Just Dance 2021 is the latest game in a series that spans an impressive 11 year run in the gaming community worldwide. The dancing started in 2009 and Just Dance 2021 is the 23rd game, including all the console exclusive and special releases, in the dance phenomenon. The latest release of the game, or should we say institution, has a lot to offer the first time player as well as the dance floor boogie master. So why don’t we put on our dancing shoes and slide right in… (see what I did there?)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G-DFYNOTec
The Dance Floor
Now, as the name suggests, this game is all about flashy dance moves - just like the previous versions of the game have done before (but this is what we love about it now… don’t we?). It’s not an FPS, adventure, or rage-inducing game - we hope… It’s an invite the crew over and have a party game, which will test your skills, timing, and rhythm, and can be made competitive as you earn a score rating according to how well you “brought the heat”.
As always - you go through the menu and find a song that you feel you’re going to own (to impress that special someone in the room) and hit play. Depending on the skill level you choose - either you end up with an awesome score, or the crew has something to laugh about for the foreseeable future. Either way, you are sure to have a lot of fun.
Graphics, Controls, and Gameplay
Let’s get to the “nitty-gritty” of the game. Personally, I feel that the graphics are amazing considering what the game does. With the bright colors, flashing visuals, and awesome music, it seems to check all the boxes for a game that is as fun for one person, as it is for a whole group or family. My Xbox One S ran this game smooth as butter, and I can only imagine how much more visually appealing it would be on a stronger, or next-gen, console.
There are a few extras as well as new features in Just Dance 2021 that I think make this version one of the best Ubisoft has ever made. Once you purchase Just Dance 2021 you get;With Just Dance Unlimited, dance to over +600 songs! A free 1-month trial of Just Dance Unlimited is included with every copy of Just Dance 2021 on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and Stadia. Play with friends and share the fun with co-op mode. Work together to get the highest score! Dance the way you like by creating your own personalized custom playlists. Enjoy eight new kid-friendly songs and choreographies for a family-fun experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g8_Jd49No4
Then there is the smartphone app for Just Dance. This piece of techno brilliance tracks your moves with no additional accessories required. This means that you don’t need any video hardware to play the game… and you can connect up to six players at a time! ALL WITH YOU SMARTPHONE! Madness... With more than 10 million downloads across mobile OS's, people seem to love it.
It seems that as Just Dance grows and expands, their motion capture is getting better and better with every game they bring out. I can definitely see this eventually expanding into the realm of VR (ahem - I expect compensation for my idea) with virtual parties and clubs that make Ready Player One seem not so science fiction as we originally believed. But this is a long way off and for now, we can just expect the next-gen consoles to bring us amazing visuals that this game seems to have in spades.
After downloading Just Dance 2021, the set up was as simple as learning line dancing - Uhm, not that I line dance. If you’re worried about not having the right equipment, don’t worry. As I’ve mentioned before - the Just Dance App is the best thing since High School Musical… No? Just me? Ok, I digress.
Now the gameplay is basically the same whether you have a motion camera or a cell phone (minus the accidental phone drop or toss across the room). The music selection this time around is “simply the best” and with the added bonus of a Just Dance Unlimited subscription, your choices are shot to over 600 songs to keep you entertained and dancing all night long. Can you get through them all?
I have to admit that I did try out the kids' levels first (for the purpose of being thorough of course), and felt like an absolute dance master. So I attempted the easy, medium, and hard levels and well, let’s just say, I need more practice. But whether I was amazing or just plain sucked, I had fun either way which, in my opinion, is the aim of the game.
During my time playing this game, I found myself wanting to call my friends over for a dance party or wanting my own 8-year-old daughter to experience the fun of playing and going crazy. So as the music fades on this review, let’s take a step back and look at what gaming is. Gaming is an activity that is meant to be fun and entertaining to help us forget the stresses of living in the real world and, in my opinion, this game does just that! It takes you back to a time when arcades were troves of joy and, for most of us, those memories are what we wish to experience again. Today’s next-gen games are amazing - no doubt about it, but Just Dance 2021 allows you to be that kid again…waiting patiently in line for your turn to play.
And so, on that nostalgic note (I promise to stop the music and dance puns now), I give my dance moves 1 out of 10 but Just Dance 2021 comes in clutch on that with a staggering 9 out of 10 stars!
I dedicate this next dance to Prima Interactive for throwing the game our way. Thank you.