Just Dance 2 Review
Just Dance 2 box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Ubisoft Paris 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 12, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Let’s get this out the way right now: I don’t dance, don’t know the name of a single dance step, and though I used to groove to the Grateful Dead and other jam bands back in my younger years, I have little interest in the art form outside of watching episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. That being said, Just Dance 2 is a surprisingly fun party game that is easy for anyone and everyone to jump right on into.

Just Dance 2 screenshot

Unlike other music/rhythm games on the market, Just Dance 2 does not tell a story or offer a career mode of any kind. Though there are definitely some great single-player options on offer here, Just Dance 2 is at its best as a party game – it’s like the karaoke of dance. Upon starting the game up for the first time, I was a little bit intimated by the fact the game offers no real instruction outside of telling you to simply mirror the actions of the dancer(s) onscreen. To my relief, there’s really not much more to it than that.

You might not think it to look at the initial menu screen, but Just Dance 2 comes complete with a hefty selection of content. Your main gameplay options are Just Dance and Dance Battle, as well as Just Sweat, a remarkably fitting addition to the package.

The Just Dance mode offers free play for up to four players, and though you’re each scored on your performance, the focus isn’t competitive. In addition to solo dances, there are medley and duet options, though the medleys are less than stellar. Generally speaking, a medley maintains the same basic rhythm while switching up melodies. For a dance game, keeping the tunes all within the same tempo would seem like an especially important consideration, but the medleys in Just Dance 2 are all over the place rhythmically, making it more frustrating than fun.

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In terms of actual gameplay, the premise is simple, but there’s definitely a learning curve. Oddly enough, learning dances in Just Dance 2 is similar to playing a typical level in a 2D Sonic game. You’ll have to run through each song several times before you know what’s expected of you, but the “getting there” is still quite fun.

Just Dance 2 screenshot

One Wii Remote (per player) is all you’ll need to play Just Dance 2. A dancer(s) appears onscreen for each number, and he or she wears a colored glove you’ll need to focus on. The dancers perform very specific, recognizable moves, but you really only need concern yourself with the direction of their hand movement. To be sure, it’s not a very exacting system, and it’s pretty easy to get an “Okay” on every move just by simply waggling in any direction with the remote. However, folks who let loose and follow the motions carefully will be rewarded with better marks and a higher score at the end of each tune.

And that’s about all there is to it, really. Just Dance 2 is not a complicated game, and again, the motion recognition is a bit dubious. Nevertheless, Just Dance 2 is infectiously fun. Self-conscious participants aren’t likely to get the most out of the experience, but in a party environment with other folks open to some good, clean fun, this software offers tons of value.

Just Dance 2 screenshot

When you’re ready to get a bit more competitive, Dance Battle has additional modes that mix things up nicely. You can compete in either Free For All (for up to four players) or Team Battle (up to eight players), playing through five different dances in an attempt to take first place. There are five options to choose from, with Simon Says and Race adding something completely new to the roster of gameplay types. In Simon Says, you’ll follow the onscreen dancer the same as you would in Just Dance mode; however, each player will periodically be told to perform (or stop performing) specific actions mid-dance in order to earn extra points. You can lose points too if you perform poorly, so there’s extra incentive to surrender yourself to the music. Race, on the other hand, rewards whichever player hits a specific score first. Both modes are quite fun, and when blended together as part of a Royal Flush, there’s plenty of variety to keep things fresh.

Screenshots / Images
Just Dance 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Just Dance 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Just Dance 2 screenshot - click to enlarge Just Dance 2 screenshot - click to enlarge

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