Just Dance 3 Review

By Lauren Alessandra on October 11, 2011

Rhythm games have been around for many years. From DDR to PaRappa the Rappa and even Guitar Hero, all of which have provided a ton of fun for families to enjoy. Just Dance has been around since 2009 and even since then, it has received a bit of a makeover. Now competing with the likes of Dance Central, Just Dance 3 has begun to feel the heat to provide excellent rhythm based gameplay and, of course, fun for the whole family. With a ton of additions and compatibility with both the PlayStation Move (in the future) and Microsoft's Kinect, it seems as though Just Dance 3 is only getting started.

Much like the previous title, Just Dance 3 offers over 40 different songs from many different eras including songs from the 50s. So whether you're in the mood for something from 1966 or perhaps something from 1993, there's a song for everyone. The other fascinating thing about this series is the attention to detail on the dance styles. Each of the dance routines are completely dedicated to the type of song you're dancing to and some of the songs even take dance moves right from the artist themselves. If perchance you wish to dance to "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO you can be completely certain that you will have to do some shuffling. If the Chemical Brothers are more your style, "Hey Boy Hey Girl" will without a doubt have you poppin' and lockin'. The fact that this series pays so much attention to detail in the routines, Just Dance 3 is really a haven for those of us who enjoy dancing.

Just Dance 3 also offers some upgrades compared to its predecessor. One in particular is the 'Quartet' mode which allows four dancers at a time compared to the original 'Solo' and 'Duet' mode. This means that if you have four players, each of those four will be able to choose one dancer to follow. Each of those dancers on the screen may have completely different choreography giving each player a different experience, but it can also create a bit of confusion if the player doesn't remember which dancer they're supposed to follow. Some of the 'Quartet' songs are 'Night Boat to Cairo' by Madness and 'Boogie Wonderland' by Earth, Wind, and Fire. While dancing can be very fun, the Wii often will fail to recognize your movements and cause you to score a ton lower than your friend who may be just going through the motions. Though it's fun to dance around, it's disheartening to know that all of your hard work has gone to waste due to the fact that the sensor bar hasn't picked up all of your movements.

Also, exclusively on the Wii and Move versions, Just Dance 3 has 'Smart Shuffle' mode where players can challenge each other unlocking various awards. In 'Simon Says', players have to not only dance along to the songs, but also have to follow commands in order to earn points. Such commands include "Stop" which the player needs to stay completely still, "Spin Around" which the player needs to turn in a circle with their arms out wide, "Clap" where you have to clap along to the song, and finally "Shake" which players need to shake their Wii controllers and fill up the a yellow bar in order to get the maximum amount of points. These are all randomized and don't always pertain to all players. There are some issues with this mode though, as when spinning, unless if you have a lot of room to spread your arms, it won't acknowledge that you've done anything. Also clapping can go a bit strange and not recognize that you are clapping to the beat of the song.

The Just Sweat mode from Just Dance 2 is back again and still as great as ever. Each time you log into your profile on a song, your sweat count will increase and your scores will be stored in your selected workout program. Each of the 3 programs focuses on a particular level of work out stress. With how Just Dance uses profiles, this work out program is one of the more organized ones. In games like Dance Dance Revolution, you would need to set up your profile every time you wish to workout, whereas with Just Dance, once you set up a workout program initially, you won't need to worry about setting it up every time.

Just Dance has always looked sleek and organized with one or two dancers in the centre, player scores on either side and dance move diagrams scrolling along the bottom. With the Dance Mash-up Mode, it's very interesting how they've incorporated all of the different dance styles. Although with that being said, it can get complicated when transitioning between the styles as the moves don't really fit each other as neatly compared to when they're in their specific style. This is of course a part of the challenge, but it may prove a bit too confusing for newcomers who aren't as familiar.

Final Thoughts

The Just Dance series is only improving over time and Just Dance 3 is in no way a step back from the previous titles. With the new songs, new modes, and the return of the Just Sweat feature, Just Dance 3 provides hours of fun for families and party goers alike. It does exactly what's expected of it and it does it well.

Offers more dance related challenges.
Includes music from many different eras ranging a bunch of different people.
Just Sweat mode is pretty fun.
Doesn't always pick up dance moves.
You need a lot of space for multiple people, or there will be collisions.
May be difficult for newbies to pick up dance moves.
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