Product Type: 505 Games Wii games
Newest Review: ... 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 su... more
The most fun you can have working out!
Zumba Fitness 2 (Wii)
Member Name: lindinha42
Zumba Fitness 2 (Wii)
Date: 11/07/12, updated on 11/07/12 (16 review reads)
Advantages: A huge improvement on the first game, fun, great music, a good workout
Disadvantages: It's hard to know how long the routines go on for
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!
Summary: If you want to try Zumba or upgrade from the first game, this is a great buy
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