The 2019 choreographies show improvements. The energetic dances, like Water Me and Narco, don’t tire me out so that I can keep dancing (unlike Footloose and Sayonara from 2018) and include a nice change of speed with the rhythm of the song. Several dances include some very cool moves, like the jacket move of One Kiss, the dropping move of Ddu-du Ddu-du, and the floor gold move of OMG Extreme.
There are a record 6 extremes: OMG, New Rules (the hardest), Mad Love, Finesse, Work Work, and Bang Bang Bang. Most competitive dancers love the extremes, the more the merrier. It looks like you need to score 11,000 on the main dance in order to open the extreme. On one hand, this makes it easier to switch platforms and unlock the extremes quickly. On the other hand, dancers who struggle to hit 5 stars might not ever get to enjoy these dances (except on the World Dance Floor), unless perhaps I misunderstood the message that I saw in the game. The other alternates open as usual from the Gift Machine.
Not only do most of the coaches and backgrounds (like No Tears Left to Cry, OMG, and Work Work) look amazing, the moves are also fun to do. In 2018, there were a few dances that looked cool, but which didn’t feel as smooth or efficient as I would have liked. In 2019, the moves feel better to dance to.
One of the cool new features is that the Dancer of the Week is highlighted for each song. Of course, the top dancers are posting 13,000’s on most of the songs, but with 400 Unlimited dances to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities for many players to occasionally get featured here (especially if the scores refresh each week).
The menu is now a two-dimensional array, which makes it easier to select the next song. When a song is selected, it shows you a preview of the dance.
This year, there aren’t any skins, but there are titles (phrases in words that appear with your id and avatar). I like the variety of avatars with 2019 better than I did in 2018.
In 2018, many players were confused when they first played the game because you couldn’t make a dancer card yet and only a few songs were shown. You had to dance to 5 songs before everything was available. This year Just Dance made it easier to understand what’s going on. For example, you can find the place where you would make a dancer card, but before you dance to a song a message will tell you that you need to dance to a song first. Similarly, you need to dance to about 5-6 songs before most features will be ready, like adding Favorites or creating a Playlist, but in most cases a message is there to tell you this.
Unfortunately, the global and country leaderboards appear to have disappeared. You can see the Dancer of the Week for each song, and there are the usual leaderboards on the World Dance Floor. The World Dance floor isn’t in the same place: You find it in the Home section (look at the left menu and scroll to the top, once you’ve danced to 4-5 songs).
It seems like Xbox One is still producing the most top scores (13,000+) across most of the dances. It makes Xbox One desirable for cross-network play on the World Dance Floor, but becomes a problem with the Just Dance World Cup where other platforms are apt to receive a significant boost. Competitive dancers might do better in the World Cup by mastering one of the other platforms, even if their scores are somewhat lower (but no matter which platform you choose, you need to be one of the very best on your platform, and there are phenomenal dancers on each platform). Personally, I prefer Xbox One with Kinect, but I use Just Dance on all 4 platforms (PS4, Switch, and Wii U).
If you choose Xbox Kinect and you’re new to hands-free dancing, realize that every part of your body from head to toe matters. This can be a big adjustment if you learned Just Dance with a remote or phone and you’re currently used to focusing mainly on your right hand. With Kinect, your right hand is just one of many body parts, and on certain moves on certain dances you can take an X or OK for a relatively minor mistake in the full-body choreography (even if the motion of your right hand is otherwise perfect). But even if you choose to dance with a cell phone, your full body motion still matters and affects your score (sometimes they are pretty clever in the measurement to be able to tell this).