I'd played and enjoyed Just Dance 2, and I knew that playing its predecessor, Just Dance, would feel like a step back. I'm a completist in general, though, and felt the need to try it out. The game is, believe it or not, even more simplistic than its successor. The motion controls do feel less accurate, and the ranking system in terms of achieving a target score is more basic. In this game the goal is to top 10,000 points in each song, which gets you a gold border in the song selection screen and the summary page that's buried under the Extras menu. You also apparently get a little trophy icon in the song selection screen if you top 15,000 points, although given the issues with the controls that probably takes a fair amount of trial-and-error-based "practice". The game also doesn't have some of the tiny additions introduced in the sequel, namely a visual cue of which hand is holding the wiimote, and "gold moves" (moves that, if you hit them, net you extra points).

A lot of the issues with the choreography are as apparent here as in the sequel, namely, too much mime (e.g. shooting imaginary guns and playing air guitar, among other movements), and a lot of focus on arm movements, which makes sense, seeing as how the motion detection is achieved solely via the single wiimote. Also, quite a lot of moves in this game were reused in the sequel, which made the choreography feel overly familiar too often. I'm also still not a big fan of the visuals, either, especially since, many sequels later, Ubisoft has still not changed the style at all.

Despite all of this, although I started off feeling pretty critical, after playing through all the songs, the game's ability to conjure up a chuckle and a smile--mostly at the sheer goofiness of my own ineptitude (I shudder to imagine what I actually looked like while playing this game!)--won me over. This doesn't feel like the best entry in the series, but it was enjoyable overall nonetheless, and an interesting debut to a series that has apparently gone on to sell more than 40 million units.

Some Just Dance links:
- Page at nintendo.com
-
Page on Wikipedia

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