Ever since the introduction of dancing bunnies in the launch title Rayman: Raving Rabbids, the video game market has been pretty receptive with the Nintendo Wii being a “dance machine.” Immediately after Ubisoft’s massively successful Just Dance franchise, a lot of other companies have jumped the musical bandwagon and created dance games similar to the juggernaut series. One of these, Get Up and Dance, hopes to stand out of the competition, but does it have enough style to waltz out of the shadow of its big brother?
Get Up and Dance’s premise is pretty straightforward if you’ve played Just Dance or any of the countless other titles that are imitating it: a dancer is displayed onscreen, and players are required to imitate the moves solely using the Wii remote, scoring points for correct moves. The game features original music videos for most of the songs, which is a nice touch if there are people watching in the background, and something that makes the game stand out from its competitors. The game doesn’t have true duets, but some of them offer backup dancer parts, so players have some variety if multiple people are playing.
The most noticeable flaws with the game parallel the ones that the original Just Dance shared: since the entirety of the song list is unlocked, there’s no drive to keep playing once initial interest has waned; this really reduces playtime, something that Just Dance 3 revised. Also, it seems that move detection is inaccurate: it’s pretty difficult to nail the easier moves, let alone the hardest ones, without being spot on. The moves aren't as demanding as other dance games either, so it won’t be a very rewarding experience if one were to play this as an “exergame”. All of these factors greatly reduce the replay value of the title, and it makes and whole experience somewhat broken and dissatisfying after an hour.
The tracks are also pretty hit and miss: while I do appreciate how the game wants to feature more ubiquitous artists, I find it a bit hard to dance to “Nobody’s Perfect”, which is a slower power ballad song that, while popular, isn’t the most high energy thing to dance to. However, I must say that the inclusion of the Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” was an interesting one, and I enjoyed the random choreography that fits the song well. The song list is noticeably European based, with artists like Jessie J and Taio Cruz; likewise, the songs are hits over in that region, and not over here; while it’s fun to know that there are artists that everyone will recognize (Billy Ray Cyrus!) the selection seems catered to other audiences, so it may not appeal to the North American demographic as much.
Ultimately, Get Up and Dance will be tagged as another Just Dance clone with a European songlist and spotty detection mechanisms; while it does have some promising concepts, it just can’t hold up to the competition that’s on the dance floor right now.
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