Dance games were made for the Kinect, and Just Dance 3 is no exception. From developers Ubisoft Paris, the game provides your basic dance instruction and performance options, as well as a robust and surprisingly diverse 45+ music catalog.
First, some updates from the last-gen versions of the game: The biggest change is that you can now play with up to four people, which sets it apart from competitors. It also includes new music, of course. The Just Sweat workout mode has been expanded, and the new Just Create setting allows you to choreograph your own dances.
Unfortunately, the most noteworthy upgrade is four-player usage (which means dance routines, not just side-by-side dancing), and as Kinect owners know, the living room can get really crowded really fast. This is even more obvious with dancing games. Fortunately—or maybe unfortunately, depending how you look at it—Just Dance 3 doesn’t seem to require quite as much body movement as other dance games. In my experience, moving your limbs in generally the correct motion would get you a decent to good score, and actually completing the moves with the rest of your body wasn’t as important.
In general, Just Dance 3 isn’t so much for a dance game enthusiast as it is for Kinect enthusiasts–and younger ones at that. It’s less challenging then other options and the graphics are cartoonier and a little childish, but given that the game also feels on the easy side, that makes sense.
Following along with the moves is a little disorienting at first. There isn’t as much warning or preparation before you dive right in, but eventually the simplicity of the neon-bright avatars actually makes it fairly easy to get in step with the game, and makes it a good fit for gamers of all skill levels.
Fittingly, Just Dance 3’s catalog mostly revolves around pop music. It has a considerable collection, some 50 tunes, and manages to actually include a relatively wide variety. This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Let’s Go to the Mall of How I Met Your Mother fame deserve a special mention.
As you would expect with games of this ilk, you can also purchase new music from the Xbox Marketplace.
Just Dance 3 feels lacking in comparison with other Kinect dance games we’ve tried, and a little more amateurish–but that may also open it up to a wider audience. Don’t count on learning new dance moves or perfecting your form, but the four-player mode and thorough music selection are enough to keep you satisfied for awhile.
The challenge wears off a little quicker than I’d have liked, but you’re guaranteed the embarrassing and addictive fun of Kinect dancing games with Just Dance 3.
Score: 7 out of 10
(This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360 on a copy provided by Ubisoft)