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Zumba Fitness: World Party announced for Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U and the upcoming Xbox One

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.

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Free app turns your Wii balance board into an electronic scale

wiifitplus

Got a Wii Fit balance board just lying around, collecting dust? A free Android app called FitScales will repurpose it into an electronic scale that shows your weight on an Android smartphone, via Bluetooth. As a bonus, it will sync with Fitbit and RunKeeper.

Just Dance Disney Party for Wii: for kids of all ages

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.)

New Wii bundle includes Sports and Resort for $130, but you still can’t plug in a mat

Fall 2012 Wii bundle

Nintendo wants to move a few classic Wii consoles before the new Wii U comes out next month, so they’ve put together a bundle that includes Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort (both on one disc), a Motion Plus Wiimote and a nunchuck, all for a suggested retail price of $130.  It should be on store shelves in a couple of weeks.

Be aware that this is the horizontally-oriented Wii that was introduced last year, that eliminated the four controller ports of the original Wii, so don’t expect to play DDR, Active Life or Cyberbike on it.  It can still be used for many other fun games, though, like the Just Dance series, Walk It Out (using a balance board or Wiimote), the Gold’s Gym games and many more.

(Via Joystiq)

Not that I’m the food police, but this is Just Ignorant

An unhealthy relationship: Just Dance and Cheetos

Just Dance 4 comes out on all platforms next week, and usually the big retailers like Target will offer a bonus of some kind for buying it right away, from them.  For instance, the big bullseye packaged a bonus Zumba DVD earlier this year along with Zumba Fitness Rush.  So I looked at next week’s Target ad to see what they were offering for JD4.

And I groaned.

Per the above photo, Target will knock $10 off the $40 list price of JD4 as long as you buy a bag of Cheetos.  Not a little bitty snack bag, but a big daddy-size 9-oz bag.  The bag also features codes to unlock a couple songs in the game.

Okay, I’m no health-food nut.  I like Cheetos, although I can’t recall the last time I’ve had any.  My main objection as a mom is that neon-orange crud that gets all over everything; maybe not such a problem with Kinect, but who wants greasy orange-stained Wii controllers?

But I’m trying to keep junk food as a “sometimes” or “very rarely” food, and promotions like this aren’t part of the solution.  And it doesn’t do any favors for people trying to give exergaming a healthy image.  That includes Just Dance itself, which has featured a “Just Sweat” fitness mode since their 2nd game, and even has a blog featuring people who’ve danced off the pounds.

Why not enclose a free workout DVD like they did with Zumba, or a coupon for fresh apples, or a pair of socks, or anything that isn’t going to just add more empty calories and stain teeth?

Grrr.  I’ll buy the game, just not at Target.

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