Here comes the next installment in the legend of Zumba, Zumba Fitness World Party. It will be released in October on Wii (no, it ain’t dead yet!), Wii U, and Xbox 360 Kinect. It will also be on the just-announced Xbox One console, which doesn’t have a release date yet, but should arrive in time for holiday trees.
But wait, there’s more! According to this press release, a mobile app called Zumba Dance is coming this summer. It’s a motion-based app that will track your calorie burn while you shake your booty.
Consumer Reports has just posted a comparison of console exergames Nike+ Kinect Training, Zumba Fitness Core (on Xbox Kinect), Just Dance 4 (on PS3 Move), Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013 for WiiU, and UFC Personal Trainer (on Kinect).
Their impressions: Nike gets high marks for being advanced and offering an extensive library, Zumba is praised for being a cardio challenge as well as fun, Just Dance is mainly fun, Your Shape is good for beginners and UFC is…mainly for UFC fans.
Now that it’s Resolution Month, the people at Xbox Live are offering an incentive to work out in front of Kinect instead of driving to the gym or jogging on icy roads. According to this page, if you sign up for Xbox Live Rewards, you can get up to 200 points in January for working out for at least 20 hours to certain active games and buying certain fitness game add-ons.
Eligible Game Add-ons:
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012
- Zumba Fitness
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved
- Zumba Fitness: Rush
- Zumba Fitness: Core
- Jillian Michaels Fitness Adventure
- UFC Personal Trainer
- EA Sports Active 2
- My Self Defense Coach
- Harley Pasternak’s Hollywood Workout
- Nickelodeon Dance
- Michael Phelps: Push the Limit
- Kinect Sports
- Kinect Sports: Season Two
- Nike+Kinect Training
- Rapala for Kinect
- Dance Central 1
- Dance Central 2
- Dance Central 3
- The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout
If you’re new to Xbox, you have to sign up for both Xbox Live (the basic account is free) and Xbox Live Rewards. Also, you may want to download the free Kinect PlayFit app which automatically tracks when and how long you played certain Kinect active games, and lets you compare your calorie burn with your online friends and the Xbox world.
The Just Dance franchise, after producing two “Kids” games that lean more toward preschoolers with Wiggles and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, finally has a “family” game that the whole family can enjoy. Just Dance Disney Party, available on both Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect (I tried the Wii version), combines both tween Disney Channel hits with classic tunes their parents and grandparents love.
Just like all the other Just Dance games, basic gameplay consists of picking a song and mirroring the dancing avatar. The dancers are films of real people superimposed on colorful backgrounds. You score points by holding your Wii remote as you dance. Some songs are “duets” with two dancers doing different moves, and if you’re playing alone, you have to select a dancer before the song begins. Multiplayer modes include “freeze and shake” where at points in the song, you either have to freeze or shake your remote as hard as you can. (We tried it, and prefer conventional dancing.)
There’s no real workout mode, but you can create playlists or play nonstop random songs for a certain period of time. In addition, a parents’ dashboard lets you see how long the game was played on what days and how many calories were burned, and there are even some health tips.
On the down side, there are only 25 songs, which is rather stingy for a dance game, especially at more than a dollar per song. (And some of them could be considered filler, like 2 songs from Tangled – why not 2 songs from Mary Poppins instead?) That said, they treat them really well; instead of soundalikes and generic backgrounds, they use the actual soundtracks (as far as I can tell) and iconic Disney art. On the movie-soundtrack songs, they have animations of scenes from the movie – e.g. “Everybody Wants To Be a Cat” from The Aristocats shows the jazz cat band in the background – and scrolling lyrics are especially enjoyable with songs like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Be Our Guest.” There’s no Pixar, but they more than make up for that with the Muppet Show theme which has become the most-played song in our house. (Too bad this came out before Disney acquired Star Wars; it would’ve been fun to dance to the cantina song.)
Just Dance Disney Party should please Disney fans both old and young, and there’s plenty of material left for sequels!
(I received a free review copy of this game through the Amazon Vine program.)