Every once in a while a game comes along that manages to capture the imagination of a global audience. It also manages at the very same time not only to give the games industry a whole load of street cred but to show us nerdy gamers just how inept we really are. As if we really needed reminding. Just Dance is that game.
The original version took the world by storm and, to be fair, Ubisoft did a great job with it. Street dancing was just taking off and by mixing commercial pop and some edgy dance manoeuvres with a large dollop of marketing gusto, Ubisoft was always going to win.
Just Dance 4 brings more of the very same formula to the dancefloor, or, more often than not, your living room carpet. Absolutely everything about the game is geared towards having fun; by its very definition that involves a game that's light on skill and heavy on 'have a go and if you're pretty close, that's good enough'.
You can choose from an impressive 47 songs ranging from 1980s classics such as (I've Had) The Time Of My Life, to modern chart toppers from the likes of One Direction. We can't hide the fact that some of the songs being covers rather than the originals does grate, but they're good covers, so it's not all bad.
Try your best to mimic the dance moves on the screen and have an amazing time in the process. It sounds simple and it is, but the formula works perfectly and it's easy to see why it's so popular.
U Screwed Us, Ubi
The problem then, comes in how to justify the full purchase price when the almost identical Wii version is half the price and works perfectly well on your shiny new Wii U.
In terms of Nintendo Wii U extras, you're really rather limited. There are three Wii U-exclusive tracks in the form of Jessie J's Domino, Ain't No Other Man by The Girly Team and Want U Back from Cher Lloyd. That's three solid tracks right there, but their inclusion certainly doesn't justify an extra £18. GamePad features come in the form of Puppet Master mode and the ability to draw on your friends' faces. The latter is lame... so pathetically so, that we're not even going to dignify it with more words than we've already wasted on it.
Puppet Master mode, on the other hand is good fun with a group of friends. Every 15-20 seconds you'll have the chance, as the GamePad bystander, to set a pose for your friends. They have to strike a pose as best they can and you award points to the person who you think deserves them. It's a fun little addition and one that enables a player to be part of the group while taking a break from the dancing.
Three extra tracks and a non-essential mode can't possibly warrant the extra spend though. You're going to be using Wii Remotes for the main gameplay and the Wii version of this game costs as little as £18 so we can't see any reason why you wouldn't just buy the Wii version and whack it into your Wii U. Sorry, Ubisoft, I really like your game but you needed to add more to the Wii U version. Puppet Master mode is great but there needed to be a good handful of extras like this to really make it shine.
As it is, it's just an average port of a game that's just about hanging onto the legacy of some great game design from a few years ago. A little bit more love next time, please...