Groove is in the heart

An upcoming Wii game was just announced called Just Dance.  From the description, it sounds a lot like Boogie SuperStar: wave a single remote to the beat of a song.  What caught my eye about Just Dance is the list of songs.  It sounds like a multi-generation beach party, with hits from today (Hot and Cold), the 80s and 90s (Fame, Pump Up The Jam, Groove Is In The Heart) and even the 60s (Surfin’ Bird – now THAT could burn some serious calories, especially if you have to sing along).

I’ve been a lover of exercise videos since the days of VHS and Jane Fonda, but one reason I’ve drifted away from videos and toward exergames, is the music.  At one time, workout videos were filled with popular hit music, sometimes even original-artist recordings, but in recent years, there has been less and less of that.  I’ve read that the cost of licensing hit music for workout DVDs has become so high that producers can’t license it and keep the DVDs at a reasonable price.  Even if they use soundalike recordings, they still have to pay for use of the song itself.

But while good music is becoming a rarity on workout DVDs, it’s exploding in the world of video games.  With the success of DDR, Guitar Hero and Rock Band, artists have found that video-game exposure boosts sales.  (I’d never heard of The Go! Team before buying We Cheer, but I bought their Thunder, Lightning, Strike CD after falling in love with their songs.)  And as more “untraditional” (as in OLDER) gamers are attracted to Wii and fitness games, more music from Our Generation is being featured, and players of all ages are enjoying Jimi Hendrix and The Trashmen right alongside Black Eyed Peas and Demi Lovato.  Yay!!

I’ve found that with few exceptions – Eye Toy Groove, to be exact – good music can make pretty much ANY workout a good one.  I would rather swing a kettlebell 200 times while listening to my favorite tunes on my mp3 player than do a DVD that only has a monotonous thump-thump-thump in the background.  It remains to be seen if Just Dance or Walk It Out are any good as far as gameplay goes, but with those song lists, I’m hoping they are!


Posted on August 19, 2009, in Game previews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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