Wii Remote in hand, there’s little awaiting you in Just Dance 2015 beyond expectation. It has been five years since Ubisoft first had us up and off the couch to gleefully jive along to on-screen choreography, but this year has seen their attention shift toward transitioning the experience to the smartphone market with Just Dance Now.
That isn’t to say that Just Dance 2015 should instantly be dismissed. Beneath the neon-infused exterior lies another solid entry that retains the enviable foundation that the publisher has now laid for their powerhouse of a series. Players will once again be able to bop out to the latest tunes in the comfort of their own home, rather than risk pulling all the wrong moves in public on the dance floor.
The experience remains the same, then, with players required to mirror an on-screen dancer while copying their moves as closely in rhythm as possible. Pictograms show steps before they occur, and so through repeated play you can more accurately learn what they represent to anticipate what’s expected of you next to rack up more dizzying scores.
Choreography ranges from more mischievous routines through to those that ludicrously baffle, namely in Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” where the player falls under attack from a space fleet armada entirely controlled by cats. But the complete tracklist packs plenty of punch, with chart sensations such as Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Pharrell Williams all present. Even global megahit “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen makes an appearance, even if the accompanying choreography isn’t quite as grandiose as the empowering song itself.
Those looking for new additions will discover them in the Just Dance Wall – allowing you to keep track of news, events and how your friends are faring – while Community Remix lets you record videos to share with Ubisoft. The best of these are then remixed, and shared with the community for everyone to dance along to – outrageous costumes are encouraged! World Dance Floor makes a return now with appearances from special guests, whereas Challenge Mode allows you to send scores to a friend or the online community to see if they can best your dancing skills.
The beauty of this is that challenger scores can be retrieved online at any time, dismissing the need for matchmaking to secure rivals for you to face live there and then. Modes continue with the reappearance Party Master, allowing one devilish player to change the choreography to keep dancers on their toes, and Sweat Mode which tracks how many calories you’re burning.
If you grow tired of swinging your limbs around, then you can choose to slot in a Wii U microphone – warbling your way through the eclectic song mix to earn yourself a Mojo bonus. Those feeling adventurous enough can dance and sing at the same time, although that will most likely prove a struggle for most…
As with the predecessors to Just Dance 2015, criticism can be placed in the scoring system’s simplicity. With each move, players are showered with misses as well as “Ok,” “Good,” and “Perfect” ratings, not to mention the congratulatory “Yeah!” that accompanies you pulling off a Gold Move. These all lead to your overall performance mark awarded in Stars, but there’s still remarkably little guidance on how to improve.
By this point, Ubisoft knows what their loyal Just Dance fans enjoy and have dutifully delivered. While not expanding on their party classic much further than that seen before, Just Dance 2015 won’t disappoint those looking for a new track selection and accompanying choreography to dance along to. And if you’re not breaking a sweat, you’re clearly not pushing yourself hard enough.