It’s the holiday season, and a new year is on the horizon. Not only does that mean Santa Claus is planning another trip to every town on Earth; it also signals the return of one of the calendar’s most important party seasons. Each year, families and friends get together to celebrate their holiday(s) of choice, and sometimes video games are used to help keep the fun going. There certainly are a lot of options out there these days. In fact, there’s something for everyone, from Grandma to your three year-old nephew. Why not show your loved ones that fact, as well as the wonders of technology, at your next get-together?
Perhaps the most noteworthy of all of the family friendly titles out there, Ubisoft’s Just Dance 4 is a comedic good time. A game that mixes different genres of popular music with pose-based dancing, it’s an absolute must-buy for those who like to groove to the beat. Of course, the series is so popular now that its annual iterations are made available for every major console out there, and this holiday season’s most talked-about device is no exception. Now, even those who only own Nintendo’s Wii U can pick up and play the chart-topping music experience.
Not too long ago, I published my thoughts regarding the Kinect version of Just Dance 4. Although that review contains our official opinion of the game, I wanted to complement it by publishing a secondary review based on its Wii U peer. If you’d like to find out about all of the title’s core details, make sure to check out our original impressions piece. This one will predominantly focus on its latest iteration.
The major difference between the Xbox 360 version and its Wii U counterpart comes from the control category. While Kinect’s motion-sensing capabilities allowed for hands-free dancing, a Wii Remote Plus is required this time around. That’s to be expected, however, considering the fact that Nintendo’s latest console lacks that particular type of motion-sensing technology. It’s a downside to be sure, affecting the game’s grading capabilities a bit, but it doesn’t detract much from the overall experience. Just make sure to tightly fasten the controller’s wrist strap before playing, in order to avoid any unfortunate accidents.
Unsurprisingly, this particular release doesn’t feature the Just Dance TV mode that I remarked about in my previous article. Of course, you simply can’t create music videos without a camera. While social media aficionados will be disappointed by that fact, the online-enabled service has never been a detrimental facet. What’s important is that the core game and its two main gameplay modes – Just Dance and Sweat It – are available in their full glory, having been bolstered by three exclusive songs and minor upgrades to the latter exercise option.
In this industry, it’s common knowledge that Nintendo is all about getting people to play video games together, and Just Dance 4 complements that goal in grand fashion. Like its Wii-based predecessors, the sequel allows for several players to dance together, with each one needing to hold a Wii Remote Plus in order to do so. That’s where the party appeal lies, in a mechanic that has made Ubisoft millions of dollars. However, with that being said, there is one notable difference here, which comes in the form of an unlockable Puppet Master Mode. Working like its title suggests, the exclusive multiplayer challenge has one player using the GamePad to select moves for his or her peers to complete. As a result, it’s sure to draw a lot of attention from friendly groups of groove-filled players.
Even though I’ve never been a fan of dancing, and tend to be that guy who awkwardly stands while his friends dance at clubs, I have to give credit to Ubisoft. They’ve created a high-quality dancing game that works on all modern consoles and appeals to millions. If I had to pick one version of Just Dance 4 to buy as a gift for someone, it’d be the Xbox 360 one for the reasons mentioned above. However, this Wii U port plays just about as well, while looking and sounding just as good.
This review is based on a Wii U copy of the game that we were provided with.