Ubisoft knows how to make and sustain a video game franchise.
With last Tuesday's release of Just Dance 2014, the fifth installment in the popular Just Dance series, Ubisoft has continued the fairly-simple formula that has given their previous games such worldwide success.
Combining popular hits, improved graphics and increased competitive elements have formed a recipe for success in every installment of the series.
And it works every time.
The tracklist follows a fairly predictable conglomeration of '70s and '80s hits, funky electronic songs and marketable favorites like Katy Perry's "Roar" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines."
The graphic changes are the first thing Just Dancers will notice. Visual changes are a staple of every new game in the series, and continue to improve.
The graphics for "She Wolf" by David Guetta ft. Sia, for example, are visually incredible.
The intro, set in an arctic landscape, mimics a music video type style, as do almost all of the songs in this edition. The characters are as diversely dressed as ever, and the dance moves have again increased in difficulty.
One of the most apparent and positive changes is the implementation of the World Dance Floor, the first multiplayer online component ever used in the series.
The competitive element in the series was increased dramatically with Just Dance's high score list that allowed game players to see how they measure up to their friends. The World Dance Floor takes this idea and maximizes it; now dancers can see how they measure up with the world.
The mode allows for normal, boy vs. girl and crew vs. crew competition and ranks all the dancers at the end of the song. Players are also able to see how many dancers are playing in a given country at a given time.
Another positive change is the modifications to Just Sweat mode.
Players can now turn on free play and track their calories in all of the songs on the game, not just the sweat versions. They can also create customized playlists devised of songs of their choice.
With each new game, the menu is altered slightly to create a different aesthetic. While Just Dance menus have never been that intuitive, Just Dance 2014 marks a new low in ease of menu navigation.
There seem to be many different screens and modes, but it is difficult to figure out where everything is without feeling like the game is missing an entire screen.
While Just Dance 2014 doesn't seem to deviate much from its predecessors, it is no less fun and engaging. Although the series hasn't taken many huge risks, the game always visually improves and when it comes down to it, consumers really just want new songs to dance to.
Just Dance 2014 knows its audience and tailors all of their content to its demographic, creating a game that is full of party hits and throwback jams perfect for exercising or just having fun. It's difficult to see this series decreasing in popularity anytime soon.