A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing Zumba Fitness for Wii and of course, I jumped at the opportunity. First, because I've been eyeing the DVD version for some time but just couldn't justify the price knowing that I never follow through with DVD exercises because they bore me rather quickly. And second, because I absolutely LOVE my Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus games so much that the idea of owning something completely different excited me; especially since learning to dance was also involved!
Last week, my complimentary copy of Zumba Fitness on Wii arrived and I really wanted to jump right in and give it a go but with the holidays, I opted to wait so that I could really give it a fair shake.
Today, I got to fully engage myself in the system and I have to say that I was disappointed. Now, if you already take Zumba classes or own the Zumba DVD set, then you're probably going to have no problem with this game. You should be able to jump right in and enjoy the dance moves.
But for complete novices, like myself, well as the Astronauts say, "Houston…we have a problem."
First let me start off by saying that getting started is easy. You turn the game system on, insert your disc, and allow the system to do a "Wii System Update" in preparation for the game. Next, you use the "A" button to make selections and the arrows (+) to move to different areas.
After the system update, you have to create a player in order to use any of the features so the first thing the game asks you to do is create a player. Essentially what this means is that you are giving yourself a log-in id because you don't actually get your own person.
After you create your log-in id, you have no clue what to do next. It doesn't tell you if you've successfully created your player or where to go if you did. After about five tries, then turning the game system off and on again, I finally discovered that after you create your log-in id, you need to go back to the main menu.
Once in the main menu you can move to different areas within the game: edit a player, play a workout program, and create a custom workout routine via the Workout Calendar.
The game comes with a fitness belt to hold the Wii remote which frees you up to dance. It's one-size fits all so all you have to do is adjust the Velcro on the flaps to tighten or loosen.
There is a huge selection of dance moves and routines to choose from. First, you have four main sections: Zumba Party, Zumba Class, Single Routine, and Multi-player. Within each of those sections, you have more selections to choose from.
For instance, Zumba Fitness has five main sections: Beginner 20 Min, Intermediate 20 Min, Intermediate 45 Min, Expert 20 Min, and Expert 45 Min. From there, each section is broken down again. Beginner 20 Min, for instance, has Class 1 and Class 2 while Intermediate 45 Min has Class 1 through Class 6.
Within each of those classes are four rooms: Night Club, Factory, Rooftop, and Stadium. But here's the tricky part, in order to move through the different rooms, you must unlock new routines by completing workouts and performing those workouts correctly which means you actually have to "get moving".
The music selection is great. It's entertaining and makes you want to shake your booty.
Though not impressed with the tutorials, I can say that you have a good selection to choose from (I think there are fifteen tutorials) so if you've never seen a Zumba fitness DVD before and have never experienced a Zumba fitness class, this is definitely the place to start.
I am not impressed with the computer-generated instructors. Something about the way they were designed (they glow and blend in with the background too much) makes it difficult to follow along; especially when some moves require the body to shift sideways. I would have much preferred the instructors to be more like the ones you find on Wii Fit, only in Zumba gear, because they were easier to follow along with.
"Learn the Steps" (i.e. the tutorials) was a huge disappointment to me. You simply follow the computer-generated image and hope that what you are doing will match up to what you see on the screen.
Though the moves are broken down and done at a much slower pace, there are literally no cues telling you what to do, how to do it, or what happens next. There is also nothing telling you that you are performing the dance moves incorrectly, or correctly for that matter and they speed up way too fast. You barely start to get a routine down when the tutorial jumps into fast-forward speed.
Now, throughout the "Learn the Steps" section, as well as in the actual fitness routines, the instructors will change color from red to yellow to green according to how well you perform each move. However, my experience showed that doesn't accurately record. You see, there was a point where I was completely confused as to what was going on and just stood there and the instructor still shouted out, "That's it!", "You got it", and "Keep it up".
I wish I could say I am still as excited about the game as when it first arrived, but I can't. I expected more than a glorified exercise video.
I think my biggest disappointment, aside from the very poor tutorials, is that I thought there would be more interaction with the game itself. Considering it is billed as a "fitness game", I expected more mini-challenges to get from point A to point B and I thought there would be more competitions with other family members. What I didn't expect to find was a disc full of various exercise routines and nothing more.
Having said that…and having taken a step back from my preconceived ideas of what I thought it was going to be…I can accept Zumba Fitness for Wii for what it is‒an exercise video.
And having accepted the fact that it is an exercise video and not a video game, I can say that if you find exercise videos limited and boring with their set routines, then you'll enjoy Zumba Fitness for Wii.
You see, with this game (and I use the term loosely) you can set up your own routine and schedule by picking and choosing dance moves and creating a workout calendar! It definitely allows you to create a variety of routines so that you won't get easily bored. And it's only $39.99 versus the $59.95 for the dvds.
Disclosure: The reviewer received a complimentary copy of this fitness game to review.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Zumba Fitness on Wii Review
Labels: Product Reviews
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