobster” by The B-52′s (1979)
“Run The Show” by Kat DeLuna featuring Busta Rhymes (2008)
“So What” by P!nk (2008)
“Some Catchin’ Up to Do” by Sammy (2012)
“Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj (2011)
“Superstition by Stevie Wonder (1972)
The Final Countdown by Europe (1986)
“Time Warp (cover version)” originally by Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show(1975)
“Tribal Dance” by 2 Unlimited (1993)
“Umbrella” by Rihanna (2007)
“Want U Back” by Cher Lloyd featuring Astro (2012) – Wii U exclusive
“We No Speak Americano (cover version)” originally by Yolanda Be Cool featuring DCUP (2011)
“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction (2011)
“Wild Wild West” by Will Smith (1999)
“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” by Barry White (1975)

8 Stars: Recommended
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