The Nintendo Switch has some excellent motion gaming capabilities, which would seem to make a game like “Just Dance 2017” a candidate for a strong console debut.
Unfortunately, Ubisoft’s long-running series loses its appeal pretty quickly. That’s mostly the result of inconsistent readings of movement and the fact that, despite several separate modes, “Just Dance” feels too much like a one-trick pony.
That doesn’t mean the game isn’t fun at times and in certain situations. Anyone hosting a party for people who love to let loose and dance around looking ridiculous — and let’s face it, that describes more people than are willing to admit it — will have a great time playing “Just Dance.”
Playing with just one or two people is a different experience. If each person takes one Joy-Con, only one hand’s movement is tracked. And even then, hand movements don’t need to get very close to what the game wants players to execute in order to score a “Perfect.” The inverse also is true; some moves that seem spot-on aren’t scored as such. A tutorial the first time the game turns on would help the newbies.
The gameplay doesn’t vary much. There’s a mode, Just Dance Machine, that tasks players with recharging an alien ship. It’s not much more than window dressing. The most useful modes allow for creating custom playlists.
The tracklist for 2017 is varied enough, with recent hits like DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean,” classics in the form of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and Latin Grammy nominee “El Tiki” by Maluma. It’s weighted toward contemporary music. Plus, a new game comes with free 90-day access to Just Dance Unlimited’s extended library with some cool inclusions — I love me some “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” by They Might Be Giants.
There’s an audience for “Just Dance 2017” and most people who were excited for the game before shouldn’t be dissuaded. For everyone else, be aware of it’s limitations.