So… hello.Following that, put Kids songs into a separate catalog located under JD+ catalog, similarly to how it’s done in Just Dance 2022.
I am macrosdxc. I am a competitive Just Dance player and have been playing Just Dance almost daily for 3 years. I have also been moderating r/JustDance subreddit for over 2 years.
This is probably not going to be a complimentary post, but it’s not going to be a hate post either. I’m not here only to praise dev team, but I’m not going to straight up blame them. As there’s been some time since JD2023E launch, I could now formulate my concerns and I’ll try to give some constructive feedback.
Overall, I enjoyed JD2023E. Though in my opinion it’s not as good as the previous game, it’s still a great game with a decent tracklist and impressive visuals, making a decent successor for JD2022. I’m not going to comment on every map there because that section would become an essay, but here a few that impressed me the most:
· Can’t Stop The Feeling (Danceverse Prince Version)
· Danger! High Voltage (16-Bit Version)
· Walking On Sunshine
· Wannabe (Extreme Version)
· We Don’t Talk About Bruno
· Wouldn’t It Be Nice
I’d like to express my concern regarding reusing coaches in new maps. This is not a bad idea itself, but I’d like developers to resort to that with responsibility.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice has a simple, but a very cute story and did a great job on expanding Mr. Blue Sky’s universe.
I’m a big fan of reusing Don’t Stop Me Now (classic) coach in Danger! High Voltage (16-bit version). Not only this map puts an old coach into a different world, but also shows the coach from completely different side. Exceptionally done!
However, D!HV classic is concerning.
D!HV classic completely reutilized Mood classic. It features exactly same coaches in exactly same world. It feels secondary, almost brings nothing new and doesn’t display any development of coaches’ personalities.
Boy With Luv and Dynamite share same coaches. However, these maps take place in different places, coaches’ outfits are altered, and while in Dynamite coaches are ‘normal’, in Boy With Luv they’re presented more like dolls and this is a great creative find making both map distinctive from each other, so in this case reuse of coaches feels justified.
TL; DR: reusing coaches is not bad, but please, do it responsibly.
Latest Just Dance games have been great in terms of tracklists. However, it feels like JD team are restraining themselves and hold onto a safe formula too tightly, going only with extremely popular music and very rarely allowing themselves to bring something special. I liked how JD team turned their sight towards rock music this year. Bring Me To Life and Numb are stunning and presented a unique experience (even though these songs were an absolutely safe bet), and I hope rock will get its share of JD2024 tracklist as well.
Wet Tennis was a very pleasant surprise for me. Is Sofi Tukker the most requested artist that drives everyone on the planet Earth mad? Can’t say so. Is it silly in a good way? Yes. Is it funky and danceable? Definitely yes. Is it fun? Absolutely it is!
Since I can see a good sign, let me say it:
Just Dance heavily lacks EDM, D’n’B, nu-disco and electro swing music. It’s almost shocking how these are not a staple in Just Dance. These genres can give a whole new creative playground for entire team, be it choreographers, costume designers or background artists.
While nu-disco and D’n’B are going to be a new thing for Just Dance, the game has already had a great experience with EDM and electro swing. JD2014-2015 had legendary tier songs such as Where Have You Been, Don’t You Worry Child and Get Low, and Just Dance China had some fantastic additions recently with Bailemen Swing by Shanghai Restoration Project and Gokuraku Joudo by GARNiDELiA – I can’t wait for the day when these two incredible maps make their way into the main game. Artists like The Bloody Beetroots, Caravan Palace and Airbourne certainly deserve a place in Just Dance, and Dillon Francis and Swedish House Mafia can make their comeback after 10 years.
After I did a count, the distribution of male and female coaches (not counting double appearances and non-human coaches) is approximately 1:2. I don’t have a problem with that, but my last request regarding maps is: bring more stylish, badass male coaches.
Jack Rose and Luke Cypher are both undoubtedly very well-designed coaches, but this is not enough. Most of the male coaches in JD2023E don’t quite the mark; they look bland compared to almost every female coach and almost feel forgettable. In my opinion, Just Dance need more coaches such as Animals (Extreme Version), Scream & Shout (Extreme Version), 24K Magic (Extreme Version), Sua Cara (classic), Rock Your Body, Swish Swish (P1 and P4).
This part is going to be long. I’m far from being the world’s best scorer, but hopefully 175 hours of in-game time, holding 2 world records and 13K’ing 44 out of 52 (mostly extremes left, still working) JD2023E base tracklist maps will give me some credit.
Throughout this section I’m going to quote “New Era, New Scoring” article.
Our priority with this game was to offer fair scoring over easy scoring.
I’m not really a fan of the direction of the scoring design taken in JD2023. However, I’m not 100% against it. It feels good to be rewarded with a streak of Perfects for a precisely done series of moves.
My main argument against ‘fair scoring’ is that it is poorly executed.
‘Fair scoring’ is not a bad conception on paper. However, in its current state that means:
· Moves must be done exactly matching the coach, which basically means almost everything must be done late
· Despite that there are still some moves that should be done early which leads to confusion
· There can be energy requirement inconsistencies (looking at you, Love Me Land)
· Even the smallest moves are now rated and can be unreasonably hard to hit
· In some cases, time windows are overly strict and whether you get Perfect or not is decided by luck
· Certain moves require player to hold their phone / Joy-Con in a very specific, often unobvious angle that actually can differ from coach’s palm position/direction. Sometimes it can simply be not comfortable keep your palm in that position
Let’s take a look at Top of the World. TOTW is legit the easiest choreo in JD2023E – it is slow, very simple, doesn’t have any advanced moves combinations, there’s nothing a player should be well prepared for. You’d expect to see world’s top 100 full of at least, let’s say, 13150+ scores. You would assume this map would be a Just Dance beginner’s first full perfect.
However, out of 260000+ players, only 49 have reached 13K. Even the world’s best players are struggling with it. Judging by current world record, owner of this score probably didn’t even get full perfect. How could that possibly be happening?
For me the answer is: developers got overly devoted to the new conception AND there was a lack of actual playtesting.
This may not be perfect for every map, but our new live model allows us to adjust maps on-the-go, so we can rectify this! It takes time to pinpoint the tweaks and get them in-game, but we always appreciate when you let us know what you want to see adjusted in the game.
, here are the maps that should be among the first on the developers’ list:
· Top Of The World
· Heat Waves
· Good Ones
All of these maps have a wide range of poorly coded moves that are not rated correctly and unreasonably hard to get Perfect for.
In previous titles, you may have been able to achieve a high score by simply shaking the controller. We've made efforts to minimise this by adjusting how you score across the different platforms; the movement detection is tighter on both the Joy-Cons and the mobile app (but you still may get varying results due to the different accelerometers found on different devices!).
Nevertheless, there’s still can be massive disparity between Joy-Con and phone and even between phones of the same model.
Move with purpose! Have confidence in your moves; the stronger you execute a move, the more accurate you'll be.
This is actually not true. Maybe the article has mistaken? Joy-Cons are known for expecting player to be overly careful and soft when doing most of the moves.
When we bring old maps into Just Dance 2023 Edition with Just Dance+, each map goes through rigorous testing and the scoring is updated to reflect the new system.
That’s not completely true.
Call Me Maybe was released on JD+ with original scoring and still has a range of problematic moves.
Initial JD+ catalog still has a wide variety of straight up broken maps. The list is going to be fairly long, but here are the most notorious maps:
· Born This Way (Nerd Version) – 4 13K+ scores, world top 100 is 12077
· This Is How We Do - 4 13K+ scores, world top 100 is 11946
· She’s Got Me Dancin’ – 6 13K+ scores, world top 100 is 12023
· SAIKI – only 4 13K+ scores, world top 100 is 11705
· Bad Romance (classic) – 5 13K+ scores, world top 100 is 12256
These maps are desperate for massive fixes or complete remake of scoring and their current state is absolutely unacceptable.
There are also dozens of maps with problematic scores that don’t require total overhaul and can be easily brought to a good state by fixing movement timings to ones that actually fit the choreography (for example, the very first move or Cercavo Amore must be done almost 1 second early compared to the coach. Rest of the song is okay, but could use small tweaks too).
Talking about fixes: community knows that you’ve fixed scoring for Born This Way (classic) and These Boots Are Made For Walking. These maps became much more enjoyable and fun! However, that was never officially announced and I don’t quite understand why. A scoring fix can actually give a map a second life and bring players attention to it.
Here’s how I’d want scoring approach changed for future maps:
1. Common sense over robotic precision
2. Do not rate moves when it’s unnecessary
3. Do not rate palm direction or make its part in deciding what feedback a player would get minimal
4. Avoid confusing players with ‘feedback spam’
5. Do not punish players for expressing themselves
TLDR: “Fair scoring” is an unfinished concept and needs some polishment.
I must give props to the dev team – the multiplayer mode is very fun and actually does a great job on bringing players together!
I believe developers are already getting enough stability problems reports, so I’d only like to say they did a good job with patch 1.1.0. Now MP is still far from perfect, but significantly better than back at the game’s launch. Keep up the good work!
There are still features that MP needs:
· Advanced friends’ statuses (in menu / playing / in menu (in lobby) / playing (in lobby)
· Prompt players to require to join the group instead of inviting a player if that player is in another lobby right now
Functionality and QoL suggestions
· Since Just Dance is now a live service and has evergreen game client, it is perfect moment to let players make it look like ANY old Just Dance game. Bring back old feedbacks, stars, starbars, Superstar and Megastar effects! It’s no secret that a lot of players feel nostalgic about old JD games, so I can see it being welcomed by everyone.
I know that JD1-JD3 HUD cannot be 100% reproduced and adapting it for modern HUD structure would take some efforts, but everything starting with JD4 totally can have a place.
As old HUD would cause visual inconsistencies in multiplayer, it might be worth putting elements of it into separate category (let’s call it ‘Legacy’). Legacy customization elements would only be available in solo play.
I don’t expect that to become the highest priority for dev team, but this is certainly worth looking into.
· Occasionally what would a 13000+ score dedicated rating should be called topic is being brought up in community (some players suggested calling it ‘Ultrastar’). I did iterate on it a bit, but none of the ideas I came up with sound well. Instead of that, I suggest basing a 13000+ score’s visuals mostly based on Megastar (and keep ‘Megastar’ title), but with some additional effects (it could be lightning strikes, animated color gradient on stars or space-ish glow around stars).
· On the results screen, alongside with song’s name and artist, also display song’s version if it’s an alternate version.
· It’s nice to have the new advanced search, however I don’t need the filters being on the Songs tab all the time and would prefer to have more songs displayed on the screen. I think triangle (PS) / Y (Xbox) / X (Switch) has no action attached to it, so I suggest using it to toggle displaying/hiding filters and adding a setting to have filters displayed/hidden by default.
· Right now navigating through songs catalog is uncomfortable as I must scroll all the way up if I want to return to JD2023E catalog. I suggest remapping L2-R2 (PS5) / LT-RT (Xbox) / ZL-ZR (Switch) to quickly move between catalogs, similarly to how it’s done in Just Dance 2022.
'Check profile' function basically has no use: it will only show background and avatar selected by the player, and a 'Report behaviour' button. Hopefully we’ll get proper Dancer Cards in future.
While I absolutely respect the work of backgrounds artists, IMO certain maps have too much going on. Even though I have no disabilities, I'm having hard time reading pictograms in maps with very bright and colorful backgrounds. I suggest adding a new accessibility option: togglable plain dark or semi-transparent dark background for the pictobar zone.
Something has to be done with friendlists. Friendlists are already taking a very long time to load, but when you have like 200+ friends, load time becomes unacceptable and might not load at all. I suggest moving offline friends to the separate tab as a temporary fix for this issue.
In conclusion, I’d love to see developers level up their communication with players. JD2023E had a rough start and still has a lot to improve, and as Just Dance is now a live service game, keeping contact with players is now much more of importance. Let players know if you are aware of a game-breaking bug and if you are working on it (you can’t disagree that when JD Controller app was broken for 2 weeks, not reacting to that in any way and posting about fix several days after the fix was deployed is kind of unprofessional). Bring some clarity regarding your vision of game’s future. Post a let’s say quarterly report talking about progress on promised new game modes and features and what we can expect. Let us know ETA for anything even if it’s 3, 6 or 12 months away.
Make Just Dance the best game it can possibly be.
Official Response *CHECK HERE FOR JUST DANCE 2023 SUPPORT & PLAYER ENGAGEMENT*