Published on March 29th, 2012 | by Greg0
Zumba Fitness Rush: A Solid Workout
We’re big fans of the Kinect, Microsoft’s magical-camera-microphone accessory for the Xbox 360. Some games simply use it to add voice commands, like Mass Effect 3 most recently. Other games require it, as it is essential to the gameplay. We’ve tried out most Kinect titles, and love Dance Central 1 and 2, games that truly engage your whole body and feel natural. But they aren’t focused on exercise- the workout is incidental- so we decided to seek out a title aimed at fitness.
Zumba Fitness Rush takes some of the gamplay from previous titles (Zumba Fitness 2 on the Wii, most notably), but adds a lot of new stuff. There are extra venues, of course, but also more important elements like voice control (decent, if not strictly necessary) and 10 new routines. There are 42 in total, and that’s before you include any of the available downloadable content (DLC).
We booted up the game and jumped right in. For those unfamiliar with Zumba, the idea is to take latin music and rhythms and combine it with dancy workouts. The trailer does a better job of explaining it than we can. Since you’re using the Kinect, you simply use motion controls to go through the menus, and the system does a pretty good job of recognizing your movements while working out. You can do a single song, take a “class”, or go through a learning mode to break down the steps. And the classes are variable length- choose from 20, 45, or 60 minutes. There are some statistics kept with the Progress Tracker, though we would’ve liked these to be a bit more like Wii Fit.
Local multiplayer is available (two simultaneous players), but no other online multiplayer options are included unfortunately. Some of the backgrounds and environments are a bit distracting. But overall, this is a solid workout program- we ended up sweating and completely were unaware of the clock. It’s fun, easy to learn, and offers plenty to come back to. If you don’t feel like heading to the gym or finding a class, but also enjoy some level of instruction, this offers much better feedback and a lot more variety than any video. Available now, online and in stores, for around $40.