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New U Yoga and Pilates game is out, for Wii

A Wii game called New U Mind Body was released this week.  The game has already been out for several months in Europe and the UK, and it has several good reviews on the UK Amazon site.  It’s balance-board compatible, and looks like it has the same sort of live-action format as My Fitness Coach 2 (which didn’t get as well reviewed as its predecessor).

And it looks like that’s about it for workout games until next year.  I’m surprised to not see any games on the schedule for National Shape-Up Month, January.  Maybe the game makers figure that’s when everyone will be at the gym.

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Fit in Six: upcoming workout game for PS3 and Wii

ESRB "Everyone" rating symbol, displ...

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Joystiq reports that the ESRB (the ratings board for video games) has a description up for a game called Fit in Six.  The description goes:

This is a fitness game in which players create and perform personalized workout routines from a collection of yoga, Pilates, cardio, dance, and kickboxing exercises. Players can also monitor their progress over time and customize workouts to focus on specific muscle groups.

Joystiq says the game is coming from Ubisoft, who’s well on its way to ruling the fitness/dance game genre.  They put out the Kinect fitness game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, as well as the Just Dance and Gold’s Gym series for Wii, all highly-acclaimed.  And I am totally loving their Michael Jackson The Experience game.

List of active games has been added

Since Walk It Out appears to be the last exergame to be released for a little while, and lots of folks who got Wiis for holiday gifts are asking around for games that help burn off the holiday feasts, I added a page (look up over the header) that lists all the active and fitness-related home console games I know of.

I haven’t tried all the games (I wish!) but I’ve written about many of them on this blog, and if I hear of any new ones, I’ll add them to the list.  (Right after I posted, I realized I’d completely left out the Eye Toy series.  Shows how good my Eye Toy experience was…)

Exergames have certainly exploded in the ten years since DDR arrived on the scene and gamers started wondering why their extra flab was disappearing.  It’s now in a genre of its own, and there should be something on that list to get practically anyone moving and grinning.

Fitness in your pocket, with Nintendo DS

personal trainer walkingLately the Wii has been getting much of the exergaming press, but fitness is a growing genre on the handheld Nintendo DS game console as well.  The DS is about the size of the old-time address book that our moms carried around in their purses.  It opens up like a book, and contains 2 screens (DS=dual screen) one of which you poke or “draw” on with a plastic stylus.  It also has wireless internet capability and a microphone for voice control on some games.

The usual Mario and other action video games are available, but with the runaway worldwide success of Brain Age, the DS has also attracted many non-gaming “games” meant for self-improvement.  You can quit smoking, learn a language, compose music or even practice Japanese brush calligraphy with DS software.  The small size of the DS also makes it a natural as a fitness trainer or nutritional log on-the-go.

Fitness titles on the DS include My Weight Loss Coach, which comes with its own pedometer that, after you’ve gone for a walk, plugs into the DS so the software can automatically record your steps.  The recently released Personal Trainer: Walking takes this concept a step further by including not just one but two pedometers that are small enough to fit in your pocket, and then wirelessly transmit your number of steps to the console.

Also on the DS are a couple of yoga games, Let’s Yoga and Quick Yoga Training, and a Pilates game, Let’s Pilates.  These games sound like little more than handheld workout videos, although Quick Yoga Training has an interesting gimmick in that it can supposedly recognize how well you are breathing through the DS’ microphone.

The Biggest Loser and Jillian Michaels money-machines will be slugging it out with Wii Fit Plus for the Wii fitness fanatics’ dollars next week, but BL and Jillian both have upcoming DS games as well – Biggest Loser for DS is being released the same day as their Wii game, October 6, while Jillian’s Fitness Ultimatum 2010 for DS is waiting until October 20.  Both games contain workout routines, but the BL game also has a calorie database and recipes, while Jillian’s game appears to be exercise-only, although details are still sparse for both games.

Even Pokemon-loving kids will have incentive to get up and burn a few calories with the next series of Pokemon games for DS, HeartGold and SoulSilver.  These games will come with a pedometer-like device that adds power to your virtual pocket monster the more you move around.  Yes, there are ways to cheat, but don’t be surprised if you see kids jogging laps around the waiting area at Outback instead of simply hunched over their handhelds.  Hmmm, maybe NOT such a good idea after all?

Move over Jillian, here comes Daisy (sigh)

Reviews are beginning to trickle in at Amazon for Daisy Fuentes Pilates for Wii, which came out this past Tuesday, and they’re not good.  So far, there is one 3-star review and three 1-star reviews.  Maybe it’s still early, but I doubt there are hordes of Daisy fans who are too busy playing this game to post their raves.  This is more like a repeat of the reaction to Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009.  Same story, different celeb.

I was afraid of this – Sega’s a solid company, but they’re known more for Sonic the Hedgehog than exergaming, plus this was produced by the same outfit that did JMFU.  But I didn’t want to sound like a Negative Nellie, and besides, it’s not totally impossible for a game with a licensing deal to be good (see Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout, which is basically an imported Japanese boxing game with Gold’s logos plastered all over).  So I try to keep an open mind about these games, but I did want to post my “caveat emptor” warnings about exergames in advance of Daisy’s release.  I hope it helped someone think twice before buying.  (And my thanks and sympathy to the Amazon reviewers who took one for the team.  I gave you all helpful votes!)

What really gets me is, I can’t find any reviews anywhere else except Amazon.  And I can’t be the only one, since people are hitting my blog after searching on “daisy fuentes wii reviews”.  The only “reviews” that seem to be out there are hype, fluff and press releases, like this interview on a casual-gaming site.  And then there’s this on a morning TV show which is misleadingly titled “Daisy Fuentes Does Pilates”, but I’ll save you the trouble of loading the video by telling you she only briefly mentions the game amid a bunch of giggling about hair products.

Does anyone know of a fitness-gaming site that gives unbiased, honest reviews of fitness games, preferably before or soon after their release?  The gamer sites usually wait months to review exergames, if ever.  People want this info and I hate to see them get ripped off.

UPDATE:  IGN has reviewed Daisy Fuentes Pilates and gave it a 4.5, or Poor.

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