Just Dance 2020 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Thom Compton 30.12.2019

Review for Just Dance 2020 on Nintendo Switch

In the interest of full transparency, this is the first time experiencing Just Dance for yours truly. It's important to note this because there were really no expectations going into this. Hey, it'll be a fun way to exercise, listen to some good pop songs, and play something that requires ungrafting one's behind from the chair. For all intents and purposes, it was those things. However, it was also something much more annoying.

Just Dance 2020 is a, you guessed it, dancing video game. You hold one controller in your hand (mobile devices are also an option, though this was never used for this review) and mimic the on-screen prompts to dance to the music. There's really nothing surprising here, and that's fine. Just Dance 2020 is exactly what you would expect, and it does a really good job at being that.

For starters, this is about as user friendly as they come... You should subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited... sorry, not sure what that was about. Anyway, the menus are extremely easy to navigate, and there's a lot of ways to pull up and curate music. There are even set lists that mix the music together into an easily digestible format, so if you want to dance to country music, or have a quick workout, the game makes these things very easy to locate and just start.

Screenshot for Just Dance 2020 on Nintendo Switch

Loading times are very short as well, meaning there's no big lull moving between tracks on each playlist. As each song starts, there's an intensity felt. It's your time to shine, and thanks to how detailed each dance is, it really feels like a journey making it to the end of each song. For all it's worth, Just Dance 2020 is an exciting experience that gets you pumped as soon as it starts, and keeps you that way till you turn it off.

Following the on-screen prompts could have been a huge hassle, but thankfully, it's actually ridiculously easy. While it might seem like your attention should be locked onto the prompts in the bottom right hand corner, these can be a little vague. Fortunately, there's a dancer on screen who is acting out exactly what you should be doing, and when you combine the two prompts together, it makes following instructions a breeze. Furthermore… JUST DANCE UNLIMITED... ok, seriously, what is that? Furthermore, the controls are extremely responsive, rarely seeing a perfectly imitated piece of choreography fail to register.

Beyond just picking up and starting the road to freestyle dance champion, there's an All Star mode that has a...story? The main point of it is to take you through the history of the Just Dance franchise so you can dance to songs from other titles. It's not spectacular or anything, but it does offer something additional to do beyond the main song roster.

Screenshot for Just Dance 2020 on Nintendo Switch

Speaking of that song roster, the songs here are really good. It makes the most of them too, finding new and interesting ways to have you contort your body to Billie Eilish or Lil Nas X's hits. There were even songs that under any other circumstance would have flown under a personal radar, but like any good rhythm game that incorporates well known tunes, this is good for finding music you would have otherwise missed.

...And that's really about it. There's nothing else to really talk about in Just Dance 2020. It's a fun, engaging, and pretty title that will get you up and moving. Nothing else to see here. Nothing. At. All… JUST DANCE UNLIMITED! JUST DANCE UNLIMITED!! *sigh* FINE!

Screenshot for Just Dance 2020 on Nintendo Switch

Just Dance 2020, despite being a good rhythm game with a decent enough roster of music to fill a few hours of time with, also has a paid-for service called Just Dance Unlimited. This appears to increase the song list by roughly (and this is just an educated guess), every song ever. In theory, and in practice, this is an awesome service. For very little money a month, you too can dance to a ridiculous amount of music. It's apparently been offered since Just Dance 2017, so that raises an important question. Do you really need to buy Just Dance 2020?

The real problem though isn't the service itself. Again, that's an interesting, and modestly priced service that expands your dancing catalogue by a significant amount. The problem is the way it's presented. Every time you turn the game on, you are greeted with a commercial for it. You are told you will get 1,000 in game currency for signing up for it. As you scroll through the songs available, you are constantly reminded that most of the games content is behind a paywall.

It's a little gross at times, and while one could ramble about the ugliness that comes with the games as a service business model and micro-transactions (and you best believe one could), the issue isn't the service. It's that Just Dance 2020 acts more like a vessel, a brochure, a free sample (that isn't free) for that service. So, a pretty good dancing game is suddenly an advertising tool that just won't quit, and it makes even the act of turning it on just annoying enough to make you wonder if you should.

Screenshot for Just Dance 2020 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Perhaps this is, at least for a newcomer, a bit like showing up halfway through a movie and complaining about it, out loud, to absolutely no one's interest. There's something genuinely fun about playing Just Dance 2020, and while there's nothing surprising, there really doesn't need to be. As a product, this works. However, it doesn't always feel like a game. It feels, at times, like interactive marketing, and while that may be fine for some, it's hard to believe no one out there is going to look at this and feel like it's anything more than a commercial you can play.

Developer

Ubisoft Paris

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Party

Players

16

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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