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Just Dance 3 360 Kinect Review

11/10/2011 Family Domestic Gamer Review
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Just Dance 3 360 Kinect

Just Dance 3

Format:
360 Kinect

Genre:
Rhythmaction

Style:
Sharedscreen
Competitive
Cooperative

Further reading:
Kinect Fruit Ninja

Buy/Support:
Support Josie, click to buy via us...


Other GamePeople columnists have reviewed this from their perspective - huh?:
Family Gamer (360)
Fitness Gamer (Wii)


Just Dance 3 Kinect adds full body dancing and bespoke choreography to what is already my favourite dance game. Sensibly shaped dancers and a great track list make this a great party game for all ages.

We have really enjoyed Just Dance in our family, and bought the first two games on the Wii -- not to mention the Michael Jackson Experience and Kids spin off game a few months back.

I think it is because of this that we haven't used our 360 Kinect setup for dancing. Kinect has largely been my daytime reserve for some exercise, and games with my pre-school aged son who loves Kinect Fruit Ninja.

I was interested to discover that Just Dance 3 was not only on the Wii this time, but on Kinect as well (ed: not to mention PlayStation 3 Move). As we have two Just Dance games on the Wii already we decided to go for the Kinect version this time around.

I have to say this took a fair bit of getting used to. Firstly the experience of dancing in front of the Kinect camera is very different. You see a silhouette of your body in the top left of the screen, which makes you aware of each move you are making. Once I realised I still needed to look at the lead dancers on the screen to know what to do I got on much better.

Not holding anything was also a little strange after the last couple of years clutching the Wii-mote. But as I got used to this I found it actually meant I would dance with my whole body. On the Wii you know it can't tell what you are doing with your legs so often miss those moves out -- but on Kinect there is no getting away with that.

Unlike Dance Central 2, which I recently tried out at a game show, Just Dance 3 is much less exacting. This means that if you do the move roughly in the right direction it will give you points. You can even use the wrong arm or leg and still score well -- although to get Perfect on a move you do need to get the timing and the motion spot on.

Like Just Dance 3 on the Wii, this version on the 360 offers some new ways to dance together. What I was most impressed with was that it supported up to four people dancing simultaneously with Kinect -- I had thought the controller only worked for two. A word of warning though, to get this working properly we had to move the 360 setup out into our large conservatory. This gave us the extra space we needed and meant we were away from direct sunlight at the back of the house -- at least there is one benefit for not having a south facing garden.

The clever thing is that Kinect "sees" who you are from your body shape.

When you dance with multiple players you can choose dances where you all do the same moves or, and this was my favourite, you can go for songs where each player has different choreography. You simply stand in front of the character you want to follow before the song starts and then stick to their particular dance. The clever thing is that once you have registered for a particular dance you can then move around freely and Kinect "sees" who you are from your body shape.

I spent some time in the week putting together some custom routines. This is something you can do on Kinect but not on the Wii or PlayStation Move version. Basically you record yourself performing a move in front of the camera, which is then captured by Kinect. Once you are happy it has been "seen" accurately you can save it. Then you can combine this with other moves to make up a whole routine.

Underlying all this, like in previous Just Dance games, are some sensible design and dancer decisions. Each of the on-screen performers not only matches the style (and theme) of each song but is also shaped like a normal human being. This may sounds like a minor point, but in a world so shape obsessed it's a real god-send for a mum -- thinking more about the children's body-image than my own.

The most fiddly side of the game were the menus. It is hard to tell who is actually in control of choosing each song, and even when you have figured that out making a song selection is more luck than judgement. It's not too bad for adults, but put a smaller person in charge and Kinect seems to really struggle to see what they are doing.

You can go for songs where each player has different choreography.

To a lesser extent this is true in the main game. It worked really well for a bunch of mum friends I had over one evening, but try and play with our youngest (3 yrs) or even middle son (6 yrs) and it often got a bit lost. It also seemed to work better in the evening away from bright sunlight than in the daytime.

Even with these hang-ups the novelty of dancing without a controller was still enough to keep us persevering with it -- well all except our youngest who won't play it unless it's the Wii version. In fact we sometimes just give him a Wii-mote to hold while he's playing the Kinect game. The funny thing is it seems to work better that way -- although my husband assures me that can't be the case.

I'll leave you with the full track list of songs:

1. What You Waiting For? by Gwen Stefani
2. Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce
3. Pump It by The Black Eyed Peas
4. Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock
5. No Limit by 2 Unlimited
6. I Was Made for Lovin' You by KISS
7. Boogie Wonderland by Groove Century
8. California Gurls by Katy Perry, featuring Snoop Dogg
9. Dynamite by Taio Cruz
10. Giddy On Up by Laura Bell Bundy
11. Lollipop by MIKA
12. Take On Me by A-ha
13. Apache (Jump On It) (Instrumental) by The Sugarhill Gang
14. Baby One More Time by The Girly Team
15. E.T. (Best Buy Exclusive) by Katy Perry
16. Forget You by Cee Lo Green
17. Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) by C+C Music Factory
18. Night Boat to Cairo by Madness
19. She's Got Me Dancing by Tommy Sparks
20. Teenage Dream (Best Buy Exclusive) by Katy Perry
21. Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles
22. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' by Scissor Sisters
23. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
24. Tightrope by Janelle MonŠe featuring Big Boi
25. Baby Zouk by Dr. Creole
26. Beautiful Liar by Countdown Mix Masters
27. Boom by Reggaeton Explosion
28. Da Funk by Daft Punk
29. Dance All Nite by Anja
30. Hey Boy Hey Girl by The Chemical Brothers
31. Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms
32. I Feel Love by Donna Summers
33. I'm So Excited by The Pointer Sisters
34. Jamaican Dance by Konshens
35. Price Tag by Jessie J feat, B.o.B
36. Jump (For My Love) by Girls Aloud
37. Kurio ko uddah le jana by Bollywood Rainbow
38. Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett
39. Mamasita by Latino Sunset
40. Marcia Baila by Rita Mitsouko
41. Pata Pata by African Ladies
42. Spectronizer
43. Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
44. Satellite by Lena Meyer-Landrut
45. Somethin' Stupid by Robbie Williams featuring Nicole Kidman
46. The Master Blaster by Inspector Marceau
47. Think by The London Theatre Orchestra & Cast
48. This Is Halloween by Danny Elfman
49. Venus by Bananarama
50. Airplanes (TE) by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams
51. Let's Go To The Mall by Robin Sparkles
52. Only Girl (In the World) (TE) by Rihanna
Written by Josie Campbell

You can support Josie by buying Just Dance 3



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Josie Campbell writes the Domestic Gamer column.

"As quite a domesticated mum of three I love the thought that Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS lite and PSP games can have a practical role around the home and enriching everyday life but also fun to chill out and unwind with too. Here are my Domestic Gamer review, join me to read about all sorts of games, from cooking, health, and family ones too."

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