Having ousted several high profile triple A games from the top of the all formats charts, Zumba Fitness must have something going for it. After seeing several fitness games come and go, the latest to enter Maybe Towers has been given a thorough going over by my extremely fit missus, Ali. So I'll hand over to her and let her try and shine a little light on 505 Games' surprise hit... Take it away Mrs Peej!
The latest game to be added to the now huge market of fitness games is Zumba Fitness. The dance/workout crazy that has hit your local leisure centre has now added itself to the wii (360 version came out last year, and PS3 move being released as we speak).
If you can’t face the shame of having to wiggle your wobbly bits and jump up and down in front of complete strangers at the leisure centre for an hour you have the joy of doing this in your front room and having a great time.
Zumba (the fitness regime, not necessarily the game) is said to burn up to 800 calories in an hour and from almost the word go this game will indeed have you working up a sweat. The latin-inspired music will really get you moving and it will stick in your head all day long.
As a complete Zumba novice it was reasonably easy to pick up, the first attempt at your zumba party will have you stumbling all over your living room not knowing if you are coming or going. The “instructor” gives few prompts as to which steps come next, so if you are used to the recent dance central type display its very different. Also the instructor is a bit like a hologram so at times you aren’t sure what they are doing, leading to my other half and I (yes he's played it too) doing different variations of a move at times. When you are doing your moves correctly the instructor turns from red, to amber to green, as the wii remote is in your waist band (or shoving it in your pocket works just as well) it will only pick up hip movements so you don’t have to be too accurate (and any arm movements won’t be picked up unless you wiggle your hips at the same time). Because of the wii remotes flaws it means you could be losing out on points, but with zumba this doesn’t really matter. You aren’t penalised for doing a move wrong, if it doesn’t register that jump so what just carry on with having fun your still burning the calories. I remember shouting and wanting to throw the remote at the tv when playing EA Sport Active when it wouldn’t register the press-up I had done 3 times. None of this with zumba, its pure exhausting fun.
There is a tutorial mode that I skimmed over very quickly, if you really want to learn your steps it will take you slowly (to very fast) through the steps to each dance but I find just going blindly straight into the party modes better.
Multiplayer is great fun you don’t need much more space than for single player, and we don’t clash too many times.
I love how one dance almost merges into the other, with a 4 second break for getting a drink. The warm up and cool down are compulsory, which I think is a very good thing and are just like doing another dance so don’t feel like you’re doing any stupid things, I got really annoyed at the repetitive warm up and cool downs in EA Sport Active and don’t like that Wii Fit doesn’t have a warm up or cool down. I think other work out games could learn a thing or two from the Zumba game.
Will we get bored of Zumba Fitness as fast as all the others fitness games? Well there are only 2 beginner classes/parties, and after 4 sessions I still don’t feel ready to move onto intermediate as its fast and you have to know your steps. The beginner and intermediate classes start at 20mins so nice short times to get started, pro level you get to unlock the hour zumbathon (eeek). But I think it will last a bit longer than others workout games and with the success of the first game I’m sure there is a second in the pipeline and that’s sure to keep me going.