Just Dance 2018 (PS4, Switch, Wii U, Wii, PS3, Xbox One, 360)

The Just Dance series of games is one of the more popular console dance music games out there.  So much so that there’s a new yearly release annually, and it’s time for the 2018 version to hit with more songs and other goodies.  It’s available for nearly all current game consoles, but reviewed on PS4 here.

So you have three ways to play in the PS4 version.  You can play with the PS Camera, the PS Move, or download the Just Dance app to your smartphone.  I don’t have a PS Camera or Move, so I used my smartphone.  At first, I would’ve rather have reviewed it on something like the Switch, which has dedicated motion controllers.  But now I’m glad I got to play it on the PS4 and was forced to try it on a smartphone because it works surprisingly well!  You just download the app and make sure both your smartphone and the console are connected to the same WiFi service, and it just magically works!  You can sift through the menus on your smartphone and use it as a motion controller and it seemed to work pretty well for me.  I didn’t think it would work on my old cell phone (I’ve had it since 2012), but other than eating the batteries very quickly, it worked just fine.  Only other problem I had was when I went to try and edit my profile, it said I couldn’t do it on my smartphone.  But when I turned the app off, it wouldn’t let me control anything at all.  I just couldn’t figure it out.  I don’t know why you can’t use the regular PS4 controllers to play the game (other than the menus), since I thought they had motion controls in them, too.  But oh well.  Everything else is great.

So in the game, you use the motion controls to dance to a variety of songs, and if you can dance closest to the beat, you’ll get a higher rating.  Songs include modern hits from artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and more.  Also included are songs from the 70’s and 80’s, classical pieces, and even a song from Japanese Vocaloid Hatsune Miku and a Disney song from Moana!  I always appreciate a music game that has a wide variety of songs.  The initial game has 40 songs, but after you play a few, you’ll unlock Just Dance Unlimited, a paid service where you can dance to more than 300 songs!  Best of all, you’ll get a free three-month trial of Unlimited, which is great because when I reviewed Just Dance 2017, you only got a 2-day trial.  So it’s a fantastic deal!  In the game, the dancers wear a colored glove, and this is to show you which hand to hold the controller or phone.  I was confused at first which hand I should hold it in (is it their right or my right?), but after not doing well holding it in my left hand, and doing better when I switched it to my right, I figured it was my right hand.  A little more instruction would’ve been nice, but at least it was easy to figure out.  So yeah, hold the controller in your right hand.  The game has pictures cues to show you what moves to do next, but I found it easier just to watch the dancers on screen.

There are three main modes of play in the game.  Just Dance is the featured mode where you’ll be spending most of your time. We’ll get to the modes in that later. In the World Dance Floor mode, you can compete with others online and post your best scores.  If you have a camera, you can also upload your dance sessions for others to see as well.  Finally is a new Kids Mode for young dancers.  They can pick from a selection of songs, and the ratings change and are easier to get.  It’s a neat new feature for families, but I would’ve liked to have seen more content for the Kids Mode.

Once you play a few songs in Just Dance Mode, you’ll unlock a variety of sub modes.  Play the 40 include songs in Just Dance 2018, or sift through the Unlimited selection in alphabetical order.  You can also search for songs.  The game will also give you recommendations, and you can challenge yourself with Extreme Mode or take it slow with Easy Peasy Party.  You can put songs on your favorites or create a play list.  In the Dance Lab, you’ll move to a variety of music styles as you try to quickly fill up a meter.  And finally, you can turn on a Fitness mode which will track your calories burned as you play. As you play, you’ll earn Mojo Tokens that you can spend to unlock other goodies.

While there are a few problems and the game isn’t really my personal cup of tea, there’s a reason why they poop out a new Just Dance game every year.  The games have a high level of quality and if you enjoy dancing to music with your friends, you should definitely check this one out.

Kid Factor:

Just Dance 2018 is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Lyrics.  But it’s nothing worse than what you hear on the radio.  Parental supervision is recommended for setup and the online modes and in-game purchases.  And make sure the kids can hold onto the cell phones without dropping them, and give them enough room so they don’t bump into each other.  With up to six player simultaneous play, and the new Kids mode, everyone in the family can get in on the act.  Great for slumber parties and get-togethers, just as long as you have enough smartphones!

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