Just Dance 2022 Review
Never in my life have I thought that I would be reviewing a dancing game, but here we are. Dancing is not exactly my thing because reasons, but I can appreciate some good moves here and there. I figured that Just Dance 2022 would be a great way to bond with my 3-year-old daughter to the tune of Baby Shark or even some KPOP song that’s disappointingly not from BTS.
Just Dance 2022 is the latest entry in the long-running series of the same name from Ubisoft that has, throughout the years, become an almost necessary party game for gatherings. The game boasts of a wide selection of licensed music, vibrant and colorful backgrounds, and dance moves that are surprisingly accessible to even dads such as myself.
After spending some time with it, I can’t say that I’ve become a better dancer, but I’ve come to know that my daughter certainly has a future in dancing. Kinda.
Not much has changed, and that’s fine
Those who are new to the series will find much to love about the game as long as they know what they’re getting into. Just Dance 2022 is a rhythm dancing game that can be played solo but is best played with a group and features familiar tracks ranging from Camila Cabello’s “Don’t go yet” to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating”. Social media superstar Todrick Hall also makes an appearance with a Just Dance version of “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels.”
There’s enough to choose from but as with all rhythm games, not all are created equally, like that one from El Chombo called “Chacarron” which literally features one of those inflatable tube mascots that is such a puzzling addition to an otherwise stellar lineup.
Overall, the selection is pretty strong, and while I can’t comment on it being better than previous entries, the 40 tracks here will take a while to consume, especially if you’re trying each track across increasing difficulty levels as you try to top your previous score.
Playing Just Dance 2022 on the PlayStation 5 was a fairly smooth experience even if you don’t have a PlayStation Camera. Turns out, you don’t need one to enjoy the game, and all you will really need is the Just Dance Controller app from the iOS or Play Store that’s paired to your system in a few simple steps and you’re good to go.
The Just Dance Controller app worked well enough during my playthrough. Sometimes, too well, and I feel that it’s much more forgiving (because you’re only really using one hand) because I surely can’t believe how I’m getting 5-star ratings in some songs. While it’s certainly not advisable to be swinging around your mobile phone during intense sessions, it’s a serviceable (and free) alternative instead of buying an extra peripheral that you’ll only use for a few instances. It was a seamless experience but navigating the menus using the app may take getting used to.
On the other hand, veterans who have played previous games will know exactly what they’re signing up for – new tracks but with solid and familiar gameplay that always delivers the fun. Just Dance 2022 is the perfect example of a “why fix what ain’t broken?”, offering new tracks year in and year out while keeping the core formula the same throughout the years, even bringing back both the Kids and Sweat mode from previous outings.
The Unlimited Dilemma
If by any chance you’ve played other rhythm games from years ago, you would know that you can simply purchase DLC’s that will augment your roster of songs to use. This was the same for the Just Dance series until 2015, when a new service was introduced the following year called Just Dance Unlimited.
Just Dance Unlimited is basically a subscription service on top of the base game that allows you access to a library of over 600 songs, which opens up previous tracks like Baby Shark (a favorite because of my daughter), Psy’s Gangnam Style, and hundreds of other licensed tracks that will take you forever to go through.
If it weren’t obvious enough, Just Dance 2022 and its standard tracks will not be enough for most players, and getting the full experience will require an additional monthly spend which eventually adds up. Of course, this is purely optional, but the game will certainly push you to subscribe, costing you $4 per month or $25 for one year. Purchasing a camera peripheral on top of everything else will set you back another $60, making it a heavy investment.
While the subscription itself isn’t particularly expensive, Just Dance 2022 will push it in your face at almost all points in the game, giving you a serious case of FOMO. You’re getting a lot in return, but for players who have no intention of subscribing, showing it at almost every chance can get rather irritating.
Even though that’s the case, you can’t deny the quality of the game. From the choreography to the motion tracking, colorful backgrounds, and even to the dizzying amount of licensed songs, Ubisoft has clearly put in the work into making Just Dance 2022 (and Just Dance as a franchise) relevant and fabulously fun.
What We Liked:
- 40 songs to choose from, even more with the Just Dance Unlimited subscription.
- Wide variety of genres that everyone can appreciate, even kids.
- Can be played without a camera.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Strong push to subscribe to Just Dance Unlimited.
- Heavy investment to get the full experience.
Verdict: Wait for it.
Just Dance 2022 is the latest entry in the long-running series from Ubisoft. Boasting a selection of tracks that will cater to a wide variety of musical preferences, there’s much to love about the game despite the lack of innovation from year to year.
Just Dance 2022 can certainly be played on its own, but its full potential is unlocked when subscribed to Just Dance Unlimited, which offers more than 600 tracks to choose from. It’s a lot, and players will surely take a lot of time to comb through every song, but paying an additional monthly fee may leave a bad taste in the mouth for some thinking they’re done dishing out some cash after the initial Just Dance 2022 base game purchase. Add a camera peripheral if you’re not content with the controller app and you’re spending upwards of $100 easily.
Overall, Just Dance 2022 is good fun for those serious enough to commit to the additional subscription. Even if you don’t, there’s still enough to make the game an enjoyable purchase even though it doesn’t really introduce anything new except for the new songs.
*Just Dance 2022 was reviewed on a PlayStation 5 with a review code provided by the publishers.