You know we’re nearing the end of the year if Ubisoft releases a new Just Dance game. As someone who’s been playing since Just Dance 2 on the Nintendo Wii – which I learned today is more than ten years ago…- it always gets me hyped up. JD has always been a staple of my gaming library, both for home workouts as for dance parties. Let’s look at what Just Dance 2022 has in store for us this time around.
|Buy if:||Don’t buy if:|
|– You like previous editions|
– You’re looking to combine gaming
and moving/working out
– You like to dance
|– You did not like previous editions|
– You’re looking for something new
– You don’t like moving your body to the beat
Just Dance 2022 – Why I keep buying it
Music has always brought people together, and it’s never failed to lift my mood. Just Dance 2022 offers exactly the same gameplay as usual, but Ubisoft has really nailed the dance party down. The motion tracking with the Joy-Cons or even your phone works pretty much flawlessly. I’ve played with camera tracking at events before and that seems to work wonderfully as well. A nice bonus is that you also see the lyrics displayed, which can turn your dance party into a karaoke.
What’s new? Well, as always Just Dance 2022 provides about 40 novel songs to dance to. The track list can differ slightly based on your region, in the Benelux e.g. it will include the modern K3 song. For a full list, Ubisoft refers you to this playlist on YouTube. As always it’s a good mix of classics, recent hits and some internet phenomena. Since I’ve been bitten by the Kpop-bug recently, my personal favourite in this list is “Jopping” by SuperM.
What really stood out to me this year are the creative and stunning backdrops and overall visuals of the songs. The gameplay may not have changed, but the visual department really stepped up their game.
Because I got really into Beatsaber last year, I decided to skip JD 2021. I’d still like to mention the “Quick Play”-mode that was introduced back then though. Just Dance 2022’s home screen makes you choose between the Kids section, the regular Just Dance and Quick Play. As the name suggests, it will throw a random song at you to play. It reminds me of the “Play Something” Netflix introduced. I personally prefer to at least randomize a playlist, but if you’re really in the mood for literally ANYTHING, the Quick Play mode is perfect for you.
Something I hadn’t noticed before either are the song suggestions. After you’ve finished dancing to any song from the library, the game will suggest other songs you might like and can jump right into. The game also has a playlist section though, with new playlists every day, which are a great place to start at. You can of course also just create your own playlists.
Just Dance 2022 also lets you take it to the World stage, where you compete against other players from around the globe. You compete in mini tournaments consisting of 3 songs, and will be placed in groups of people with roughly the same skills.
Just Dance 2022 – Room for improvement
Although I skipped Just Dance 2021, the menu looks exactly the same as Just Dance 2020s. I assume it has stayed the same since. I have mixed feelings about that, I remember for previous versions I was annoyed that all they seemed to have changed was the lay-out of the menu. Now that they did not change it, I’m still kinda annoyed? It’s easy to navigate though, and for not so regular gamers it’s probably a relief when things look exactly the same. Yet I’m sure there’s still ways to improve the current UI and I wish Ubisoft would invest more time in that.
When focusing on songs in the “Extreme” or “Hard” category, I often find myself struggling with the same parts. It would be great to have the option to replay only a certain bit, and even play it at a slower speed to really get those moves down. The aim of Just Dance 2022 is of course not to beat other players, but to have fun. Yet, it would be a lot of fun to nail even the hardest songs. And to rank #1 on the World Stage some day.
Just Dance 2022 – Unlimited
Just Dance 2022 is a standalone game, but it becomes so much better if you add Just Dance Unlimited. The subscription service gives you access to a library of 700+ songs. These are songs from previous editions and songs that got added along the way for Unlimited members only. If you’re a regular player like me, just buy a physical copy of the game and get a 1-year subscription to Unlimited (for only 25 euros). When the next version releases, you can simply sell your old copy, since you’ll still have access to most of those songs thanks to Unlimited. The cool thing is that your high scores from the previous edition get carried over. Sadly, there’s not yet a way to carry over your personal playlists.
Just Dance 2022 is available on most platforms, for the first time Ubisoft offers different editions. The standard edition comes with 1 month of JD Unlimited, while the Deluxe Edition comes with 3 months and the Ultimate Edition with 1 year. You can of course subscribe to the service separately, as has always been the case.
FYI: if you link your Ubisoft Connect account, you can get another free month of JD Unlimited!
Huge thanks to CDMedia for the opportunity to review this game.