Just Dance 2014 Review

I've become completed addicted to this game since it was bought for me at Christmas. Like the previous versions of Just Dance, you can expect the latest catchy songs, bright colours and energetic moves. This version does come with a few exciting extras!

It's available on both Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, has a multi-player option, a 'Sweat' mode and also an Xbox live online mode so that you can dance with players from all over the world (don't worry they can't see you, just your score!).  
The Sweat mode has changed since Just Dance 4, it's no longer a pre-set list of songs interspersed with some themed workout, such as combat. Instead, there are timed options such as 10 minutes, 20 and 40 or the one I always use, Free Mode. This lets you enable to mode so that a calorie counter is always displayed in the corner of the screen while you pick any songs you like to dance to and as many as you want. Stay on for 30 minutes or an hour, it's up to you! 

The calorie counter itself is however, really inaccurate when compared to a heart rate monitor. It calculates using the personal data (weight, age, height) stored in your gamer profile (Xbox 360 version) and the movements the Kinect sensor sees - I've personally found it to be way out and I suspect this is because it doesn't count the time in-between songs, which is misleading if like me you go straight to the next song and your heart is still racing while you wait for it to load up. I tend to ignore the calorie counter an use the sweat mode to block the auto-dance feature at the end of the track, meaning I can start the next song quickly and avoid seeing my sweaty self dancing on screen!

The dance moves to some of the songs are far more advance than they were in earlier versions of Just Dance. I highly recommend playing Rihanna's 'Where have you been?' and unlocking the extreme mode of this song to really test your fitness. Other favourites of mine include Limbo by Daddy Yankee (you recognise this from Zumba classes), Follow the Leader by Wisin & Yandel Ft. Jennifer Lopez, Wild by Jessie J, and She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) by David Guetta Ft. Sia - which makes a good warm up track. There's lots of good dance songs on this title and at long last they've featured Lady Gaga's Just Dance - you'd have thought this song would have been the game's title song! Speaking of Lady Gaga, her latest single 'Applause' is also in this game. 

All songs in the game have various unlockable modes. Some have an 'On Stage' mode, where your karaoke skills can be put to the test while you try frantically to catch your breath from dancing, others have an extreme mode where the moves become very challenging and there's a mash up mode for some songs, where moves and on-screen dancers from other songs in the game are put together to one track. The mash-up mode for 'Turn up the Love' - Far East Movement ft. Cover Drive is a great example of this. 

The game also allows you to compete with other players from around the world - fortunately you can't see each other dance, only each others scores. This mode has a lot of potential, but I think it needs more players to work better as theirs currently a lot of waiting around for other dancers to connect to.    

Overall, this game is a really fun way to get a cardio workout into your weekly routine.  I can't bring myself to run or use the cardio machines at the gym, but when it comes to dance workouts I'll happily sweat away for an hour and even look forward to a planned session. I also find it helpful to have a playlist of my favourite tracks from the game to listen to when I need motivation as I now have a powerful association of the songs with the game's dance moves and so I just can't sit still and listen to them (besides, I'd normally listen to rock/metal music!). 

Just Dance 2014 is available to buy on amazon.co.uk  for both Wii and Xbox for around £20.

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