Us gamers can expect some of our favourite franchises to release a new entry in the series every year, from Call of Duty to FIFA to Just Dance. This is the 10th year in a row that Ubisoft have released their party game Just Dance 2019 (which is still coming out on Wii!), but does it make enough changes from previous years to make it worth buying? Let’s take a look.
I haven’t played a Just Dance game in years, so I was intrigued to see how the series has come along. If you have never played a Just Dance game before, the basics are as follows: You have to follow an on-screen dancer move-for-move while listening to a collection of tracks and collect points that give you a star rating at the end of the song. Switch users can use their Joy-Con to track their movements, and the HD rumble feature will rumble to the beat to help you keep in time with your funky dance moves. For some reason, in Just Dance 2019 Ubisoft have taken away the option to use your smartphone as a controller; while this may not affect Switch players too much, it does limit the number of players you can have at once if you don’t have any spare Joy-Cons.
When you first start the game, you’re given a small selection of songs to choose from. After performing one song, you are then given the option to create your profile, letting you track your stats and make an avatar, and you will also unlock more songs to shake your stuff to. After a few move performances, you’ll unlock all the songs (around 40 tracks). There is a mix of new and classic songs to choose from, so there will be something for everyone. As you play, you’ll also unlock other features, including an online multiplayer mode called World Dance Floor and the ability to create a playlist of your favorite tracks. Other modes included are Kids Mode, which gives you more child-friendly songs and is more about just having fun than getting high scores. Then there is Sweat Mode, which tracks the calories that you burn while throwing your dance shapes.
Everything sounds good so far, but then like most things these days, if you want the most out of something, you have to pay for it, and Just Dance 2019 is no different. For the past few games, Ubisoft has added Just Dance Unlimited, a subscription service where you pay £20 for the year and that gives you access to 300 songs from past games, which is an impressive number. This is where my issues with Just Dance 2019 come in, considering there are very few improvements from the last entry, and the biggest change from 2018 is the new cleaner menus, so you’re really just paying for 40 new tracks. It would almost make sense now just to release the game as a free-to-play game and have them update the track listing that you subscribe to. On a plus side, you do get a 1-month free subscription.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Wii, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U
Release Date: 23rd October 2018