Product Type: 505 Games Wii games
Newest Review: ... without having to go anywhere. You have to copy the moves that the character does on screen while wearing an belt that you put the Wii remo... more
A fun way to work out
Zumba Fitness (Wii)
Member Name: lindinha42
Zumba Fitness (Wii)
Advantages: Fun, great music, you forget you're exercising!
Disadvantages: No calorie counting or keeping track of scores
I have wanted to try Zumba ever since I first started hearing about it, but was always put off because I have a really hard time getting the hang of things like this. I can never really keep up and feel really stupid in aerobics classes, so I felt like this wasn't for me. Once I saw that this game had come out, I thought this would be a great way to try it out without worrying about embarrassing myself completely!
The game comes with a belt that you wear around your hips, and then put the remote inside a little pocket. This means the Wii is able to track the movements of your hips to score you against the instructor. The remote will not fit in the little slot meant for it without taking off the remote jacket, but I guess a snug fit is necessary so it doesn't come flying out when you're hopping around the room. The game is about £20 from Amazon.
There are a few different modes on the game, Zumba Classes, Zumba Party, Single Routine, and Multiplayer. If you're playing Multiplayer you will need to get another belt or the other player will need to put the remote in their pocket as the game only comes with one. There is also a tutorial, but I only used this once as I found it really annoying and just wanted to get on with playing. I thought that it didn't really teach the steps that well, and the loading time between learning the step and going back to the menu meant I didn't have patience to use this function. (I am particularly impatient though, other people might find this fine.)
For both the Classes and the Party mode there are levels to work through. There is a 20 minute beginners routine, 20 and 45 minute Intermediate routines, 20 and 45 minute Expert routines, and the hour-long Zumbathon. You have to complete the earlier sections in order to unlock the next ones and progress. In the classes, there are a few to choose from at each level (except Zumbathon), and in the Party mode only one. This, however, is the only real difference between the modes that I can see, and the fact that for the classes you can choose the setting and you can't in the party mode. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't get the point of having the two modes, to be honest. In order to unlock the Zumbathon in either mode you have to have completed all previous levels in both modes,
Regardless of the mode or level, a progress bar appears at the bottom of the screen, and once it's filled up you move to the next stage. Each time you pass to the next stage more dancers are added, and there's cheering, and it gets generally a little more interesting to look at the screen. You progress by completing the moves correctly, and you know if you are by the colour of the instructor--they turn orange when you're doing something nearly correct and green when you're doing it exactly right. (Or at least in theory--you can set yourself up as easy, medium, or difficult level and the game is pickier about your moves the higher level you set. At the easy level, as long as your hips are sort of moving the right way, you get points.) Once you reach the bonus stage correct moves score double.
Each routine is made up of songs which last between 3-4 minutes each, and there is a counter at the bottom to show you how long is remaining of the song. You can change the settings so you can't see it, but I usually leave it there. I do sort of wish that it also showed how much total time you have remaining of the class, though. There are lots of different songs on the game, so there is quite a lot of variety and I really enjoy most of them.
The Beginner and Intermediate are taught by Gina, and the Expert by Beto. Personally, I prefer the Intermediate dances as the moves are more like proper dance moves. I find the Expert level too full of things like pretending to play air guitar, and weird head movements, instead of actual dancing. The Expert, to me, mostly seems more difficult as it's harder to follow--often the movements happen less times in a row and it's harder to know what's coming next. In general, there's little instruction to show what's coming next in the game. There are arrows on the floor onscreen that show point side to side or in a circle, but while that shows you the direction you have to have done the dance a few times to know what actual move it's referring to.
Once you've finished the routine, you get a score and a rank (such as Zumba Pro). However, there doesn't seem to be anywhere on the game where your scores are saved, so you don't really know how you're improving, score-wise. Also since this is predominantly a fitness game, I would really like to have the approximate number of calories burned displayed. Apparently these two issues have been addressed on the new Zumba 2, from reviews I have read.
The only other downside I have to this game is the fact that the cooldown routine is the same all the way through the beginner and intermediate sections, and I got really bored of it. It would be nice if there were a couple more to change it up, but that's not too much of an issue, especially as I quite often mix it up now by doing a 20-minute intermediate routine, skipping the cooldown, and then doing a 20-minute expert one. Sometimes I also add on single routines if the routines I've done haven't included my favourite songs (You Make Me Feel Like Dancing from Intermediate and Pa la Discoteka from Expert are really fun, both the songs and the dances themselves are great). This makes me think it would be great if you could put together custom routines to change it up.
I haven't played the Multiplayer mode yet (my living room is pretty small to have two people dancing at once!) but there are a few different ways to play, and I think including it is a great idea.
I also would say that the menu, while simple, is a bit difficult to read. My tv is medium size and I find it hard to read the small, white type on the pink background, especially when choosing single routines. This could also be improved.
The minor issues with this game are really unimportant as overall I have really enjoyed having this game. The music's great, the dances are fun and doing them really is a great workout. The first time I did this my legs were nearly exhausted after about ten minutes! I can get all the way through even the Zumbathon now, but it still gets up a sweat and feels like a fantastic cardio workout. It's easy to forget that you're working out though, since it's so fun. I've even managed to be brave enough to drag myself to a real class after doing this. It's quite an addictive way to work out.
I would recommend this game to anyone who likes to use their Wii for fitness, who likes to dance, or who is interested in the Zumba craze but not sure about joining a class. I am enjoying it so much I will definitely be buying the new version of the game as well.
Summary: The most fun you can have exercising at home!