‘Just Dance 2022’ Keeps Up With the Times

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Published November 22, 2021
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The Montclarion
"Just Dance 2022" was released Nov. 4, 2021. Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

November is a turbulent month for most students, with the hope of exercise being resigned by most. But just as midterms cook and finals begin to sizzle, “Just Dance 2022” dishes out the goods in surely what is its most fun iteration yet.

Released on Nov. 4, 2021, the annual dance game comes in hot with surefire hits to keep you moving, fresh choreography and awesome updated visuals. Containing 40 tracks, it’s hard to be bored.

"Just Dance 2022" contains 47 tracks. Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

“Just Dance 2022” contains 40 tracks.
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

A message felt in every “Just Dance” game, and once again presented in this edition of the series, is that it’s all about celebrating dance all over the world. Whether you’re in New York, Russia or Kenya, anyone can “Just Dance.”

Notable tracks in “Just Dance 2022” include “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” by Katy Perry and “Chandelier” by Sia. It also introduces tracks one may be unfamiliar with, such as “Jerusalema” by Master KG ft. Nomcebo Zikode or “Human” by Sevdaliza.

Every beat is contagious. Video game company Ubisoft wrangled a music catalog you can easily dance to, so even if you’ve never heard one of the songs, nothing is ever truly “skip-worthy.” It’s also the first time Taylor Swift has made an appearance on any “Just Dance” game, meaning Swifties are in for a treat.

As for choreography, many harder, more challenging routines are introduced. For an especially challenging song, I recommend either “Jopping” by SuperM or “POP/STARS” by K/DA. It is worth noting that K-pop is a large feature on this one. With it comes the classic, crazy-hard choreography typically performed in tandem with singing by K-pop idols.

The floor is also utilized more this time. There are at least three separate songs that require a dancer to either slide on their back across the floor or quickly drop and pose. It’s refreshing and made me laugh when I had to slide under someone in BLACKPINK’s “Boombayah.”

Visuals have also gotten an upgrade. One major change anyone will immediately notice in any of the songs is the dancers now have more defined faces. Sometimes they’ll even lip-sync to whatever song they’re in.

Dancers now have more defined faces. Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

Dancers now have more defined faces.
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

As well as crisper faces, there are various moments where the camera angle will suddenly switch to an overhead view or one near the floor. It can be jolting initially, but it’s easy to get used to and provides something new and interesting to look at.

Another subtle yet helpful visual improvement is the dancer cards at the bottom of the screen that instruct players how to move, which are now more direct and less confusing. In older editions of the game, some dancer cards appeared unclear or did not reflect a move accurately. So far, in all of my “Just Dance 2022” ventures, I’ve yet to come across a vague dancer card.

The dancer cards at the bottom of the screen that instruct players how to move are now more direct. Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

The dancer cards at the bottom of the screen that instruct players how to move are now more direct.
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

There are a few cons, though nothing major. If you’re hoping to hear any hint of swearing in this game, prepare to hear none since the game is rated E for everyone. The absence of swear words can make songs like “Build a B****” by Bella Poarch sound funny and Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” sound muffled, to say the least.

Another con is the subscription service, “Just Dance Unlimited.” If subscriptions are not your thing, then you do miss out on a bigger song catalog the “Just Dance” library offers. The game won’t let you forget this either, often shoehorning in loud ads the first time you play.

“Just Dance 2022” is not world-shatteringly different from its predecessors, but it doesn’t need to be for what it is — an annual dance game. With many pros and little cons, it’s hard to say no to this reliable and danceable game that continues to keep up with the times.

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