Just Dance has become a staple yearly release. With the Nintendo Switch in the limelight as the go to console for anything related to movement and body tracking, Just Dance 2020 is a perfect match for the console. I was lucky enough to review the game and get a fair grasp on how it compares to its predecessor, Just Dance 2019.
The song selection, as with all yearly additions to the Just Dance series, add the most recent music and hits. This is usually music that has been top of the charts throughout the previous year. There are the odd few classic songs thrown in to try and break up the age ranges, as Just Dance aims to be for all ages. The song list also includes viral sensations and surprising picks so that everyone has a song to dance to.
Just Dance 2020 boasts over 40 new songs, with much more available via their Just Dance Unlimited subscription. You can find the full track list for the base game and the official video below:
- I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
- Old Town Road (Remix) – Lil Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
- 7 rings – Ariana Grande
- Taki Taki – DJ Snake Ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna, Cardi B
- bad guy – Billie Eilish
- Kill This Love – BLACKPINK
- I Like It – Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
- Talk – Khalid
- High Hopes – Panic! At The Disco
- God Is A Woman – Ariana Grande
- Con Altura – ROSALÍA & J Balvin Ft. El Guincho
- Con Calma – Daddy Yankee Ft. Snow
- The Time (Dirty Bit) – Black Eyed Peas
- Soy Yo – Bomba Estéreo
- 365 – Zedd & Katy Perry
- Rain Over Me – Pitbull Ft. Marc Anthony
- Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Millennium Alert
- FANCY – TWICE (트와이스)
- Into the Unknown – Disney’s Frozen 2 (available on November 22***)
- Baby Shark – Pinkfong
- Keep In Touch – JD McCrary
- Get Busy – KOYOTIE
- Só Depois Do Carnaval – Lexa
- MA ITŪ – Stella Mwangi
- I Am the Best (내가 제일 잘 나) – 2NE1
- Skibidi – Little Big
- Bangarang – Skrillex Ft. Sirah
- Bassa Sababa – Netta
- My New Swag (我的新衣) – VAVA Ft. Ty. & Nina Wang
- Just An Illusion – Equinox Stars
- Stop Movin’ – Royal Republic
- Tel Aviv – Omer Adam Ft. Arisa
- Ugly Beauty (怪美的) – Jolin Tsai (蔡依林)
- Vodovorot – XS Project
- Bad Boy – Riton & Kah-Lo
- Sushi – Merk & Kremont
- Policeman – Eva Simons Ft. Konshens
- Fancy Footwork – Chromeo
- Fit But You Know It – The Streets
- Le Bal Masqué – Dr. Creole
- Always Look on The Bright Side of Life – The Frankie Bostello Orchestra
- Infernal Gallop (Can-Can) – The Just Dance Orchestra
The User Interface in Just Dance is one of the most important things, because when a player isn’t dancing, they’re in the menus. Nearly all of the User Interface in Just Dance 2020 is exactly the same as Just Dance 2019, which was a disappointing surprise for sure. If it wasn’t for the additional game mode and different songs, I’d have thought I was playing Just Dance 2019 all over again.
The User Interface for the kids mode is quite simple. A set scrolling left to right menu with a limited selection of songs. There is the option to play the selected song, to shuffle the songs on non-stop mode, or to go back to the main menu. Considering this menu is for kids, it’s fitting. The simplicity is certainly a breath of fresh air for any parent who doesn’t want their kid going onto some other mode by mistake.
The main mode, appropriately named Just Dance, shares the exact same UI as Just Dance 2019. The home area shows the ‘World Dance Floor’ mode along with some various popular songs. The playlist area shows recommended songs, along with other recommended playlists, most of which are unplayable without the subscription service. The playlist area is certainly easier to navigate than the other modes of the game.
Moving onto the next menu option, the songs. With each song shown as a square and all songs being in one big list, it’s a pretty easy way to navigate. There’s also an option to change the sorting by pressing Y. Unfortunately this sorting option doesn’t pull up a list of any kind. Instead players will just have to keep pressing Y until they find the sorting that suits them. The search menu is very basic and allows you to search for a song.
Last but not least is the profile page. This displays the players daily challenges and stats. There are also options to edit dancer cards, use the gift machine, view the sticker album, change some settings or purchase Just Dance Unlimited. A very simple and easy to understand menu yet again.
The first aspect of gameplay is choosing whether to use either the Joy-Con or Mobile Device. With the Joy-Con, there can be up to 6 players dancing at once. The Mobile Device option also allows up to 6 players at once, but those players will need to download the appropriate app on their smartphone.
The game modes available are the same as Just Dance 2019, with the exception of a brand new mode called All Stars Mode. This brand new mode allows players to visit key songs from the past 10 years of Just Dance. As players travel across 10 Just Dance themed planets, they’ll make their way towards a prize. After completing these 10 planets, players will receive an exclusive song. This is a mode that keeps the game fresh, even if it’s only for a moment.
Other game modes return from Just Dance 2019, such as Co-op mode, which allows you to dance with friends. Sweat mode allows players to track their calories burned and time spent dancing. Sweat mode is certainly a good choice for those wanting to keep themselves motivated whilst playing.
In terms of actual gameplay, it’s exactly the same as previous titles. The moves appear on the bottom of the screen and players must complete these moves at the correct time to earn the most points possible. The tracking on the Nintendo Switch seems fine most of the time, with the odd problem picking up quick movements. The dancers and backgrounds are for the most part unique and work well with the songs they’re partnered with.
The biggest disappointment and most expected aspect of Just Dance 2020 was the return of the Just Dance Unlimited subscription service. This feature was a large part of Just Dance 2019 and seemed to somewhat suck all the life out of the title. A large majority of the good and popular songs are locked behind the subscription, so not buying it seems like the game loses value.
In terms of the value of Just Dance 2020, it certainly isn’t worth full retail price. This is purely because of the subscription service being a key element of the game. Near all playlists on the playlist menu include songs from Just Dance Unlimited, meaning that the playlist feature is completely useless. This feeling of a feature being wasted also applies to most online modes and even the song search option, since near all results are songs from the subscription service.
One of the most upgraded features in Just Dance 2020 is the enhanced recommendation system. This system allows the game to learn certain dancing habits and song types from the player, which it then processes and feeds back to the player in the form of similar songs. This system is made obsolete because most of the recommendations are songs in the subscription service. Unfortunately Just Dance Unlimited completely ruins most aspects of the game, because without getting it, the few songs that a player likes out of the 40 given in the base game will get boring very fast.
Overall Just Dance 2020 could have easily been sold as an expansion to Just Dance 2019. Anyone who owns Just Dance 2019 should absolutely not get this game, because not only is it not an upgrade, it could even be a possible downgrade due to the song selection. Just Dance Unlimited feels near forced on the player. With a majority of popular songs from all previous games locked behind this service, the base game feels even worse.
It’s certainly a title to only buy if all 40 of the songs on the song list are one’s you’d personally dance to over and over again. If that’s not the case, you’d be better off picking up Just Dance 2019 and getting the subscription service on that game to help save some money.
The images used in this review were provided by Ubisoft. For more reviews and gaming news you can keep up to date at Informed Pixel. Want to speak to the team and interact with other gamers? You can do so over on the Informed Pixel Facebook page or on the Informed Pixel Twitter account. You can also find my work on my Facebook page or on my Twitter.