Just Dance 2018 (Wii U) Review

By Jorge Ba-oh 03.03.2018

Review for Just Dance 2018 on Wii U

For almost a decade, Ubisoft has brought disco to the living room with Just Dance's eclectic mix of pop hits and party classics. It might be hard to believe that a motion-controlled dance game would have such longevity, but the after party lives on! The formula has been refined and tweaked over the years, having found an audience on Nintendo's platforms, in particular. The Wii U may now be gathering dust, but there's still time for one last floor filler before stumbling into the local kebab shop at 4am tomorrow morning. Just how does this year's instalment of the popular dance series fare? Cubed3 takes a look at Just Dance 2018.

The golden era of peripheral-based and rhythm gaming would truly be synonymous with the noughties. Heaps of plastic, likely now housing ancient ceramics in charity shops, bridged instruments with gaming in a smart way… With the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, players were able to direct music on-screen, but with a far more accessible learning curve. No longer did you need to churn through textbooks on arpeggios in order to become Eric Clapton or Matt Bellamy. Just Dance joined the party midway through the night, but used the Wii's native motion control to bring dance to the masses. No special kit was needed - just follow, or try to, the on-screen prompts and have a rip-roaring good time. Wii owners loved it and the series clung to the charts like Justin Timberlake clings onto Grammy Awards.

Screenshot for Just Dance 2018 on Wii U

Just Dance 2018 is this year's annual compilation of deep cuts and contemporary classics. One moment it's channelling the apocalyptic funk tones of Jamiroquai's Automaton, and then on to blissfully summer days with the 2017 smash hit, Despacito. Dive into the selection and uncover more retro vibes with Queen's Another One Bites the Dust or bop about with the king of dance, the insatiable PSY with his latest hit, New Face. One of the best aspects of the series to date is just how varied the roster of songs is - with the oldest groove originating from as early as 1875, right until the best of 2017's chart toppers.

The setup this time round is essentially the same as it's always been: tracksuit bottoms on, select a song, and let loose. Virtual avatars, styled to fit the song's mood, play out the dance routines in effortless mo-cap style, with neat, colourful backgrounds to bring it all together. What's most impressive, especially comparing the new songs to the older Just Dance entries, is the sheer amount of intricate details that's put into the presentation.

Screenshot for Just Dance 2018 on Wii U

In order to follow along, there are also silhouette icons that slip onto the UI to help newcomers work out where that wobbly hand is supposed to be on the next beat. Whilst it is best to try and stick to the groove, following the routines, Just Dance is exactly what it says on the tin: just, dance. A little freestyling is certainly allowed, and the game doesn't discourage those who break away from the beat. There's something there, even for a reviewer with abysmal timing and wonky feet! With Just Dance 2018, there's a positive push for improving rhythm and getting a dose of daily exercise, too.

It almost feels as if you've gotten a call up to be part of a new music video: Ubisoft excels at brewing that mood. Each song has been styled and choreographed well, and this year's entry is no exception. There are plenty of shuffles, arm twists and stomps to work up a hefty amount of sweat - some songs being a fair bit more challenging than others. Want to form a dance troupe? Multiplayer is a big part of what makes Just Dance, and in recent years it's been even easier to drag friends off the couch and onto centre-stage. With a free app, anyone (grandma included) can join the fun - especially useful for those who have a Wii U, but don't have any spare Wii Remotes to hand.

Screenshot for Just Dance 2018 on Wii U

If you've exhausted the main selection of hits, or are simply seeking something a little different to dance to, there is the option to rummage through Ubisoft's online library. Known as Just Dance Unlimited, the catalogue is over 300 songs, with new bits dropping each month to keep that party vibe fresh. It is a paid service; however, it digs deep into the vault of past Just Dance entries to produce a jaw-dropping selection of hits to boogie down to.

As for improvements, Ubisoft has added a handful of tweaks to try to freshen up proceedings, including a Kids feature for youngsters, new score rating, plus a reworked story mode dubbed "Dance Lab."

Screenshot for Just Dance 2018 on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Just Dance 2018 is the ninth instalment in the long-running dance-a-thon series, and it still grooves deep into the early hours of tomorrow morning, even with this excellent Wii U version. It may not be a revolutionary entry by any means, but it adds enough to be a fully-fleshed game for newcomers, while also tempting enough for any series veterans looking to dust off those dancing shoes.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Dance

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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