Just Dance 2016 Review
If you are one of the early adopters of the Kinect for Xbox One you may be able to dust off the cobwebs and put your dancing shoes back on as it's another year and another update to the Just Dance series in the form of Just Dance 2016 (JD 2016 for short).
I have to admit that I was a secret fan of the series when I reviewed JD 2015 last year, so I was interested to see what has changed in the latest version...
For a start the one area that has improved is the presentation, lush would be a better term to describe it, as the interface sports a range of large attractive thumbnail options that are awash with bright/inviting colours.
The layout and selecting each option is also more intuitive, so before long you can be dancing to a range of single, duet and quartet songs, before you know it!
Songs On Offer
Before I mention the different dance modes I have to admit that the devs have also done a great job of arranging the music.
For example, whether you are dancing solo or not all of the songs are grouped into categories so you know instantly what you are able to tap into and these songs are clearly laid out with attractive thumbnails. Hovering over a song will also start to preview the music.
Similar to 2015 you can unlock songs using Mojo; which is earned by dancing and singing along to the tracks. Alternatively you can use Ubisoft Club points to access a few bonus songs. What's cool this time around is that the Ubisoft songs are also listed in the system I spoke of above; thus you can listen to them before spending any of your hard earned points.
Mind you, while there is a range of music to choose from, the game still offers a subscription based service which it calls 'Dance Unlimited'. This grants you access to over 150 of Just Dance's greatest hits. You do get a one month pass in the box or you can purchase a subscription afterwards with one, three or twelve months subscriptions on offer. However what's annoying is one of these songs from last years game 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams is now part of the Dance Unlimited subscription where as it was free before. I suppose at least you have extra songs that you can tap into, if you are say having a dance party and needed a quick fix.
Either way it's something to note as you are having to pay on top of the original game's asking price.
I have to admit that a lot of the Mojo songs are either mashsups of existing songs or alternative visions i.e. ones that allow you to dance to as a duet. So a bit of recycling is evident in this title.
Song choices for me were also not as good as last years; I had trouble recognising most of them which is probably one of the reasons (you do get 43 Top hit songs, plus many more). However I have to admit once I got dancing a lot of the songs started to grow on me. The Full Track List can be found here.
To help spice things up JD 2016 now contains multiple modes of play.
For a start you can choose 'Dance Party' which provides classic solo or coop dancing. With the latter modes you also have an extra goal to collect gems that can boost your Mojo score.
It helps that the Kinect and Smartphone control methods support up to 6 players, so as long as you have a big enough lounge you can have a real laugh with some of the songs on offer this year. One of which is a cover to the Angry Birds theme music - its' blomin nuts - ed.
I haven't tried the Smartphone controller yet, but the Kinect seemed to track me and my partner's dance moves as accurate as these dance games can get.