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I bought this game as i have always been a fan of the Just Dance game and lots of people have been saying how fun Zumba is. Well i am not the type of girl who loves to spend time at the gym and i would be far too embarrassed to turn up at a Zumba class as my coordination is not brilliant, so thought i would try this. The box itself has a picture of a girl doing zumba on the front along with product details. Inside the box you can find the game and the zumba band. I was pleasantly surprised by the price, as i thought it may be a bit expensive as i was buying the band as well as the game and games which are sold like that tend to be expensive, but at the moment the current retail price is £19.06 on amazon. The game offers many options offering something which suites everyone varying from short/ medium or long length classes as well as the intensity level (making something everyone can use no matter what your fitness level) or you can simple choice a song and play that way. When you start you create a profile for yourself so you can keep track on how long you have played for and the amount of calories you have burned. The only problem i have found is that it is not as easy as other dancing games, the routines are a lot quicker and you do not get much notice before you start a particular move, so here practice really does make perfect. The more you do the routines the easier it becomes as you know what is coming up next. Overall i think it is great value for money as you are working out whilst having fun at the same time, making it so much easier to lose weight. The dances are challenging but not impossible and offer various options of game play.
Wii Zumba Fitness 2 I absolutely loved the first Zumba Fitness game, and used it really frequently. However, I was desperate to also get this one ever since it came out, if only to have some extra songs. I wondered if it was really worth having two though, and put off buying it for quite some time. Finally a friend bought it and was so positive about it that I had to go for it. I bought it from Amazon for about £25. I have to say I am so, so glad that I finally got it a few weeks ago. There is almost nothing about this version that isn't far superior to the original. Really, the difference is amazing. As soon as you turn on the game (after doing the required software update), the improvement is noticeable, as even the menu looks better. It's easy to read and navigate, and you move through the menu by pointing the remote at the screen rather than with the buttons as you do in the original Zumba game. A real frustration for me with the first game was the legibility of the menus, as I don't have a massive tv (although it's not exactly tiny, either), and the colours of the background and font, along with the text size, made the menus really difficult to read, so I was pleased about this improvement. There are different levels of classes, as in the first game, but you don't have to play through in order to unlock them, which is great. Since I've already used the first game I was happy that I could go straight to a medium-length or long class when I started to play this one. They've also done away with the two sections (Zumba Class and Zumba Party), which makes perfect sense to me as I never really understood the difference on the previous game anyway. Before playing, first you have to set up your profile. Then you put on the belt that comes with the game (I am really pleased to have two now, as I am desperate to try to convince others to play it with me!), sliding the remote into the pocket that goes over your right hip. For it to fit, you need to remove the remote jacket, and it's still a bit snug. Better than it flying out halfway through your workout though! Make sure the belt is quite tight, too, as otherwise it can sort of swivel round. I noticed the other day that suddenly it wasn't recognising me as doing the moves correctly, and when I looked down I realised that the belt had swung so the remote was no longer over my hip. Once ready, you can either choose to learn the moves, do a single routine, or do a full length class. If you choose a class, you have the option of Short, Medium and Long classes, or the Custom Playlist. There are 10 classes in each of the three levels. As you scroll through the class choices it plays a little preview of a song featured in the routine, and you can see which location the class takes place in (there are five venues). The routines are also classified as either Medium or High Intensity, so there's plenty of choice. Then you start, usually with a lower-intensity song, building up through much higher-intensity ones, and then a nice slow cooldown song to finish. This is where the most difference in the game is, in the playing. The graphics are so much better it's incredible. Since the instructor is bigger and more lifelike than in the first version, you can actually see the moves so much better and have more chance of getting it right. They have also added visual cues--a little box to the right of the instructor, showing a figure performing the move that's coming up next. This makes it so much easier to catch on to the routines than in the previous version, which just had arrows indicating the next move. Since the moves are more complicated than just going left or right, I didn't find the arrows helpful at all, so the visual cues are a great addition here. This means that there is far less frustration in trying to learn the dances, even for someone like me (I do not catch on quickly to this sort of thing!) The settings for the various classes are also so much better with the improved graphics. Instead of an empty backdrop until you've scored enough points as in the first game, the background is full of dancers and scenery the whole time. Throughout the dances, the angle of the point of view changes from time to time so it isn't just a static, boring shot of the instructor doing the dance. This adds to the fun of the game, as well as making certain moves easier to see, and the colourful settings are also a really nice extra. Throughout each dance, your moves are scored, and next to a little icon indicating your player number it will flash up "Nice", "Hot" or "Zumba" to show how well you've done the moves. After accumulating enough correct moves, something called "Euphoria" kicks off. There are fireworks that go off around the screen and then the graphics go a bit hazy. I found this really fun and enjoy when it happens. In addition, there are five little stars along the bottom and as you perform correct moves, you get another star, so you can keep track of how you are doing. The music is really great too, there are of course a couple of songs I don't like as much as others, but I really like most of them. A lot of them are very fast paced and I think the routines are more challenging overall than on the first game. They are fun to do, especially as it is so much easier to catch on with the visual cues. Even the cooldown songs are much better--on the first game there were only two, one for Expert routines and one for the rest, and I found them boring and got annoyed always having to do the same ones. There are more than two on here, and they are more like dances with some stretching incorporated and so much more enjoyable to do. In each routine, you switch between the three different instructors, another plus for me. I prefer the styles of the two girls than the guy (I prefer the proper dance moves to the "play air guitar" and "nod your head around" type things), and so it's nice to mix it up. On the first I felt like I had to choose between doing more challenging routines for a better workout, or doing routines I enjoyed more, so mixing it up this way is really great. Once the whole routine is finished, you are presented with your score, a percentage of moves you've done correctly, and how many calories you've burned. The old version only featured a score, so even though I know the calories burned figure is approximate, it's still nice to see. I think that since this is a fitness game, it's important to get an idea of the fitness results gained by doing it. In addition, on the original version there was no way to view your past scores so I could never really remember if I had done better before or not. On this version, you can go to Statistics from the main menu and see previous scores for the various routines. In addition, by completing routines various bonus material gets unlocked. There are 26 awards which you earn by completing routines well, and there are 11 extras to be unlocked by earning the awards. These are behind-the-scenes videos, and to be honest I'm not hugely interested, but it's still nice to have extras on the game, and some people might really enjoy these. To view the various awards you can go to Progress Tracker from the main menu. This section is also where to find your previous statistics, such as scores, percentages, time played, and calories burned. The graphs for these can be viewed by day, week or month. I find this kind of thing on a fitness game to be quite motivating. The learn the steps section is also much better. On the original game, I only used this for a couple of minutes before giving up because I didn't find it helpful at all. Also the loading time between the steps was super slow and it seemed like a waste of time. This has addressed these issues. There are four dance styles represented (Salsa, Cumbia, Reggaeton and Merengue) and for each of them there are four common steps to learn. Each step is shown slowly, but by pressing the up button you can change to normal speed to continue practicing. I've tried out all of the steps and it was quite helpful. My favourite feature, though, is Custom Playlist. With the first version I would often do a short routine and then add on a few Single Routines for songs I really like, and always wished I could make my own routine. The inclusion of this feature on the new game is a huge added bonus for me, and it's super easy to use as well. You can scroll through the song titles, and as you land on each one it plays the song. The square tells you the style of dance, the location, and the level of intensity for the song. Simply click add and it will be added to the playlist, with each song being represented by a dot at the bottom of the screen. You can edit the playlists at any time, adding more songs, so what I've been doing is trying to remember the songs I liked in each routine I play, and then add that song to a playlist straight after. Otherwise it can be difficult to remember which dances I really enjoyed. Once your playlist is finished, you can choose it from the menu to play any time. The only thing I find slightly annoying is that between songs during routines can get a bit annoying as the instructor comes out and spins around and sort of plays to the crowd for a bit before each song, and does a similar kind of thing after each song. This provides a good opportunity to get your breath back and drink some water, but I definitely think it drags on a bit. The only way in which I prefer the first game is that it was easier to know how long the routines go on for. They were labelled as 20 minutes, 45 minutes, or the one-hour Zumbathon, and as you play there was a timer so you know how long is left of the song you're on. On this one there's nothing like that. The short seem to be about 20 minutes, the medium seem to be a bit longer than 45, and the long ones seem to be over an hour, but there's no way to tell for sure how long it will go on for or how long you have left. I find this slightly irritating, but it's a minor flaw really. I loved the first game, but now that I have this version I am not really sure I will be able to play it any more. I love some of the songs and dances, but this one is just so much more fun to use. I think it's great how the makers of the game must have really listened to customers when creating this version, and addressed pretty much every issue there was with the first one. For me, I really dislike running and I find going on the cross trainer or bike in the gym really boring, so Zumba is a much more fun way to get a cardio workout. It definitely works your legs loads, you're twisting around which must be good for your waist, and I usually work up quite a sweat doing it. I am so much more motivated to exercise when it's something I really enjoy, and so for me this is the best cardio I can do. Having the two games has also made me a bit more confident about doing it, so I have also started going to a Zumba class at my gym, something I was quite nervous of doing before. Zumba is super popular at the moment for a very good reason; it's so fun and you really don't have to be perfect at it to have a great time and a great workout. I would highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to work out without really feeling like that's what you're doing. I look forward to using playing this in a way I definitely don't with most exercise!
I've always been intrigued by Zumba and what it's all about, but am far too shy and lacking in rhythm to be able to brave a dance class! When I first saw this game I didn't really have any interest in buying it as I thought it was just too much for the amount of times I would play it. When a friend asked if I wanted to borrow hers for a couple of weeks as she was heavily pregnant and in no fit state to be doing Zumba, I thought I'd give it a go! The thing that I like about this game is it definitely gives you the opportunity to work from a beginners level and increase as you become more confident with the game. You can start with a short class which is around 20 minutes long and increase to a mid level class (around 45 minutes) increasing up to the full length 60 minute class. Within each level of class you can also choose the intensity of the workout which was perfect for me. The levels are low, medium and high and I found as a total beginner I could complete the short 20 minute class at a low intensity and this was enough for a couple of classes a week for around 10 days. After this my confidence had increased and although I didn't increase the length of the class I did increase the intensity. I was able to do this for around a month and I had worked up to 45 minute long class twice a week at medium intensity. I currently burn around 350 calories for a 45 minute session which is certainly better than nothing! I haven't so far been able to increase the length to 60 minutes yet as I will probably pass out! The class follows a number of routines which you must follow and there is an option to learn in greater detail the dance moves within the routine. I find that I am able to follow them well enough to increase my fitness levels and complete the class without having to play them on the loop, although this is helpful for some of the more complex steps. Another handy option here is to have the routine shown at normal speed or have this reduced to half speed so you can follow the steps easily and pick them up. I would recommend this option for people who are wanting to learn the technical parts of the routines rather than just play the game and get fit. Much like other fitness games for the Wii, you have the option to save your weight within your own personalised profile, however their isn't a programme to actually weigh you within the game. What the game does do however is monitor how many times you play the game, for how long and the intensity, which gives you an approximate burn rate and amount of calories lost per session. This is a really useful tool and although you have to weigh yourself independently of the game and input this every now and then, you can see your fitness increasing and weight hopefully reducing. Be warned that the weight is displayed in Kilograms, although I find this useful as the scales I use regularly are displayed in Kg's. The statistics section also lets you see how many minutes you have completed in the current week and the calories burnt in each session. This is handy to see which session was the most effective at burning calories. The option to add your favourites to a 'playlist' is perfect for adding ones workouts that you like the best and also ones where you know it was more effective at burning calories. You can also rename the workout and call it whatever you like. The execution of the game is fairly simple and follows Just Dance in that it shows you the next move. To make sure you are following the moves correctly you wear a belt around your waist which holds the Wii remote and highlights a symbol when you execute the move correctly. I must point out that the belt and the remote should have been rethought as it often doesn't pick up my dance move even though I couldn't be shaking my hips and wiggling my ass anymore if I tried! You are then given a percentage rate at the end of the game to tell you how well you completed the class. This is really useful as it gives you a goal to work towards the next time you play. As you improve and achieve higher scores or burn a set amount of calories, new routines are opened up and also scenes where the class takes place (such as on a yacht or at a pool party which mixes up the routines a little). The game mixes different dance styles such as Salsa, line dancing, bellydance and Bhangra styles. It really does mix it up and is fun to try and master different moves without anyone watching! I often make an absolute fool of myself in the living room but the thought of going out to do these moves in a class in front of complete strangers fills me with absolute horror! There are 32 songs within the game (some known, most not) and these can be selected individually or performed as part of workouts. The songs include ones performed by Pitbull, Nicole Scherzinger and Yolanda Be Cool. One thing to take note with this game is there isn't a progress indicator to tell you where you are within the game, so I always make sure I have a clock near the TV and take note of when I started the routine so I know roughly how long I have left to go. One gimmicky part of the game which I find a waste of time is the option to choose each instructor's outfit and personalize clothing, but other than when I first set this up I haven't used this section again and would think that anyone who is doing this part is putting off the inevitable exercise! There are different game play modes which are: Single Song - Dance a single routine of your choice. The new song preview feature gives you a feel for a track before you play a full game. Zumba Class - A workout block of routines in 20, 45 or 60 minute formats. You can now create your own custom routines by saving a playlist of your favourite songs. Zumba Party - Up to 4 players can play at once. Learn the Steps - A tutorial mode which lets you learn at your own pace by breaking down the dance moves. All in all a good fitness game which is perfect for all fitness levels. It works and you feel absolutely shattered after you have done a lesson. Can be picked up from Amazon for £24.99.
-THE STORY- I first discovered Zumba through my Gym. As a dance student, I was looking to improve my fitness but hated the repetitiveness of the treadmill. As a dancer, I specialised in Ballet and had also been studying African People's Dance - Zumba gave me the opportunity to increase my dance knowledge as well as getting fit! After one class I was hooked and immediately enrolled on the course to become an instructor. I successfully started up my own classes and my boyfriend bought me the first Zumba game as a congratulatory gift. Although I enjoyed this game, the person I had to follow on the screen was only a silhouette which sometimes made it hard to work out certain moves. This Christmas, my boyfriend bought me the second game, which was a drastic improvement on the first. -WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?- The Zumba game has many different options to suit each individual. You can choose to do a short (20 mins), mid-length (45 mins) or full-length (60 mins) class. Within this, you can choose the intensity of the class (low, medium or high) and then the game picks out a selection of routines for you to follow. You can also choose to just do one routine, or to learn the moves for each dance style in more detail - both options are helpful if you want to perform the routines to a high technical level but if you're just looking for a fun way to get fit, there's no need to learn the moves in as much detail. When you start the game you can make a profile for yourself where you can enter your weight. The game then keeps track of how often you play, how long you play for and how many calories you approximately burn in each session. You can then update your weight whenever you view this information in order to monitor your improving fitness. -IS IT EASY TO FOLLOW?- Unlike the first Zumba game, the computerised person you follow in Zumba 2 looks like a real person and it is very easy to identify which body part is doing what. There are also 'extras' in the background so you can check out the scene without losing track of the routine. A small box also pops up on the side to indicate what move is coming next - but if you miss this, it doesn't really matter. Much like a live Zumba class, it's easy to pick up the movements as you go along. You wear a belt which holds the Wii remote in order to track your movements and a small symbol in the corner flashes when you do the correct movements. This is monitored by the game and at the end of the class you are given a percentage for your technique. -DOES IT GET BORING AND REPETITIVE?- The same routines do pop up frequently but this gives you the opportunity to learn some of the movements which, in turn, makes the experience more enjoyable. You can also choose different 'scenes' where the instructor is performing, such as a city rooftop or a pool party. Also, you get points depending on how good your technique is which unlocks new routines and scenes, providing an incentive to keep using the game. -SUMMARY- As a Zumba instructor, I am constantly learning and practising new routines for my classes but I still cannot get enough of this game! It's easy to follow and great fun. According to the game statistics, I burn around 200 calories per 20 minutes which is pretty good if you take into account that I'm loving every minute!
I recently reviewed the first Zumba Fitness game for the Wii and was delighted to receive a crown for that review. As an avid user of the game I was absolutely ready for some new routines and the release of the 2nd Zumba Fitness game was well timed to coincide with the Christmas market, released in the UK in November 2011. Accordingly this was top of my Christmas wishlist and my lovely husband bought me the new game as a present (to be honest I think he was probably so sick of hearing the songs from the first game over and over again he was looking forward to a change). I have played it a few times a week since Christmas and am just about at the stage now where I have done every routine at least once. There are many things I like about this new version but some things which I do not. Overall though it is great to have new routines at my disposal as there is nothing like starting to disengage through boredom to start the slippery slope of ceasing to enjoy an exercise - and I do not want to do that with Zumba, the first type of workout I have loved since day one. Improvements: More routines and better coaching for the steps, on this game there is a whole section split into types of dance (reaggaeton, salsa, merengue etc) where you can ask it to show you the basic steps, it will just show the same step over and over in a loop so you can follow it until you have it, this is very useful for the more unusual steps. You can also choose to show the step at half speed or full speed so if you cannot get it straight away you can slow it down until you do. There are new and improved incentives on this game, you can unlock video clips when you hit certain milestones (completed a number of specific routines or burnt a certain amount of calories) and there are more interesting background locations like on a yacht in Miami (I think its meant to be Miami anyway). Also you have background dancers from the beginning of each routine rather than as you earn them and they are all individually dressed rather than clones of the instructor, I like this as it gives something distracting to look at while you are dancing. A brilliant new feature is the tracking and calendar 'Statistics' section where you can see how many minutes of Zumba you have done over a particular week and also how many calories you have burned during each session. There is an option to track your weight alongside your workouts but I am not overly keen on this as the only option is in KGs (very American) which means nothing to me! One of my favourite new things is that you can create your own playlist workout from your favourite routines simply by tagging them all together under the 'Create Playlist' option, you can name them whatever you like and then they are automatically listed with the other routines for you to choose from. Things that remain the same (or pretty much the same) are that you choose the length of your workout and then the intensity from those listed for that length - there seem to be far more of the medium and high intensity workouts than low intensity but then you could create your own lower intensity routine if you wanted to so I guess there is something for everyone. There are more interesting and less traditional types of dance on this game than the first one, for instance, a few of the routines have a real Hindi/Bhangra theme to them (which is interesting as we have started to do these styles in my real live class) and there are also some with line-dancing style moves in. This variety is what keeps me interested and thought it meant I was back to feeling like a total beginner as I did these new routines for the first times, I already have my favourites and am starting to do them much more easily. The first game used the same instructor all the way through each class and this game changes instructors throughout depending on the routine, I quite like this as it keeps the routines very varied. Also there are some actual songs you will recognize on this game (Nicole Scherzinger and Yolanda Be Cool are the main ones) which breaks from the norm in a nice way. Niggles/non-improvements: For some reason they have done away with the countdown clock which was an option on the first game. I liked this because it allowed me to gauge where I was with a routine and if it was a particularly hard one I knew how long I had to slog it out for. I wish they had kept this - at least as an option The other major annoyance is that for some reason at the beginning of each routine now we have to endure the instuctor doing some kind of show off, crowd pleasing solo skit - it reminds me of how at the beginning of each bout of Tekken (that old playstation classic) each fighter would do their individual 'moves'. Except on that game you could whizz through that, on this game you cannot. So, the gap between routines is much longer and I don't like that, I preferred the first game where the routines just flowed into each other. Overall: You can probably tell from the balance above that overall this game builds on and improves on the first one and brings some new and very enjoyable elements to the Zumba table. It is great to try new steps and new styles of music out and anyone who enjoyed the first game will feel like they have a whole new lease of life with this one. Also a note about the belt - you get another belt with this game which means you can do the 2 player routines without purchasing another one (if you can find someone to zumba in your living room with!). Overall a slicker game, more options and an improved range of routines mean this is a great investment.