‘Just Dance 2’ improves original hit

October 15, 2010 Review Print Print

Whether you have the rhythmic prowess of Michael Jackson or you dance with your cat when no one is watching, you’re bound to love “Just Dance 2,” released Oct. 12 for the Nintendo Wii.

“Just Dance 2” is the long-awaited sequel to “Just Dance,” the original video game to feature real dance moves to popular music tracks.

Before the “Just Dance” series revolutionized the genre, dance games were basically exercises set to music. You would stomp your feet or move your hands to watch an on-screen pattern.

But in “Just Dance 2” and its predecessor, you aren’t just playing a video game or exercising: you are learning real dance moves.

When start the game, the main menu is refreshingly simple.

There are no fancy cut-scenes or long lists of gameplay options, just three: “Dance!,” “Store,” and “Extras.”

To get right to the action, you’ll want to click “Dance!” then, on the subsequent menu, “Just Dance.”

Up to four players can play at a time, each wielding their own Wii remote.

As in the original, you try to mirror the moves of an animated dancer on the screen, while scrolling stick figures offer a heads up as to which move is coming next.

An indicator on the left-hand side of the screen will tell you how well you nailed the moves, ranging from “X” to “on fire.”

Even for new gamers, the controls of “Just Dance 2” are effortless: you only use buttons to pick your song.

The rest of the time, you simply strap your Wii remote to your wrist and hold the device in your hand while you dance the night away.

One major enhancement “Just Dance 2” has over its precursor is the wide selection of songs.

Unlike in “Just Dance,” which stuck mainly to pop and disco hits, the sequel offers everything from Elvis Presley to Rihanna.

“Just Dance 2” also offers scores of new play modes, allowing players to battle their friends in everything from dance-offs to a new twist on “Simon says.”

The graphics in “Just Dance 2” have definitely improved: they are brighter, sharper, and more colorful.

Not only are they more visualy appealing, but they also ease the difficulty in figuruing out what the on-screen dancer is doing.

The best new feature, however, is “Just Sweat” mode.

In it, you set the number of calories you want to melt, and then you just dance away until they’ve burned off.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just trying to maintain it, 30 minutes of dancing beats 45 minutes of walking on a boring treadmill.

On the surface, “Just Dance 2” is simply another version of the original.

Once you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find that “Just Dance 2” has not only duplicated an award-winning formula: it has perfected it.

Rating: A

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