Just Dance 2023, it's time to boogie
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Just Dance 2023, where in the name of all that’s holy do I start with this review? I’m sure when Ubisoft was creating this game and who their target demographic would be, I would be last on their list. An unfit, 41-year-old man who thinks modern music “isn’t as good as it used to be” wouldn’t be exactly who they had hoped would critique their latest release. But here we are.

Ubisoft’s latest instalment in the Just Dance franchise. It promises to be the biggest and best version of their famous and ridiculously popular game. Does it live up to the hype?

We all know what to expect from this franchise; pick a song and mimic the onscreen choreography prompts to achieve the highest score possible. Your movements are registered by holding a mobile device in your hand as you get your groove on. Obviously, this has limitations but surprisingly, more often than not, it is quite accurate considering the fact that only one hand’s movements is picked up. If your dance involves hip thrusts and kicks etc, the game doesn’t know that you have actually performed these moves which makes the scoring less than reliable at certain times.

Wow. You can really dance!

Games like these live and die by the song choices available. This is where Ubisoft has really upped the ante. There is an option to subscribe to Just Dance+ which includes a large number of titles and genres to choose from. Ubisoft will add new songs and dances throughout the year with this subscription. If this is your type of game, it really is amazing value for money at €24.99 for 12 months.

It was brought to my attention that there is one glaring omission to the game. That is the lack of ability to curate your own playlist of your favourite songs. There are plenty of pre-built setlists to choose from, but not every song will be to your taste. With the number of songs included, it can be a little frustrating to have to go through the menus to select your favourite song after each dance. It would make more sense to have the ability to have them teed up and ready to go.

The visuals are quite impressive, especially for a game where graphics are not all that important. The colours are vibrant, the camera angles cut in time to the music, and each song looks and feels different. It would have been easy to have not gone to the effort to make it look so polished, but they really have gone the extra mile here.

Oooh I wanna dance with somebody

There is an online co-op mode, but I didn’t give that much of a spin. I can imagine the response I’d get if I sent my similarly aged friends a request to join me in dancing to Dua Lipa. But from what I can see, it’s a functional mode that allows you to compete against your friends online from the comfort of your own houses. A welcome feature.

As I said earlier, this game is niche. It won’t be for everybody. Did I enjoy it? Not particularly. But why would they aim a game at men my age who think Taylor Swift is a speedy suit-maker? But I understand its appeal.

It’s the perfect game if you have a few friends around for some pre-drinks before heading out to show off your dance moves for real. It’s great for people who have any interest in dancing. The choreography is actually quite intricate and faithful if you up the difficulty level. It’s also ideal for children. My 12-year-old absolutely loves it and it’s a great way to sneakily encourage her to exercise and improve her dance technique. The game can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it.

So, Just Dance 2023 is an impressive title for anyone with even a passing interest in busting some moves. They won’t convert old codgers like me, but they don’t need to. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It looks great and has plenty of variety to keep every type of dancer happy.

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About The Author

Grumpy Old Man. Believes things were better when he was young.

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