Dance is a form of human expression that can express many emotions: joy, sadness, anger. From theatrical dance to modern hip-hop to just rocking out to your favorite tune, dancing is extremely important in human culture. There’s a reason why Just Dance is so popular with its casual fanbase. Harmonix’s Dance Central was also successful in the genre, with dance moves that are actually cool to perform unlike Ubisoft’s franchise, which is also fun during parties when you’re messing around.
However, PlayStation hasn’t been able to get to the point of creating a successful dancing game that can rival Microsoft’s exclusive. Everybody Dance delivers at being a fun dancing game with a surprising variety of modes and features, but the blending of both the casual and the more hardcore dance moves do not mix alongside a somewhat spotty set list of music.
Everybody Dance released a year after the dance expansion for Singstar. Rather than having dancing as just an add-on, dancing became this new title’s focus. The game released in 2011 with 40 tracks which vary in multiple genres from Kool and the Gang to Deadmau5.
Despite the game’s wide selection, the game begins to fault when you actually look at the list of tracks available. Some songs in the game are ill fitted for a game such as this. Santaria’s Sublime is a laid back rock track, OK Go’s Here We Go Again is a soft-rock track that I like listening to but not inspired to dance with, and Barry White’s You’re The First, My Last, My Everything isn’t typically considered as a tune to dance to either. Four more songs that can go into this category would be Billy Idol’s Dancing With Myself, Ellie Goulding’s Starry Eyed, Elton John’s I’m Still Standing, and Diana Ross’ Upside Down. There is also Carl Douglas’ Kung Fu Fighting, which is fun for parties, but other than that is not enjoyable for solo or duo dance sessions.
That leaves us with 33 songs, but Duck Sauce’s Barbara Streisand track, which was personally one of my favorites from the track list, is ruined by Sony’s inclusion of the music videos for the game. All of the annoying interruptions from the music video are included in the song itself, so it’s difficult to really get into the song — So personally, there are 32 songs in the game which you can dance to, and it’s a great selection. You’ll most likely find a number of songs that you will enjoy or discover from Everybody Dance.
When it comes to its targeted audience, Everybody Dance doesn’t know who it’s appealing to. Like Dance Central, the game features some kickass dance moves that can be used in any party, and when you pull them off, it’s quite satisfying to see the Flawless ranking pop up every once in a while on the hardest difficulty. They’re quite tricky to figure out. However, the game dips back into a casual style like Just Dance, and has the player playing an air guitar or acting like they’re a DJ. It’s frustrating, as the game does not have a consensus of what it wants to be, and as someone who really wants to learn some dance moves and get into a song, it’s quite annoying. I would imagine it would be the same if a casual player wanted to have some hilarity during parties with these funny dance moves, and instead have difficult moves to figure out.
Despite some of the music selection and the mixture of both core and casual dancing, the game plays very well. The PlayStation Move accurately determines whether or not you are making the right motions, and while it only accounts for your left/right hand, Everybody Dance does a fantastic job at taking your movements. The one gameplay issue I have is when the game wants the player to turn around and look away from the screen; it’s only a few seconds, but not being able to look at the screen to find out your next dance move is annoying and personally can take me out of it. While the game is played, it is fun to see screenshots taken while you are performing, and the regular pop ups from the game do a great job at telling the player how they are doing. In Everybody Dance, you can also see the music video or yourself while you are playing. Sony have even included the option of singing while dancing with lyrics on screen. You can plug in a SingStar microphone, a PlayStation Wireless Headset or use the camera itself, and the game is able to take in your voice accurately while the song is played.
The inclusion of a variety of modes is a nice touch, too. Sony included a fitness mode, which allows players to count their calories during a set list of songs. In this mode, they have included a Professional + difficulty, which gave me a good workout. The mode is a bit primitive though, as you cannot pick your own set list of songs to dance to. You can skip parts of the set list, but it’s still a pain. In addition, Sony also enabled players the ability to create their own dance routines as it captures their movements. Another mode included is Party Mode, which has up to 20 players dancing against each other one-on-one.
As well as those three modes, players are able to publish their highlights to Facebook, Twitter, and PlayStation Network for people to watch. Unfortunately these highlights are pre-decided and cannot be changed, but the social aspect of Everybody Dance is a cool addition regardless. It also has a video sharing system in-game which gives you the latest to be uploaded, most popular, and friends’ uploads. You can even search for the dancer you want to find — There is a favoriting system which tells the servers which is the most popular too. People are still using it today, four years later.
Overall, Everybody Dance is a good PlayStation Move game to pick up. The dance moves included are fun to implement whenever there isn’t a distracting party move, and the setlist is varied despite having some tracks unsuited for a dancing game. These types of games are fun to play every once in a while, and in between the big hardcore releases like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4, it’s great to get up and just embrace the human capacity to dance. It’s a shame the PlayStation 4 currently does not offer a solid dancing title at the time of writing.
- Tracks movements well
- Cool dance moves
- Varied genres of music are included
- Video sharing and social network integration
- A variation of modes to play
- A somewhat spotty set list of music
- Inconsistent with the style of dancing
- Dance moves which include turning is disrupting.
- You're unable to create your own playlist for the fitness mode
- You can't make your own highlights