So you have an Xbox / Wii / PS3 / PS4 / Xbox One but you don’t know which motion sensor dance games to buy. It can be a difficult decision as there is almost an over-saturation of dance games for all current and next-gen consoles.
Personally, I prefer the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as I find the motion detection via the Kinect and Kinect 2 sensor to be much more superior to the motion detection peripherals on other consoles.
Other than that, Dance Central and Just Dance have some differences but are similar in many ways. Just Dance is more suitable for those who just want to have fun. Dance Central is more suitable for those who want to learn to dance.
Dance Central is developed by Harmonix, who previously created the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games. Just Dance is created by Ubisoft, which is not well known for its music or rhythm games.
Dance Central has been claimed to be the best-selling dance game series so far. Dance Central was also one of the launch titles when the Kinect sensor (previously called Project Natal when it was in development) first came out.
Just Dance also has a huge following, and the first games were only released for the Wii (later they were released as blockbusters on other consoles). Just Dance is available on all current and next-gen consoles. Just Dance has even released games for PS4 and Xbox One (so far, dance central has been shelved and is not in development for current systems).
Dance Central is more realistic and has a more variable difficulty. Dance Central songs are rated from 1 to 5 stars based on difficulty. You can also choose the individual difficulty for each song, from beginner to hard. As you go through the less difficult movements, you can move on to the more difficult difficulties to try it out.
As the difficulty of the song increases (player’s choice), the movements become more difficult and accelerated. They also build on dance moves with previous difficulties, with high difficulty incorporating easy and medium moves with new moves added. One small downside to Dance Central is that dance moves don’t always flow as smoothly as in Just Dance, which seems like a minor hiccup to me.
There is also a practice mode in Dance Central that you can use to practice movements for a particular song. You can slow down the song, practice certain parts, and practice the entire song in practice mode.
Just Dance, on the other hand, has no practice mode. Most songs have a normal or hard difficulty and most songs tend to be faster paced (more than one workout if that’s what you’re looking for). Just Dance has cards for upcoming dance moves that scroll across the bottom (right to left) as you dance to the on-screen character’s choreographed dance to the song of your choice.
Dance Central uses a similar system but has dance move name cards, which scroll from bottom to top on the right or left side as you follow the on-screen dancer / character dance to the beat of the song.
Just Dance allows you to unlock songs using mojo points (and in Just Dance 2014 Xbox Live points, Wii points / PSN points) to unlock new / alternative dance routines for songs, mashups and battles. You can also download new songs through points or money (depending on the system you are playing on).
In Dance Central you have the option to import songs from previous dance central titles, as well as new songs through DLC with points or money. With this, you can create quite a large library of songs in one game with up to 100-200 songs in one game. With Just Dance, you usually have to change game discs to get more songs or play different songs.