YMMV / Just Dance

  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Not even Ubisoft was expecting this to become a Cash Cow Franchise. In fact, Just Dance is so massively popular on the Wii it still gets ported to that console to this day, long after Nintendo has discontinued it.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Extreme dances for "Blurred Lines", "Pound the Alarm", "Worth It", "John Wayne" and "Tumbum" are almost universally considered quite simple in comparison to other Extreme routines.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Ubisoft listens to feedback a lot when it comes to the Just Dance series and anything that is disliked is immediately fixed by the next game.
    • A common complaint from fans is that, from 3 to 2015, DLC would consist mostly of recycled songs from the past games. When 2016 was announced, it also included an announcement for a subscription service, Just Dance Unlimited that would stream all the previous songs instead of buying them in addition to new songs released.
    • Just Dance 2016 introduced new modes, but removed the praised World Dance Floor on 8th Gen consoles. It was replaced with World Video Challenge, which would allow players to go head to head against each other. After a lot of criticism to this, Ubisoft decided to add World Dance Floor back into Just Dance 2017.
    • After 2016 was bashed for its tracklist, Ubisoft followed by unveiling "Lean On" and "Worth It", two of the most heavily requested songs at the time, in the very first preview for 2017.
  • Awesome Music: One of the original songs, All You Gotta Do (Is Just Dance)!
    • 2017's "Tico-tico no Fubá" takes a classic brazilian song and remixes it into a variety of music genres, from Charleston, to Disco, to Rock, and the result is glorious!
  • Best Level Ever: The Extreme routines are often considered this, due to being more elaborate and visually impressive than the standard choreographies. Some may cross into That One Level territory, though.
  • Base-Breaking Song: The inclusion of "Solnyshko" in 2018 for the Russian fanbase. For starters, it's a pretty old song (released in 1999; two previous Russian-language picks, "Ulybausya" in 2016 and "Imya 505" in 2017 were from 2013 and 2015, respectively). Then the base is further broken by those who enjoyed that song back in the day and those who hated it.
    • "Mi Mi Mi" in 2019 has gotten a divisive reaction in regards to both the routine and the song. The routine (which heavily uses claymation) has either been praised for its uniqueness or derided for the Uncanny Valley of the claymation dancer and issues detailed under Scrappy Mechanic. As for the song...on the one hand, it's a track fans have been requesting for awhile now; on the other, they used a cover of the song, which the series already has an iffy history with. Fans either bemoan how bad of a cover it is or are neutral towards it/just happy the song got in the game.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Hatsune Miku "glitching" halfway through the Ievan Polkka. The stop motion effect comes out of nowhere and serves no purpose other than making the player freak out.
  • Broken Base:
    • When Ubisoft released the Expansion Pack that was Summer Party, fans either loved that they could get all the Just Dance 2 DLC in one game, or hated that they paid more for said DLC and that keeping it in a collection meant Ubisoft would release a compilation of DLC for every Just Dance title. This is however averted, because Summer Party does not include all the DLC, and future Just Dance games never released a compilation.
    • The Just Dance Kids games. Either they're criticized for being Easier Than Easy or they have gotten some decent song picks and slowly are Growing the Beard.
    • Ubisoft recycling DLC in later games, starting with Just Dance 3. Most players hated the lack of new songs, while others who were playing their first Just Dance title got to try the popular tracks they missed out on before.
    • This also ends up applying to the dances every year. Are they getting better in terms of effects and movements, or getting worse with simplified routines?
    • The Unlimited service. Does it make the yearly releases obsolete, to the point that Ubisoft should start focusing solely on it? Is it too costly and inferior to similar services offered in games like Guitar Hero? Or is it simply a good optional feature that fans can subscribe to when they don't feel like digging up the previous games?
    • Kids Mode in Just Dance 2018. Defenders say it is a fun new mode that allows younger fans to enjoy the game without being exposed to suggestive lyrics and complicated dance moves. Others will argue that Just Dance was already kid-friendly as it was, and wish the time and effort spent developing Kids Mode had been dedicated to creating routines for more popular songs instead.
      • Just Dance 2018 itself is this. Whenever a new preview was uploaded, it was almost immediately flooded with negative comments, most of which calling it a step backwards from 2017 in almost every way, with some going as far as to claim it was the worst game in the franchise. Those who do like the game point out that this edition has a bigger focus on serious dances and that, while many songs in the tracklist are obscure, they are all danceable and fun to play. No previous entry in the franchise has been this divisive in regards to its overall quality.
      • The Double Rumble levels, which are exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version. Some think that there is no reason not to include them in other versions of the game, while other people think that they qualify as a tech demo at best.
      • Yet another one concerning 2018: the removal of the mashup mode. Mashups have been present since the third game and were popular enough to inspire some fans to create their own routines. However, some people thought their quality had been gradually decaying in the previous games and are indifferent towards their absence.
  • Contested Sequel: 2016 and 2017. See Sequelitis below.
  • Critic-Proof
    • Averted with Just Dance 2, which garnered respectable aggregated review scores (mainly for drastically improving the motion detection and adding DLC, two critical sticking points for the first game), placing in the mid-70s.
    • Metacritic scores for the games in general are somewhere in the 70s. Played straight with the first game though, which has an aggregated score of 49.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Or panda, in this case. There's one as an avatar for C'mon, which was later reused for the Timber DLC (understandably so, since both feature Ke$ha), and then became part of the background of Happy in 2015, before finally getting a routine all his own, none other than "I Gotta Feeling", in 2016, followed by "Don't Stop Me Now"'s alternate routine. They're also one of the female dancer's partners in 2018's "The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)".
    • Among the dance routines in 2015, the Let It Go routine is unsurprisingly popular.
    • Some of the avatars "played" by French dancer and choreographer Mehdi Kerkouche are considered as this, like the VERY camp fourth player in Army of Lovers' Crucify.
  • Even Better Sequel: Starting with the second game.
  • Fake Difficulty: In the Extreme version of "Sorry", the routine syncs its moves to the vocals and instruments at random, making following the dancer much more confusing than it should be.
    • Just Dance 2017 as a whole was pretty terrible in this department. Another obvious instance of dance steps being performed off beat is in "Lean On", where the punching move during the chorus is completely out of sync with the song.
    • Some special effects can make it difficult to follow the dancer. Of note are the coaches from "Don't You Worry Child" and "Animals" (Extreme), who become black silhouettes during certain parts of their routines.
    • Possibly because of a programming error, it's near impossible to score 5 stars in the "Candy" mashup in Just Dance 2014, as each counted move awards barely any points, even for Perfects.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the Dance Central series. DC fans claim JD's routines are too repetitive and dull, and JD fans accuse DC of robotic animation and Harder Than Hard dances. However, if the fanbases did their research, they would know that Just Dance has been pushing for more lively and harder routines, by incorporating “Extreme” and alternate modes, and Dance Central actually has multiple levels of difficulty. Both sides just can’t seem to get along.
  • Game-Breaker: The engines for the Nintendo and Sony consoles led to a case of It's Easy, So It Sucks! because you do not actually have to be actively moving to get 5 stars. Tilting the Wii Remote/Move Controller at certain times will still get recognized.
    • It is worth noting that the motion detection in the Kinect is not stellar either. In some songs, it's possible to get points and even score Perfects just by standing perfectly still.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Xbox Kinect has a tendency to detect objects like chairs and add them to the game as if they were extra players. In the worst cases, it will stop detecting the actual player movements to focus solely on the object!
    • Although rarely, the Wii version of the games sometimes freeze or crash, requiring the console to be unplugged to solve the issue.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Or better said, Brazilians LOVE Just Dance. The company has aknowledged this via including songs like Tico-tico no Fubá, Te dominar and Carnaval Boom in 2017.
  • Growing the Beard: While each previous game had made some improvements upon its predecessor, Just Dance 4 is the one that brought the biggest changes in design and complexity of choreographies to the franchise.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One song in each of the first two games in the series ("DARE" in the first game and "Pump Up the Volume" as Downloadable Content in the second) ends with the moonwalk. Can you guess which solo artist "moonwalks" over to the first licensed game despite being dead?
    • The "She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)" dancer in 2014 is an ice queen with her hair in a braid that hangs over her left shoulder, reminiscent of Frozen's Queen Elsa... Whose signature song, "Let It Go", was included in the following installment of the game, complete with a dancer dressed like Elsa (and one dressed like Anna, for some reason), much like "Prince Ali" in 2014.
  • Hype Backlash: The Michael Jackson game obviously received more attention from the media, and actually ended up getting worse scores than the rest of the franchise.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Reviewers do claim this.
    • This is the main criticism directed at Just Dance 2017. Most fans agree that this game has some of the least challenging choreographies in the series.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: On the flipside, there is the "Hip Hop Experience" spin-off. Choreographies that are considerably more complex than those in the main series, coupled with the exclusion of pictograms in favor of short video segments that barely inform the player which move to perform next make for a brutally difficult rhythm game to anyone without some prior dancing experience.
    • Just Dance 2016 gets this in some circles, though others consider it one of the better games in the series specifically for this reason.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: If YouTube comments are anything to go by, people dislike the visuals and dancer used for "Me Too" from 2017 because it's similar to the ones used for "Birthday" from 2015.
    • The choruses of "Problem" and "Rockabye" use the exact same move, causing the latter to be somewhat disliked.
  • Lighter and Softer: From 2015 and onwards, the franchise seems to be trying to appeal to a much younger audience.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The level for "Copacabana", a song literally about murder, has a group of anthropomorphic animals dancing in a Seussian background. Could also be an example of What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?.
    • "Last Christmas" is a song about a painful breakup. The routine is about a couple playing in a snowy wonderland.
  • Moe: The dancer for "Birthday" in 2015. While the routine itself is pure Tastes Like Diabetes, it's hard not to find the dancer genuinely adorable. See for yourself.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The Kiai sound effects in "Kool Kontact" will get really grating, really fast.
    • Same for the dogs barking in "Chiwawa".
    • The in-game cover for "How Far I'll Go".
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound of getting 5 stars/Superstar/Megastar in a song, as well as the one that plays during a golden move.
  • Narm Charm: The series in a nutshell. So many choreographies are so ridiculous and over the top you can't help but smile when seeing your friends performing them.
  • Nausea Fuel: The alternate routine for "Lean On" in Just Dance 2017. A good portion of the routine involves spinning in place, which can cause the player to become dizzy!
    • The flashing lights in the background of "Built for This" have been reported to make some players feel disoriented as well.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The backgrounds for the levels are always colorful kaleidoscopes or another bright location, right? Not for "Applause". For this one song, the background consists of people trapped inside some sort of fabric and struggling desperately to escape... and failing. Then during the chorus, it shifts to four shadowy figures dancing chaotically in a dark environment. It just screams "asylum for the insane".
    • The coach from "Love You Like a Love Song" bursting into flames and becoming the demon from "Sympathy for the Devil" in the mashup for "Crucified" is sure to catch many players off guard.
  • No Export for You: Just Dance Wii, Wii U and Yo-kai Watch have not been released outside of Japan.
    • China has also received its own exclusive games.
    • From Just Dance 2 to Just Dance 2015, PAL and NTSC versions of the games each had about 2 songs that were exclusive to that region. However, the NTSC exclusives became DLC for PAL, with the opposite not happening. This trope is now averted, as most exclusives of both regions are available on Just Dance Now and Just Dance Unlimited.
  • Periphery Demographic: Although the franchise is mainly aimed at children and teenagers, a surprisingly large amount of adults seem to enjoy it as well.
  • Porting Disaster: The Switch version of 2017, despite being released after all other ports, has some glaring issues. Being the first game in the series to rely on the Joy-cons, the tracking feels a bit off, even when compared to the Wii Remotes in other versions of the game. The game is also more prone to lagging, which can be especially problematic while playing through Unlimited. Finally, two very popular songs (Zayn's "Like I Would" and Wham!'s "Last Christmas") have been omitted from this version for no apparent reason.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: "How Far I'll Go" initially outraged a lot of people, who thought that the choreography did not capture the essence of hula dancing and was insulting to Hawaiians and Polynesians. When Ubisoft revealed that they DID hire a Polynesian choreographer and that the moves were simplified to make it easier for children to follow, these complaints have mostly died down.
    • Unfortunately, the cover they used lacks the emotion and energy from the movie version and is still considered mediocre at best, especially when compared to covers from previous Disney songs like "Let It Go" or "Prince Ali".
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The shifting camera angles in "I Love It" have not been well-received at all, to the point that the effect has not been reused in any other level made so far.
    • When you first boot up Just Dance 2018, you can only select from 15 of the 41 songs included in the game to play. The rest is only unlocked after you complete at least 2 other songs. While this isn't overly irritating, it's mind-boggling that this system was included in the game when the previous entries had everything ready to play from the start.
    • CGI dancers. The first instance of this was a routine starring Rabbid Peach dancing to Beyoncé's "Naughty Girl". However, it was initially seen as a cute (if unnecessary) reference to a well-received crossover game. The concept only became truly reviled with the reveal of the "Shaky Shaky" routine, which many clamored was a betrayal of what Just Dance stood for, as one of the franchise's differentials compared to other dancing games was precisely the use of real dancers in its levels and the fluid motions that came with it.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The general opinion on 2017, as noted on It's Easy, So It Sucks!. When compared to 2016, most routines in the game are a cakewalk, with the only notable exception being "Scream and Shout" (Extreme).
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: 4 and 2016 are noticeably harder than their predecessors. The latter in particular is infamous for having two of the hardest Extreme routines in the series, as well as some regular routines on par with 2014's Extremes. See That One Level for details.
  • Sequelitis: Starting with Just Dance 2015.
    • Just Dance 2015 was criticized for its lack of content (it only featured 8 alternate routines, compared to 2014 which had over 20), its disappointing tracklist and lack of original DLC.
    • Just Dance 2016 brought more alternate dances, but was lambasted for its weak tracklist by fans and critics alike.
    • Just Dance 2017 featured a much improved tracklist and a new mode (Just Dance Machine), but the choreographies themselves are often considered too simplistic and uninspired, and therefore are not as well-regarded.
    • Just Dance 2018, in sharp contrast to its predecessor, has mostly unknown songs for the majority of the tracklist, and while some routines like "Boom Boom" or "Swish Swish" have been praised for being a remarkable improvement upon 2017, other dances have been considered the absolute worst in the series (most notably "Shape of You" and "Bad Liar").
  • Serious Business: It may look like just a silly party game, but did you know Just Dance is actually an ESport, with yearly tournaments where players all around the world can compete for the title of World Champion?
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Despite all the bile that Just Dance 2018 attracts, most fans agree that the game has some of the best alternate routines in years.
  • Snark Bait: The appearance of the Panda in E3 2018. While it delighted many fans, it was completely alienating to anyone that was unfamiliar with Just Dance, who could only wonder why Ubisoft would choose to promote its game by having a man dance in a bear costume. It has since been voted as one of the worst moments of the event by WatchMojo.com.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Arguably both Just Dance 2016 and 2017 fit this. They are not fan favorites like 4 or 2014, nor do they benefit from Nostalgia Filter like 1, 2 and 3, but are still considered decent in their own right, and don't get nearly as much hate as 2015 or 2018.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The song "Chiwawa". To wit:
    • It debuted in Just Dance 2016.
    • It later became one of the very few songs to get an alternate routine through the Unlimited service.
    • It was added to the main tracklist in the Switch version of 2017.
    • It is back in 2018, as one of the routines in Kids Mode.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: With how Critic-Proof the first game was, Ubisoft could have easily just released a Mission-Pack Sequel for the second game and wiped their hands of the matter. Instead, they've listened to feedback from both players and critics and have actively worked to make sure each new installment is better than the last.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: 2018 falls under this with Wanko Ni Mero Mero's Sayonara sounding similar to BABYMETAL's Gimme Chocolate.
  • Tear Jerker: In 2014, there are…
  • That One Achievement: Good luck on the Perfectionist gold and silver medals in Just Dance 3, where things like how old your system is and whether the remotes have fresh batteries suddenly matter a LOT more than they should.
  • That One Level: It has its own page!
  • The Scrappy:
    • If YouTube comments are something to go by, including the Tetris theme in 2015 really enraged a lot of Just Dancers.
      • The Angry Birds theme in the following game was met with similarly negative reception.
      • Levels that enforce Product Placement as a whole have been negatively received, either because the choreography is made specifically to promote said product ("Safe and Sound") or because the song itself is not particularly catchy ("The Choice Is Yours").
    • "Junto a Ti", as many felt there was no need to include a second Disney song in 2016 when "Under the Sea" was already available.
    • "Kool Kontact" has one of the most outlandish choreographies in the series. It doesn't help that many people consider it unlistenable in the first place.
    • The Emoji version of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-go" in the Unlimited service. Also counts as a case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character, as Akiko Glitter, the Just Dance representative in the movie and arguably the only likable character in it, is completely absent from the routine.
    • The "Shape Of You" routine. See They Wasted A Perfectly Good Song below.
    • "Dame Tu Cosita" in Just Dance 2019 has arguably managed to beat "Shape of You" as the scrappiest routine in the series. Its preview alone has THE worst like-to-dislike ratio of any video in the Just Dance Youtube channel!
    • Some of the more gimmicky alternate routines in recent games became this almost as soon as they were revealed. Stand out examples are:
      • "I Love It", which has the players imitating British royal guards. Needless to say, this is one of the stiffest choreographies in the series.
      • The alternative choreography for "Born This Way" looks as if it was made specifically to include as many clumsy dance moves as possible in a single level.
      • The Family Battle version of "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" is hated for "stealing" the spot of an alternate level from a more deserving song.
    • When it comes to the games, 2015 and 2018 seem to be outright hated by a significant portion of the fanbase.
    • A real life example: Diegho San, a former world champion, became this after he refused to shake hands with the player who defeated him in the 2017 World Cup. He later apologized, and claimed he did not hug his opponent because he had gotten too sweaty from dancing.
      • Italian youtuber Favij, who was featured in an Unlimited routine that was cringeworthy at best, and later was inexplicably chosen to be a judge in the World Cup.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The general reaction whenever a song with an iconic choreography makes it into the game without incorporating some of its official moves. Examples include "Born this Way", "Bang", "Sorry" and "Single Ladies".
  • They Wasted A Perfectly Good Song: People were definitely asking "What the Hell, Song Selection Guys?", until 2014 finally unleashed the ultimate Title Drop with Lady Gaga's song of the same name.
    • Try to find a single positive comment about the choreography for "Shape of You" on Youtube, Twitter or the official Just Dance Facebook page. To say that this is one of the most hated Just Dance routines of all time would be an understatement.
      • The reception for this particular dance was so poor some fans are starting to call this fanmade routine the "real" choreography for the song.
    • "Born this Way" in Just Dance 2016, only to a MUCH lesser extent. The regular routine is considered one of 2016's best, but, after "Applause" and "Bad Romance" got their official choreographies as alternates, fans were eagerly anticipating the same to happen to this song. Instead, we got... this.
    • "Into You" in 2017. The game developers tried to be creative by giving it a Geisha themed choreography, but many consider the dance too repetitive even by Just Dance standards, and the move during the chorus is considered just plain awkward.
    • "Cool for the Summer" is another example of a routine that failed to meet the fans' expectations, again mainly because the dance moves during the chorus feel disjointed from the rest of the song.
    • "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" in Just Dance 2018. One of the most iconic electronic dance songs of all time is given a routine that specifically appeals to children aged 8 at most. It is often cited as evidence that Kids Mode has done the game more harm than good.
  • Uncanny Valley: A few people feel this way about the dancer for "How Far I'll Go" from 2018, mostly due to the fact that she has a realistic face compared to the other dancers.
    • Slimer and the Genie in 2014 are Off-Model.
    • The creepy singing bear statues backing the dancer for "We Can't Stop" in 2015 deserve a mention.
    • The claymation archaelogist in "Mi Mi Mi" and the jelly... thing in "Shaky Shaky" fall into this, thanks mostly to their Non-Standard Character Design.
  • Unexpected Character: One of the games' most noteworthy characteristics is the eclectic tracklists, which, alongside recent pop hits, also tend to include songs by obscure/foreign artists, songs from past decades, and even songs no one would predict:
    • The Tetris theme.
    • Hatsune Miku's memetic cover of Ievan Polkka.
    • Was anyone expecting a song like "Beep Beep I'm a Sheep" from asdfmovie to show up in 2018?
    • Given how Pop heavy the tracklists of the more recent games have been, it was a pleasant surprise to see Queen come back in 2017, with "Don't Stop Me Now", and again in 2018, with "Another One Bites the Dust".
  • Uniqueness Decay: In older games, a Gold Move was a one of a kind dance move that was worth more points than usual. Come Just Dance 2015, Gold Moves were relegated to simply occur at the start of the song's chorus, which often results in them being performed several times throughout the rest of the song just as a regular move.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One thing the fanbase seems to universally agree on is that the special effects in the backgrounds have only gotten better with each new installment.
    • "Wherever I Go" definitely deserves a mention, as the aesthetic of the level has been hailed as one of the best and most creative in the series' history, even if the dance itself was met with a more mixed to negative reception.
    • Before that, 2014 delivered "She Wolf", where the coach rides a flying iceberg across a frozen valley, and "Gentleman", which had real life backgrounds.
  • We All Live in America: Famously averted since while some songs are available in certain regions, plenty of songs are available in more than one country including the American release containing songs that are obscure in their own country ,but are well known in others. With the bonus of many of them not being in English -there are songs in German (Moskau, 99 Luftballons), Turkish (Leila and Fatima), Spanish (Asereje, María, Macarena), Korean (Gangnam Style, Daddy), Japanese (Chiwawa, Oishii Oishii), Portuguese (Dançando, Carnaval Boom), French (Je sais pas danser, Marcia baila), Italian (Alfonso Signorini, We no speak Americano), etc.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In an otherwise quite kid friendly franchise, this dance raises a few eyebrows.
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