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Review of Just Dance Summer Party for the Wii

Just Dance 2 by
Platform: Wii
Rated:E
4 of 5 stars – Fun as all Just Dance games are, but nothing really new.
by ,
Written on August 1, 2012

First there was Just Dance. And it was pretty good.

Then there was Just Dance 2. And it was very good.

Then there was Just Dance Broadway (Dance on Broadway). Then Just Dance Michael Jackson (Michael Jackson: The Experience). Then Just Dance Kids. Then, uh, Just Dance Smurfs (I kid you not…see The Smurfs Dance Party).

And now, Just Dance Summer Party. And it’s at this point that we all start to wonder…is this just a wee bit too much?

Well, I’m happy to say no, you can’t have enough Just Dance. Because the songs are new and the steps are new, you never really get the sense of having “been there and done that”. With Just Dance Summer Party there are 23 new songs that are perfect for, well, summer parties.

As with all other variations of Just Dance, you only need a single Wii remote to play, and up to four players can play together (either in competition or in dancing choreographed routines together). As with Just Dance 2, the motion detection is excellent. Not perfect, but good enough that as you practice and learn the dance moves, you’ll see your score rise. And yes, after playing through just a few songs I felt my arms strengthen and my cardio go up, so it’s still a great way to get some exercise.

The songs are all very catchy and make great dance tunes, and of course they’re all choreographed excellently. Here’s Katy Perry’s “Firework” where you can show off moves like Katy herself does:

They actually have a gospel tune by The Reverend Horatio Duncan & Amos Sweets:  “Down by the Riverside”, with some rather inspirational choreography:

Perhaps my all-time favorite choreography: Carl Douglas’s classic “Kung Fu Fighting”, with dance moves paying homage not just to the classic funky tune, but also to classic video game fighting:

So as you can see, Just Dance Summer Party follows in the footsteps of previous Just Dance titles. As with Just Dance 2, there are icons that tell you the workout intensity (one of three icons shaped like a drop of sweat) and the technical complexity (one of three icons shaped like a gear) above each song. There’s also a “Duet” icon which lets you know if the song is choreographed as a routine for two people.

Also as with Just Dance 2, there’s a “Just Sweat” mode where you don’t worry about your score and just burn those calories away. There are also Dance Battles and Dance Party, perfect for those summer parties.

I give Just Dance Summer Party a 4 of 5 stars, not so much for the game play, which is as excellent as Just Dance 2, but more so because it really doesn’t add much new;  there are only 20 songs on this volume, which makes the list price of $30 a little suspect (Just Dance 2 had 44 tracks and is going for about the same price). Also, most of the songs have been available on the Wii store as downloadable content already.

Here are all the songs included on the disc:

  1. A Band of Bees – Chicken Payback
  2. A R Rahman, Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger – Jai Ho! (You are my destiny)
  3. Blur – Song 2
  4. Carl Douglas – Kung Fu Fighting (Dave Ruffy / Mark Wallis remix)
  5. Estelle feat Kanye West – American Boy
  6. Katy Perry – Firework
  7. M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up The Volume
  8. Panic At The Disco – Nine in the Afternoon
  9. Rihanna – Pon De Replay
  10. Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild
  11. The Supremes – You Can’t Hurry Love
  12. V V Brown – Crying Blood
  13. Countdown Dee’s Hit Explosion – Barbie Girl
  14. Love Letter – Why oh why
  15. Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergersen – Professeur Pumplestickle
  16. Studio Allstars – Maniac
  17. Sweat Invaders – Funkytown’
  18. Sweat Invaders – Skin-to-Skin
  19. The Hit Crew – Here Comes The Hotstepper
  20. The Lemon Cubes – Mambo NO. 5 (A Little Bit Of Monica)
  21. The Lemon Cubes – Moving On Up
  22. The Reverend Horatio Duncan & Amos Sweets – Down By The Riverside
  23. The World Cup Girls – Futebol Crazy

I do suspect this will be the last title of the “current series” before Ubisoft releases Just Dance 3 in October. Just Dance 3 promises to be amazing, with features such as letting you interact with the in-game world, Dance Crew mode, Flash Mob mode, and Just Sweat More, a training program with calculated Cardio Training and on-going assessment to help you stay fit. It will be interesting to see if Ubisoft can compete with the likes of Dance Central 2 on Kinect and Everybody Dance for Playstation by sticking to simplicity and fun.

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