Category Archives: Workout videos
1,2,3, ZumBAH! The next installation of the legend of Zumba is now available: Zumba Fitness Rush for Xbox 360 Kinect. If you pick it up at Target, a bonus “Fitness-Concert” DVD is included.
Last year’s debut of Zumba on Kinect got not-so-caliente reviews, mainly because of problems with Kinect picking up all the shimmying or shutting down entirely, but the Zumba sequel on Wii has been getting raves, so there’s a good chance for improvement here too.
And if not, just party it up with the DVD, the first Zumba DVD to hit retail in a very long time.
Joystiq announced that Billy Blanks, the creator of the Tae-Bo workout videos, is coming out with a Wii game, but so far it is due for a Japanese release only, next March. Blanks was the last big household-name instructor in the US before Jillian Michaels came along, and within the last few years, he made another big marketing and personal splash in Japan, where he now lives.
While Japanese Wii games can be imported, you need a Japanese Wii console (or a specially modified console) to play them. But there is hope for gaming Blanks fans in the states; Joystiq notes that this new Blanks game is a sequel to Shape Boxing, which was brought to our shores by Ubisoft as the excellent Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout. So Billy’s game has a good chance of being a knockout, too.
Playstation 3’s new motion controllers hit the streets last week, to mostly good reviews. The list of currently-available games is rather slim. There are a couple of sporty games (Sports Champions, Racquet Sports) and family games (Eye Pet, Start The Party), but a noticeable dearth of fitness games.
There will be a Zumba game, EA Sports Active 2 and DDR coming out later on, but the first fitness game out of the gate for Move is coming from somewhat out of left field: former “Scary Spice” girl Mel B.
Mel has already made inroads in the video fitness biz with her workout DVD, Totally Fit. I have this DVD, and it’s pretty much your basic workout, set on a beach. Now Mel is moving to video games, with Get Fit with Mel B. coming out next week, September 28. The box blurb says “Only on Playstation” but Amazon also has an entry for a Wii version of the game, so we’ll see what happens with that.
Here is a trailer for Get Fit with Mel B:
It looks a lot like Your Shape, the ill-fated Wii game that came with a camera. Your Shape, originally $80, soon had its price slashed to around $20, and I believe it’s because its target market would rather see fitness pros on the screen than mirror images of themselves. (Remember all the furor over fattened Miis on Wii Fit?) That’s just my theory, but the new Your Shape for Kinect puts up a slim silhouette as your avatar rather than the real you.
I hope Get Fit with Mel B. turns out to be a good game, or at least isn’t left on the shelves like Wii’s Your Shape, because its rise or fall could very well determine whether more fitness games get developed for Move.
(Update: This game is still unavailable at Amazon. I stopped in at a Game Stop today and they told me they have it down for October 28.)
The third installment of the Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum franchise has been announced (hm, isn’t there supposed to be only one ultimatum?). In JMFU 2011, there’s the usual boot-camp mode where digital Jillian gently guides you through a few hundred pushups, but now there is something new: a story mode.
According to the press release:
For the first time, Fitness Ultimatum 2011 features a story-based Adventure mode where Jillian and the player use their fitness skills and nutrition expertise in a series of missions to shut down Cureall, an evil food and drug corporation set upon world domination.
A while back, I opined that a story mode was one thing that fitness games did not need, and Kotaku seems to agree. Well, since the release of Walk It Out, I’ll amend it to say that a story and characters CAN help keep an exergame interesting, as long as it is kept simple enough to be able to follow while your heart is racing and you have sweat in your eyes. Simply pointing and shooting at trees, ok; piloting an F-15, no. The fitness part should still be the “meat” of the game, although an exception can be made for something like Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver where the Pokewalker is an optional, supplementary thing. (A lot of moms, like me, are collecting watts for their kids.)
But the Jillian storyline seems a little backward; with her fat burners and promotion of processed food on Biggest Loser, sounds like she’s already been assimilated by the Cureall. If you can’t beat ’em…why not just have a storyline where you help Jillian dominate the world by selling all the DVDs, supplements and fake kettlebells you can? Like an exergaming version of Monopoly.
Ever since the Jillian Michaels 2009 fiasco, my advice has been to wait for reviews before buying a video game, unless it’s from a tried-and-true series that you know you’re going to like (it’s pretty much a given that I’ll buy anything We Cheer, and a lot of folks are looking forward to the next Walk It Out). Games usually aren’t cheap – even a “bargain” 20 bucks is a lot compared to most DVDs and books – and often aren’t returnable.
But I do salute the people who are willing to stick their necks and wallets out to give the rest of us an early warning. Such is the case, unfortunately, with 10 Minute Solution for Wii. This game was released 2 weeks ago, and since it licenses a workout video series that is popular in retail stores and familiar with many home exercisers, I thought there would be reviews, either by consumers on Amazon, or on those other lucky blogs that get these games for free. (Hint hint nudge nudge!)
Instead, days of complete silence went by, which is never a good sign. Finally a few reviews trickled onto Amazon, and sure enough, people were disappointed. They cited that the moves were slow, music was bad, controllers were unresponsive, and they just didn’t get that great of a workout.
Outside of Amazon, Sara of My Basement Gym wrote a very detailed review of 10 Minute Solution. She describes all the different activities, and concludes by saying there are much better choices available, such as Golds Gym Cardio Workout, EA Sports Active, and EA Sports Active More Workouts. According to Sara, even the DVD on which this game was based, 10 Minute Solution Knockout Body Kit which comes with weighted gloves, is a better workout buy than the Wii game. It goes to show, sometimes no interactivity is better than bad interactivity.