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A Billy Blanks Wii exergame is coming…to Japan

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.

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New look at upcoming Gold’s Gym Dance Workout

My head is still spinning from all the upcoming dance games, not to mention new hardware like Kinect and PS3 Move.  I wish I had enough money to buy them all, but when Amazon lowered the preorder price for Gold’s Gym Dance Workout to $30, I bit.  Hey, I could use a little pick-me-up for the dog days of August, as well as a free wrist band for my kettlebell workouts.

A new video has been posted that shows the Gold’s Dance gameplay:

I’m not really familiar with “Wii workout” games such as EA Sports Active or Wii Fit – the closest thing I have to a traditional workout on Wii, is Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout – but this game really resembles an exercise video, more so than Just Dance or We Cheer, with an “instructor” giving verbal cues that are also captioned on the screen.  I hope there’s an option to shut off his voice, since I’ve gotten used to just following along to Wii dance games without having to be cued.

10 Minute Solution reviews are less than hot

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.

This DVD has more punch for your bucks

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.

Update on Zumba Fitness, the video game

An awful lot of people worldwide are eager for any news on when or how Zumba, the dance-aerobics franchise, will be translated into an exergame, judging by my blog hits.  Last summer, the video game company Majesco said they were working on a Wii Zumba game.  But that was before the motion-controller systems for Xbox and PS3 were developed.  Now Majesco is announcing that they will introduce Zumba the game at next week’s E3 trade show, but left any mention of Wii out of the announcement:

Zumba Fitness® – Join the party! Bring the ultimate Zumba Fitness® experience home with the first interactive game based on the wildly successful fitness program.  Zumba Fitness® pairs red hot international dance steps with sexy Latin and international rhythms to create an exhilarating fitness-party on your console that’s focused on the joy of movement.  Follow Zumba instructor fan favorites Tanya Beardsley, Gina Grant and Zumba’s creator Beto as they guide you through 30 routines that will make you forget you are even exercising.  Systems for Zumba Fitness® will be announced at E3.

Systems?  Maybe Xbox and PS3 owners will get a chance to shake their boom-booms!

UPDATE:  Amazon now has a page up for Zumba Fitness.  They give a release date of October 19, a price of $40, and the systems are Wii and PS3.

So you think you can Dance Dance Revolution?

All you DDR freaks who felt left out of the Just Dance video contest, weep no more – there’s a contest for you, too!  Konami just announced their very own dancin’ star search; here are the details (you may want to turn down your volume if bosses or sleeping babies are near).

The DDR video contest has more of a health and fitness angle than the Just Dance contest (yay!).  They are asking for a “fitness video”, using selected songs from the Hottest Party series, that “will be judged on creativity, skill, originality, and integration of fitness related items.”  Hmmm, kettlebell presses while dancing??  Prizes include a gym membership, a Wii or a Hottest Party 3 bundle, I presume with six-pack girl on the box.

I am MUCH more tempted by this contest than the Just Dance one, and it’s great to see Konami playing up the fitness benefits of DDR.  It certainly did a lot for my fitness, and after 5 years, I still love it as much as ever.

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