Winter means cold weather. Cold weather means staying inside and keeping warm. Staying inside and keeping warm means chomping on comfort food, lazing about, and putting on a few extra pounds. This downward spiral happens every year but there is hope. Just Dance 2019 is now out. While not as exciting as past versions, it still had Munchkin and I dancing up a storm and I’m sure it will have the same effect on your family!
Just Dance 2019 — Features
Just Dance 2019 is the latest release of the Just Dance series, a K-Pop songs with on-screen prompts for up to six players at a time. This game doesn’t really teach you how to dance, per se, but it gives you sample steps to help you groove through a song if you’re not very good at freestyling. It is available on Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Wii, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4. There are over 40 new songs for a range of musical tastes and skill levels. Plus, the subscription-based Just Dance Unlimited service adds a library of yet another 400+ choreographies to dance to.
The new homepage is actually really nice for finding out which routines have been unlocked or if new songs have been added to Just Dance Unlimited. I also like that you can create your own playlists or choose from one of the pre-made ones. One new feature is the addition of difficulty ratings on each song. This makes it a lot easier to sort songs to fit your skill level or mood. Just Dance 2019 still has Kids mode.
Searching the catalog is fairly painless and the songs run smoothly. I’m not sure if this happens on all platforms but we had one recurring issue on the Nintendo Switch version. During one long session, the game actually had an error and needed to restart SIX times. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it took FOREVER to load up before you start playing again. Even after turning off the Switch and letting it cool down, the same thing happened other times as well. I hope they fix this bug soon.
I am bummed that they removed the option to use your iOS or Android phone as a controller on the Switch. That means, if you want to play with more than two people at a time, you need to buy extra controllers if you don’t already have them. Those things are not cheap! One pair of Joy-Con controllers is $70-80 and then you need a way to keep them charged or buy ones with a battery attachment. For people who only play this with friends once in a while, the controller app was a nice (and cheaper) option.
Just Dance 2019 — Songs
I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to this year’s release. In my opinion, the song selection was much better last year. Out of all the new songs on Just Dance 2019, I really only like nine of them. There were a few other songs that I looked forward to. But, the dances were so boring that one play-through was enough. Plus, many of the routines seem to include reused steps from previous songs.
I was also disappointed that several songs had large portions of the lyrics bleeped out. One song even had one whole line of the chorus silenced, which makes for an awkward few steps mid-song. In my opinion, if a company really feels the need to censor a song so much to make it “family-friendly,” then maybe it shouldn’t be included at all.
Two of the nine dances we did like are the K-Pop songs, Bang Bang Bang by BigBang and DDU-DU DDU-DU by BLACKPINK. Those both have excellent choreographies and Ubisoft definitely needs to add more songs and dances from this genre. If it was up to my daughter, we would be paying Bang Bang Bang over and over during every session. She loves that dance and I have admit that I do too. So fun! It took us forever to get a score high enough to unlock the Extreme version. We don’t like it as much as the standard one though.
Here’s a list of the Just Dance 2019 songs as well as a few personal notes on them. (I marked the ones I liked in bold.):
- Finesse (Remix) – Bruno Mars Ft. Cardi B (so much potential but the standard to super easy and the extreme is a collection of hard, random freestyle moves)
- Havana – Camila Cabello (boring)
- Bum Bum Tam Tam – MC Fioti, Future, J Balvin, Stefflon Don, Juan Magan (okay but interesting to watch animation)
- Bang Bang Bang – BIGBANG (crazy fun but too hard for us to unlock the Extreme version)
- DDU-DU DDU-DU – BLACKPINK (fun routine)
- One Kiss – Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa (boring and weird stripping move)
- No Tears Left To Cry – Ariana Grande (lots of useless arm flailing and stepping side to side)
- Sangria Wine – Pharrell Williams x Camila Cabello (boring)
- Un Poco Loco – Disney•Pixar’s Coco (the preview put me to sleep)
- I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd Ft. Daft Punk (just not a family-friendly song at all)
- New Rules – Dua Lipa (several words and an entire line of chorus censored)
- Sugar – Maroon 5 (just okay dance which is sad because I like the song)
- Shaky Shaky – Daddy Yankee (funny animation but pretty easy)
- Mad Love – Sean Paul, David Guetta Ft. Becky G (repetitive)
- OMG – Arash Ft. Snoop Dogg (what a weird song and dance…)
- Make Me Feel – Janelle Monáe (a lot of swaying back and forth)
- Mi Mi Mi – Hit The Electro Beat (uses a clay-figure coach but bleeps several words and NOT kid-friendly)
- Mama Mia – Mayra Verónica (looked way too easy and uninteresting)
- Narco – Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet (surprisingly fun)
- Fire – LLP Ft. Mike Diamondz (didn’t like the lyrics and routine can’t really be considered dancing)
- Where Are You Now? – Lady Leshurr Ft. Wiley (meh dance and bleh song)
- Work Work– Britney Spears (really like the choreography but not interested in the YMCA-type coach and moves for the Extreme version)
- Rhythm Of The Night – Ultraclub 90 (wanted to relieve my teen years but soooo repetitive)
- Ça Plane Pour Moi – Bob Platine (weird…)
- I’m Still Standing – Top Culture (easy but fun moves and a beat that seems natural to follow)
- A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) – Fergie Ft. Q-Tip, GoonRock (odd cane dance but the 20s version is fun)
- Adeyyo– Ece Seçkin (mellow but smooth)
- New Reality – Gigi Rowe (says hard but it’s just awkward)
- New World – Krewella, Yellow Claw Ft. Vava (okay routine but could have been better, should have embraced the full Chinese version)
- Water Me – Lizzo (easy but fun feel-good dance/song)
- Milosc W Zakopanem – Slawomir (my daughter refuses to try this based on the animation)
- Pac-Man – Dancing Bros. (preview looked boring)
- Not Your Ordinary – Stella Mwangi (repetitive)
- Fire On The Dance Floor – Michelle Delamor (have to unlock with a code which you can find if you Google it, easy but okay)
- Sweet Sensation – Flo Rida (boring)
- Sweet Little Unforgettable Thing – Bea Miller (so easy it’s sad)
- Rave In The Grave – AronChupa Ft. Little Sis Nora (song and animation didn’t appeal to us)
- Familiar – Liam Payne & J Balvin (very standard)
- TOY – Netta (really uninterested in the song)
- Calypso – Luis Fonsi Ft. Stefflon Don (fun)
- Obsesión – Aventura (basically consists of two moves over and over)
Just Dance 2019 — Just Dance Unlimited Streaming Subscription
Then, there’s Just Dance Unlimited. Instead of the 3-month trial included with the purchase of previous releases, Just Dance 2019 only includes one month. It’s only $24.99 for a year-long subscription but, still, those extra two months of free access would have been nice. With such a huge selection, it’s really hard to try enough of the songs within 30 days to get a good feel for the service.
I do actually like the section on Unlimited, though. The only problem is that I sort of lost interest about six months after the initial release and my subscription tends to go to waste. Oh, and it’s kind of sad that you can’t access any of the newer Unlimited songs unless you get Just Dance 2019 or subsequent releases.
Just Dance 2019 — Worth the Upgrade?
If you want a fun party game to break the ice or if you are looking to add some spice to your fitness routine, Just Dance 2019 can be a solid addition to your Nintendo Switch library. But, since the song selection is pretty spotty and will get old really fast, you really need to sign up for Just Dance Unlimited ($24.99/per year) to get the most out of the game. If you already have Just Dance 2017 or 2018, the new songs and features might not be worth the upgrade. Unless, you REALLY want the new 2019 songs released on Just Dance Unlimited, you might be better off waiting for Just Dance 2020.
I received this product for review purposes. All opinions are my own.