Just Dance 2021 Review

"Mixed Grooving"

Campaign

November 13, 2020 at 3:28pm
By Jason Stettner

It’s that time of the year to get grooving again, with the latest release in the Just Dance series. It gains another year number, and drops the brief story based mode they had thrown in last time around to focus once again on just a selection of tracks. There really isn’t much new here aside from a fresh selection of songs and a slightly revamped option for quick play.

It’s easier to jump in for something fast to be given without having to shift through the library. There’s also now a suggestions tab that appears after songs you’ve chosen in the regular open dance library, I turned it off immediately. I mean, I’m picking songs so I don’t need suggestions there. That aside, there’s the traditional World Dance Floor where it’s more of a global dance situation. You also have sweat mode if you want to get a better calorie burn going.

On top of that you have playlists which either help you find music from different eras or allow you to create your own playlist selections for music. If you’re looking at this from the perspective of buying it for the younger ones it even has a curated “kids” section with a decent selection of songs being present within that area. With that, an in-game candy type machine that gives you unlocks constantly while playing for profile decoration which is nice.

Gameplay

If you’re not familiar with the dancing games you have the choice to either use the Kinect (Xbox One only, not Xbox Series X/S) for motion input, or to just use a free to download app on your phone. I use the latter these days as my console no longer supports Kinect which is of course sorrowing. That aside, the phone app works fine surprisingly. It’s also how you control the menus of the game, and it’s very good in that regard with some upgrades this year.

While playing you get to see the dance of the particular song you’ve selected on the screen and you’re trying to match the moves being presented. The difficulty of the routines varies based on what you’re playing, and each song has a unique style to it. They do a good job with the imagery, always a highlight of this franchise. They present very neat visual backdrops for the music. You’re able to dance alone, or with others. Some songs are setup for larger groups, some are for smaller group quantities.

The song list here is ok, there are some alright inclusions and a number of the bigger hits from recent memory that I’m sure many will enjoy. I also found it had even more of a global selection this time around, so only a small bit of the overall core library was appealing to me.

Just Dance Unlimited
This is an area of the game that provides over six hundred extra songs. You get a free month of it, and from there it is subscription based. This game really does feel like more of a launching pad for that service. It expands the library greatly with songs from the past entries in the series and more, with additional tracks being added over tie. It’s really quite of high value to this offering.
Just Dance 2021 Review Xbox Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Just Dance 2021 is truly more of the same, they haven’t done anything new aside from adding a fresh selection of songs to the game. I was hoping for maybe a different mode or two, it was just the same thing and the music they chose really didn’t hit the mark for me this year. It’s still a really solid experience, and well worth it for the younger audience in this climate.

It’s a great way to get some exercise in, I even build up a sweat while playing. I think with that audience, it hits the mark and even has a specific kids area for the specifically young ones too which is great. The modes are fairly much the same, and more than ever it feels like a launch pad to get people into the Just Dance Unlimited service. That in itself is a great offering for sure, and I highly suggest it. I think this is a good way to get some fitness in and have fun at home.

I do wish that they would at some point offer a camera option with Kinect being gone now and other platforms also moving a tad away from their platform equivalents. The phone app does get the job done, but it also doesn’t necessary feel the same. It’s a decent entry in the series I suppose, just not one that really steps up in any areas to provide something new. Still, excellent choreography set against stunning backdrops.

Read our Let's Sing Queen Review
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Just Dance 2021 Review on Xbox Series X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft

Rating Overall: 6.7

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner