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Review – Just Dance 2017 (Nintendo Switch)

by on March 14, 2017
Details
 
Release Date

March 3rd, 2017

Developer

Ubisoft

 

It’s fair to say that party games are still popular after all these years.  While many gamers still value the single player experience, others gravitate towards games that allow players to move around and have some fun.  One such franchise, Just Dance, has been around for many years because of the lasting appeal that it provides to those who want a challenging, but care free gaming experience.  Just Dance 2017 has been released on many other consoles, and many of you have already tried it and played it.  This review will focus on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.  While it doesn’t bring a whole lot of innovation, it plays great on the Nintendo Switch.

For those who are unfamiliar with Just Dance, let me give you a brief synopsis – you dance.  You dance like you have never danced before.  Just Dance 2017 features 40 pop, rock, and international hits.  Your task is to follow the on screen movements as accurately as you can.  Each song has a variety of different dance moves for you to copy.  Each successful movement will let you gain points and a type of in game currency that allows you to unlock different variations of the songs.  The majority of the songs have specific beats and moves that you repeat throughout the song, which makes it a little easier to play.  I have the dance skills of a 90 year old arthritic man, and I was able to copy a good majority of the moves.

There are different styles for you to try.  You can try every song as a single player or in multiplayer.  However, you also have the option to do duets or songs that can be danced by three or four people.  Each character during these songs have different movements, so you will truly be dancing together.  Make sure you have a lot of space, especially if you have a large party.  Up to six players can dance on Just Dance 2017.

Just Dance utilizes the joy cons in order to track your movements and your accuracy.  You hold the Joy Con in your right hand as you copy the movements on the screen.  As someone who has played many variations of Just Dance (using Wii Remotes and the Kinect), I really enjoyed how accurate the Joy Cons are.  They are extremely accurate and light weight.  I kept thinking back at how cumbersome it was to hold a Wii Remote back in the day and dance for long periods of time.  These joy cons are perfect for the franchise.  Keep in mind that there are other options besides the Joy Con.  Smart phone users can download a free app and dance along with the Joy Con holders.  As I mentioned before, up to six players can dance.  When I tested out the app, I had a little difficulty connecting (to be honest, the age of my phone may have played a role with that issue).  I would suggest using the Joy Cons, but the smart phone app is a good alternative.

As I mentioned earlier, there are 40 tracks to choose from.  However, Nintendo Switch players have a free three month trial for Just Dance Unlimited.  Think of it as a song streaming service – there are over 200 songs and exclusive tracks for you to enjoy.  This, by far, is one of my favorite things about the Switch version of Just Dance 2017.  Having a three month trial is an incredible deal and gives you access to all kinds of different songs.  For example, my daughter is a huge Disney fan and was so excited to play because she has seen YouTube videos with Disney songs.  I was relieved to find many of these songs on Just Dance Unlimited.  I think it is a very smart move to have a service like this.  After your free trial, the cost of Just Dance Unlimited is $4.99 a month, $9.99 for three months, or $29.99 for a year (Quick note – Just Dance Unlimited is available for Wii U, Xbox One, and Playstation 4, but I am not aware if there was a free trial for the service on those systems).

The art design is pretty neat.  All of the dancers and backgrounds are very colorful and bright.  As someone who had their kids try the game, I really appreciated the bright red in the right hand to symbolize which hand should hold the controller!  The motion capture is really well done for the dancers.  Along with the great art design, you can unlock fun avatars and backgrounds for your profile.  There are many options to unlock, so play through all the songs to get as many avatars as possible!

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Just Dance 2017 offers that same great dancing mechanics and adds the accuracy of the Joy Cons.  The Joy Cons are very lightweight, which is perfect if you plan on dancing for long stretches of time.  While it doesn’t make any ground breaking changes to the formula, it does offer a really fun experience for dancers of all ages and abilities.

Just Dance 2017 is available now on the Nintendo Switch (and other current gen consoles) for $59.99.

Let us know what you think about the game in the comments below!!

 

Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a physical copy for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.

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Positives

Very accurate tracking with Joy Cons
Fun and colorful art design
Just Dance Unlimited three month trial

Negatives

Minor connectivity issues with Smart Phone App

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
A-

 
Graphics
B+

 
Story
C

 
Replay Value
A-

Total Score
B+

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Bottom Line
 

Just Dance 2017 offers that same great dancing mechanics and adds the accuracy of the Joy Cons. The Joy Cons are very lightweight, which is perfect if you plan on dancing for long stretches of time. While it doesn't make any ground breaking changes to the formula, it does offer a really fun experience for dancers of all ages and abilities.

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