With a one of the popular gaming consoles in hand you are probably wondering which of the motion sensor dancing games will give you the most enjoyment. It can be a challenge making a choice on which franchise to try out first. There is already more than enough titles out there to chose from, but I’m going to focus on my two favorite, Dance Central and Just Dance.
I tend to be more biased to the PS4 as I find the inferred sensors allow for more freedom in your dancing space with better precision. Don’t get me wrong, Kinect is OK and all, but I personally do not like how I have to have a ton of space in order to get full motion. The wii is a little out dated and even though it still gets the job done, I won’t be mentioning it.
Moving on, Dance Central and Just Dance mainly have minor alterations but are comparable in many ways. Just Dance is more suited to those wanting to just have fun. Dance Central is more suited to those wanting to learn how to dance.
Dance Central is developed by Harmonix, the same wonderful group of people who brought us the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises. Just Dance is created by Ubisoft which isn’t quite known for their music or rhythm games, but is a solid company none the less with a great list of franchises.
Dance Central has been the dominate franchise of the two and the best selling dance game series to date. Dance Central was introduced as one of the launch titles when the Kinect was first released. Dance Central was given decent reviews and holds a MetaCritic score of 82 as of today. With its predecessors 2 & 3 both receiving MetaCritic scores of 86.
Just Dance had a stable and growing fan base, with the first entries of the franchise only being released on the Wii. It would be ported to other consoles as a “greatest hits” tag later on. Just Dance is now available on all current and last generation consoles and can be picked up for rather cheap. Just Dance has now released games for the PS4 and Xbox One (As of right now dance central has been shelved for production on some consoles.)
Dance Central has a better sense of realism and the range of difficulty is much greater. The audio catalog in Dance Central are graded from 1 to 5 stars according to difficulty. Additionally you will select the preferred difficulty for each song, ranging from beginner to hard. As you progress through the lower difficulty moves you can attempt to grow in skill, by challenging yourself on the higher difficulties.
As the difficulty of the song is increased by the players preference, the moves become more difficult and faster paced. They also build upon previous difficulties dance moves, with hard difficulty incorporating moves from easy and medium with new added moves. One minor drawback to Dance Central is that the dance moves don’t always flow as much as they do in Just Dance which I find to be a minor setback.
Dance Central also boasts a Practice Mode where you can practice moves of a particular song. You can alter the tempo of the track for certain parts that are trickier than others.
On the flip side, Just Dance does not possess a practice mode of any kind. A majority of the tracks have normal or hard difficulty and tend to have a faster tempo or pace than Dance Central. Just dance has a solid set up of songs if your goal is to work out and get your heart racing. Just Dance has the flashcards feature which is enjoyed greatly. It gives you a constant reference for the upcoming dance moves scrolled across the bottom from right to left.
Dance Central has generally the same system but has flashcards with the names of the dance moves, scrolled from bottom to top on the right or left side as you follow the on screen dancer/character dance to the song.
Just Dance has a unique currency that you use to unlock new songs called, mojo points (for Just Dance 2014 you could also purchase new songs using Xbox live, PSN and wii points.) These mojo points are used to unlock new/alternate dance routines for songs, mash-ups and even more battles.
In Dance Central you can import old tracks from previous titles in the franchise as well as titles earned or downloaded. With this importing function you can have a library of tracks that exceed over 200+! With Just Dance you typically have to change game discs to get more songs or play different songs. This can be tedious, but it is not a deal breaker.
All in all I enjoy both titles but I prefer Dance Central simply for the large library of songs I can dance to. There is nothing more annoying than inviting friends over and hearing the same 13 tracks all night long.