Review copy provided by Ubisoft.
Before I start the review, I have to mention three things: apparently, the Screenshot function is disabled in the game (possibly due to licensing issues that could arise from screenshots), so I have to apologize for the quality of «screenshots», hopefully it’s good enough to see the issues. The second thing is, no matter if you are someone fit and with active lifestyle or not, do a warm-up before playing this game.
Lastly, I feel it’s important to say: you can play with one of the Joy-Con (you only need one per person) or a phone. I played with Joy-Con because in my TV room the Wi-Fi is a bit spotty and the Joy-Con is pretty comfortable in my hands.
Now, let’s get on the review. First the settings:
Unfortunately, this is where I got disappointed with the options. All of them are just toggle options (in other words, you only have the option to turn on and off). So in my case, I have activated the Lyrics and Pictograms, but there are absolutely no options for customization. I thought I would be able to customize at least the size of the lyrics, which wasn’t the case. I would love to have at least two options being offered: size and position.
Because of the way the lyrics are set up, it’s hard for me to read them while paying attention to the Pictograms since they are on opposite sides of the screen. Not to say that they are almost unreadable most of the time for me, due to the lack of contrast between text and background and the super small size. Even playing on TV and standing up a couple of feet away, it was too hard to read when I was only focusing on reading them, without playing/dancing at all. While I feel it’s useful they highlight in a karaoke-style that you can follow what’s being sang, it’s very hard to read while dancing because of size and positioning.
For me, it would be perfect if they were bigger and placed above the Pictograms, so it would be easier for me to keep track of both of them. It would actually be useful for me to learn the lyrics and even associate specific words with the dance moves, so it would be easier to memorize the whole choreography. I have never been able to memorize lyrics because I don’t understand them, but JD2020 could be an excellent way for me to memorize both the lyrics and the dance.
The Pictograms proved to be useful to me, because this is actually the first time I’m playing any Just Dance game in my life. And since I can’t hear very well even with hearing aids (because mine will clean any sound in an attempt of making it more clear to understand, but with songs, this is almost always backfiring), I can’t really follow the beats by ear, having the Pictograms is a great visual guide of how I should execute the moves.
This review is short, because there isn’t much to talk about, since it’s a completely different genre than FPS or strategy. I feel the game is extremely visual as much as possible, which is great for me, since I have been always more a visual person. It’s easy to understand what move I’m supposed to do and it’s also fun and challenging. Essentially, the game is true to the name: just dance. There is no in-game communication between players, since you play either solo or local coop. I still need to get an opportunity to play the All Stars mode, but first, I need to improve my moves!
Alexia is a deaf writer, graduated in Audiovisual Communication and a Master student in Screenwriting. Passionate about representation, accessibility and mental health in media, also writes about personal experiences with deafness/hearing loss and mental health on Medium. You can contact her on Twitter at @AlehCemy