I have to admit, when I saw this game at such a reasonable price (not that I'm complaining!), I wondered, "Just how good can it be?" Thank goodness I didn't put off buying it. It's a wonderful exercise game and a huge bargain! Namco has done it again. I've been their biggest fan of their We Cheer and We Cheer 2 games and now they've added a game with some of the same features, like the circles and other shapes showing arm or body movements, with that familiar little "Bling!" when you get it right and earn points. This is a high energy set of workouts and games with something for everyone. I love the dance aerobics which includes Latin Dance and Hip Hop and aerobics. And this game includes the best yoga instruction that I've seen so far on any Wii game. The instructors and clear and easy to follow and the graphics show exactly how to do the exercises. It's like being in an actual yoga class. And the Wiimote lets you know if you're doing the poses correctly.
You can use one or two Wiimotes although I highly recommend using two. If you've played We Cheer or We Cheer 2, you'll know what I mean. There are also exercises that use the balance board, although not as many as I might have wished for.
So, here are the details:
When you launch the game the first thing it asks is to create a new avatar or use your existing Mii. I chose my Mii and then you see a little musical note avatar, very reminiscent of the Wii Balance board that you see in Wii Fit. He talks to you, calling you by name (Don't you just love that?) and he asks for all your info like birth date, weight, and dominant hand for playing the games. Then he asks if you'd like to see a short tutorial on how to play the game. It's not too long and I recommend watching it. You can skip any parts you might already know by pressing the + button and holding it down. There's a short practice aerobics exercise in the tutorial to give you the feel of how it works. You can see on the screen the current workout time, points and the remaining time of the workout. (I love this feature!)
Now you're ready to go. Choose the one or two player mode and tell it if you're using one Wiimote or two. It also asks again for your dominant hand. The next thing you see is the main menu so you can choose what type of workout you want to do. Here are the categories:
Dance Exercises - When you click this you have a choice of 3 different categories: Aerobics, Hip Hop and Latin Dance. Each of those categories has 20 different exercises. There are 5 open to start and more open as you play and gain points. The only ones that use the balance board are 10 of the Latin Dance exercises. All of these that I tried so far are high energy and fun. It's like a dancercise class with great instruction and the graphics are clear and easy to follow.
Martial Arts Exercises - You have your choice of Boxing, Karate and Karate Forms. There are 5 open under each to start and more open as you gain points. Boxing and Karate each have 20 exercises and Karate Forms has 10. Great instruction and a good workout.
Body Conditioning - The categories are Yoga/Pilates which has 20 exercises and Stretching which has 10. This is the best Yoga instruction that I've seen on any Wii game. 6 exercises are open to start on the yoga and 5 on the stretching.
After you finish your workouts the results screen appears showing your Rhythm Points, Success Rates and other stats. You can press the A button to see your workout time, calories an history so far. Players with a high number of points make it onto the ranking board where you can win bronze, silver or gold medals. After seeing your ranking, you go to an Around the World screen which shows your progress based on your workouts and weekly challenges. Any Mii that completes their journey around the world appears with a crown on their head and it displays the number of trips around the world. So there's always something new to strive for.
Party Games - There are 5 really fun games included which sort of remind me of the games on Wii Fit. They are: Swimming, Dance Fever, Pizza Toss, Wall Smasher and Pirate Attack. Pirate attack uses the Motion Plus and Balance Board for the Wii.
There is also a My Exercises tab where you can set up your own routine for a personalized workout program. Nice touch!
I love this game! The controls are very responsive, the menus move quickly and efficiently and it has so many nice features and exercises that I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. Namco has done it again!
on May 20, 2011
After more than a year of using the Wii Fit Plus, my wife was looking for a new Wii exergame. Zumba Fitness is a nice fun diversion but it offers little in the area of structured aerobics and calorie control. In contrast, ExerBeat seems to be the perfect blend of new activities and a fitness program.
A PERFECT COMBINATION
More than 150 exergames, including yoga/pilates, karate forms, boxercising and dance-exercise (aerobics, hip-hop & latin). Only some of them are unlocked from the very beginning, the others become available as you progress, as is your personal trainer So, not only you get having fun with dancing aerobics (something missing from Wii FIT PLUS) but you also get to monitor your progress, intensity of workout and calories burned (something ZUMBA FITNESS is lacking). Your routines are customizable and can be focused on problem areas. What is more, to keep things interesting, you are presented with daily and weekly exercise challenges that are not considered successfully completed unless you score 70% or better.
Moreover, whereas in the Wii FIT PLUS you had to set your own stretching through yoga exercises, ExerBeat comes with its own stretching routines to keep your joints and muscles safe from stains.
The game can be played in its entirety with a single controller (Wiimote), the game will be asking you which hand you are favoring. Although two controllers are recommended for more precise results, they are not required. Similarly, up to two persons can join simultaneously, each with either one or two controllers. Just remember to setup the game accordingly.
The WiiMotion Plus and the Balance Board accessories are required for a number (but not all of the exergames). Moreover, there is a non-competitive video mode where you try to match what is on the screen without having to carry the controller.
AT THE HEART OF IT ALL
Before actually starting a cartoon music note, named Rhythm, asks about your age, weight and dominant hand. Later on you will be asked whether you will be using one or two controllers. Since one needs to monitor his or her heart rate in order to reap the most benefits out of aerobic exercises, the game reminds you of this - but offers no way of actually measuring or calculating it. You can use an electronic heart-rate monitor or can measure and calculate it using a stopwatch. For some of the yoga/pilates exercises you may also need an exercise mat.
WALK THE EARTH
I appreciated the game developers' retro humor, because this motivational gimmick reminded me of a childhood TV-series, Kung Fu, where David Carradine did exactly that: he walked the earth enforcing his morality code with his martial arts skills. No morality code enforcing here but your cumulative efforts (workout time + rhythm points) are translated in distance covered ...walking the earth. Whenever landmarks are reached new exercises are unlocked, to give you a visual sense of accomplishment.
PARTY GAMES THAT BURN
My favorite is the Pirate Attack, where you get to swing your sword (...Wiimote) in the correct angle and direction in order to fend off pirate attacks. You get so into it you forget you are playing until your shoulder muscles burn. As will with Swimming and Pizza Toss. There is also Wall Smasher (a boxing game) and Dance fever (dancing face off).
The Nintendo Wii is the gaming system that was designed from start to finish keeping in mind that the person using it should be having fun. Otherwise, why bother? Sure, getting fit for the beach or loosing those extra pounds, leftover from the winter indulgences, should be equally important motivation - but who are we kidding right? It is so much easier to get into your workout outfit and sweat yourself to better fitness when you know you will be having fun.
And EXERBEAT excels in this.
As a 30 year old SAHM mom who's looking to tone up some 'soft' areas, I always keep my eyes out for Wii games that incorporate exercise. As soon as I saw this, I pre-ordered it (I've been waiting over a month for it!). I love the Wii Fit Plus games as well as the dance games, and ExerBeat seems to be a hybrid of those two games. You've got party games, dancing, karate, yoga, pilates and stretching. There's really something for everyone here. I will say though, this game is pretty much ALL ABOUT exercise, so your kids probably won't like it very much (unless they're looking to get fit). The games are more about moving around than really trying to achieve some goal.
Getting started is quick and easy and if you have a Mii already set up, then you're half-way there. Just put in weight and what hand is your dominant and you're finished. You can play this game with one controller, two controllers, or none. I played using 2, so that's all I can comment on. There are some exercises that utilize the Wii balance board, but you don't HAVE to have one to do those sections. It will ask you before you start if you want to use the board or not.
The only thing about this game that I'm not too crazy is the 'Around-the-World' section. I think it's a cute feature, but I wish you had the option to turn it off. I also don't like how some of the trainers can get a bit chatty at the end of your workout. I found this most noticeable in the Stretching section. After each segment there was about 30 seconds of her saying things like 'Great job, you doing really well', then she'd go on about the benefits of stretching. I didn't mind at first, but by the third or fourth segment, I just wanted to get on with the game. Especially since I knew the 'Around-the-World' still followed (that pops up after each segment you complete).
Once you spend about 15-20 minutes playing the game, you start to unlock more and more things. After about 10 minutes I unlocked the 'Daily Challenge'. Each day you get a new challenge that you need to complete at least 70% of. Today it was 3 different dance warm-ups. There's a personal calender that is VERY much like the calendar on Wii Fit Plus (there's even a stamp for each day), and the score board of each game is almost identical to WFP as well.
Overall, I really like this game! I spent about 45 minutes playing it today, and I think it's something I'll turn on at least 4 days a week. I'm not sweating too much now since I'm still in the beginner stages of most things, but some of those dance sections (like Latin) really get you moving! Once you unlock the personal trainer (took me about 15 minutes) you can skip the little individual segments and do a full, uninterrupted workout. If you click the trainer button it will ask you to set the length of time you want to workout. I did 10 minutes just to see how it works, and I really liked it. It incorporated some aerobics, karate, and dancing in my workout (I chose Random, you can choose to work on specific areas of your body, or specific exercises). I really think this is a great mix of exercises and dancing, and if you're looking to get your butt off the couch and get moving, then this is as good a place as any to start as far as Wii exercise games go!
on July 29, 2011
I've been using Exerbeat for about 2.5 weeks now, and one the whole I like it A LOT. However, I'll talk about the negative things first.
1) It's kinda cheesy. The first thing you see is this big animated orange music note that guides you through the game. It looks like something from elementary school, bred with the old MS Office paperclip, but it's far less intrusive than the paperclip. Basically, it greets you (with text that oddly types out into a word balloon) when you start the game each time ("Hello Elizabeth, it's good to see you back for the second day in a row!") and tells you that you did a good job when you're done. The cheesiness stops being remarkable after a while.
2) It's annoyingly time consuming at first. There's this thing called "Walk Around the World" that's actually a cool way of visualizing your progress through unlocking the game's many unlockables. However, until you unlock the personal trainer mode you have to visit that map after ever. single. exercise. Like, you do 2 minutes of warm up and then spend a minute or so on the map and then go back and do something else, repeat. However, you get past that after the first half hour or hour of usage and then you only need to visit the map once or twice each session. Also, for those like me who are super out of shape it's a good excuse to sit down for a minute between exercises. ;)
3) The stereotypes. This doesn't actually bother me, but I saw it discussed in another review so I thought I should mention it. The animated instructors are pretty stereotypical--African American guy leading hip-hop, Asian guy leading karate, white woman leading aerobics, Latina leading Latin dance, etc. IMO, it's not much different from what you'd find in live action exercise DVDs or on fitness TV so I'm not seeing a huge problem. They could've done better but meh, like I said it's cheesy.
1) It's appropriate for people who are quite unfit (you know, like me). I think that those of you who are out there running 5Ks would have a hard time working up a sweat on this game, at least until it's unlocked to the point that some of the longer programs are available, and even then it would probably be more of a rest day activity. However, for me, I can totally work up a sweat or, alternatively, choose to do a lighter workout that gets me moving without tiring me out.
3) It has a lot of variety. There's Latin dance, aerobic dance, hip-hop, boxercise, karate, stretching, yoga and pilates. Ultimately, they all come down to moving your arms (and sometimes legs) around, but it's still aesthetically and mentally different for a nice variety. The dance and martial arts programs are fun. I certainly wouldn't want to go onto a dance floor or a dark alley with the moves, but that's okay. the yoga and pilates are very chill and I like the yoga focus on holding moves instead of moving repetitively.
3) It's flexible. Once you make a little progress in unlocking things, there are two helpful modes--personal trainer and my exercises. In my exercises you can build specific series of activities into programs and save them for future use, so it's totally custom. In personal trainer mode, you choose how much time you want to exercise (5 minutes up to 2 hours I think) and then choose either a goal (relaxation, burn fat, etc.), or one or more types of exercise (hip-hop, boxercise, etc.), or one or more body parts (chest, legs, etc.). Then the game builds a series of exercises for you and you can hit refresh until you see a group you like. Or you can just do things one at a time in a meandering sort of way.
4) The equipment requirement is low but flexible. All you really need is one Wii remote. The remote gives you a rumble of reinforcement when you do things right, so it's better doing it with too remotes but one works just fine. One of the goofy party games (and maybe something else I'll unlock down the line) requires a Motion Plus remote, but most of the game only requires the basic wii remote. A few exercises, particularly in Latin dance, require a balance board, but I don't have one and not doing those exercises isn't bothering me. I can still do plenty of other Latin dance. *shrugs*
5) I really do like the Walk Around the World. I can see that I'm through 18/90 stops on the trip, so 1/5 through unlocking the whole game. And the silly music note gives you little bits of information about the different places you pass through as your Mii tromps along the path. It starts in the UK and quickly moves down through Europe and across southern Europe then down into Africa, then I don't know where. I know at some point the Mii gets in a little plane, I assume to fly to the Americas. Doing well at the exercises (hitting the beats with your movement the way they want you to) makes you go further so that's a kind of motivation. It's goofy but I appreciate the visualization of progress.
6) It's fun. It gives positive reinforcement along the way. It doesn't make me feel worn out and sore and grumpy. This is what it all comes down to: I don't hate doing it. Spending an hour or two each week with the game isn't a hardship, so I'll keep doing it at least for a while. That's worth $20 for me.
on August 4, 2011
I'm not kidding, for 51 minutes of use, I was only able to get 21 minutes of exercise. The around the world stuff you can't skip or fast forward thru and the long instructor chatter after you finish an exercise consume a great deal of time. If you have the patience to deal with all of the dead time you can't exercise in between getting your actual workout time, then it's fine.
You can play with one remote controller, but two are better. When you first start out, there are only a very small number of exercises unlocked - no where near the 155 offered. Exercises are varing degrees of easiness depending on your rhythm and coordination --- they're certainly not all easy. While the game sounded great, I'm very disappointed in it. I don't have the patience or the time to waste dealing with the the musical note, around the world, and instructor tips that take longer than you get to actually workout.
on June 26, 2011
It's been about four weeks, and I exercised with it almost everyday.
Last time I was so devoted to one exercise game is Wii Fit couple years ago while I was starting my exercise routine and there are no other choices on the market.
My current exercise games line up includes: Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active/More workout, Gold's Gym Cardio/Dance workout, My Fitness Coach. (We Cheer 1&2, Just Dance 2 count as semi-exercise games)
Exerbeat covers a wide ground including cardio dancing (aerobic, hip-hop, latin), martial arts (boxercising, karate), body conditioning (streching, yoga, and pilates), and it does those very well.
The game play is fluent and the exercises are at least as effective as some of the specialists like Gold's Gym Cardio workout (a great cardio boxing game) and Gold's Gym Dance workout.
Each exercise contains one or multiple 1min to 2mins cells.
The instructors are pretty chatty during the exercise. I find most of the voice cue are right on.
After each cell, the instructor will give a 5-10 secs comment and move on.
This feature would make a 44 mins aerobic dancing actually a 50 mins workout.
It may be annoying in those light exercises, but not with higher level aerobic exercises (so you will have water break...)
After each exercise, you'll be lead to the Around the world map.
This could be annoying at the beginning when you have to do those short exercises, but would not be a problem when you have long exercises to choose from after a while.
You may find some cells repetitive, but you can change the category everyday so you won't be bored.
(Gold's Gym Dance Workout, on the other hand, has 3-5 mins cells, there are not too many of them, so you will be bored after a while..)
In my experience, you will open My exercise feature after about 45mins of play time, then you can create your own exercise routine without being interrupted by around the world after each exercise.
You will also open workout video mode after 1.5-2 hrs of play time, then you can workout without wii remotes.
So you can ditch wii remotes if you are having trouble, or use weights on hands to increase the intensity of the workout.
However, you won't collect metals for each exercise using My exercise or workout video mode. As a result, you may open new exercises slower than others since you're only using the rhythm points to open new exercises.
One advantage of this game is that it also covers wide range of exercises with different intensities.
You will encounter more demanding exercises as you progress.
The longest streching/yoga/pilates exercise is just less than 30mins, and the longest aerobic/hip-hop/latin/boxercing/karate/ exercise is 45-60 mins.
You may use the long exercise or create your own routine with exercises from different categories.
There are so many combinations so you can keep on playing it for many times during the week.
Overall, Exerbeat almost have everything what Wii can offer you in terms of exercising at home. (the only thing it misses is weight lifting..)
It has engaging aerobic exercise which is not very tough on your knees and makes you keep coming back.
The streching/yoga/pilates are rather fundamental but do their job.
It is more inviting than some other choices on Wii in aerobic department, and it will have at least the same intensity as the game progress.
Because of the versatility of Exerbeat, I would probably drop Gold's Gym Cardio/Dance Workout and EA Sport Active (I'll keep EA more workout for strength training) from my current exercising game portfolio. Yes, this is how good Exerbeat is.
If you're new to exercising on Wii, don't miss Exerbeat!!
For getting around the "Around the world" feature, you don't have to wait 45mins of game time for My Exercise.
After 20mins of game time, you will unlock "Fitness Coach Easy Menu" (or some similar name).
You can let the program put together 5-80 minutes workouts from your existing unlocked exercises.
Around the world map will not show up during the coach generated workout but only show up after the whole workout (just like My Exercise).
Use either coach generated workouts or my exercises, you can enjoy uninterrupted workout until the end of the whole set.
on July 27, 2011
I think this is one of the best exercise programs to come out for the Wii. There is a lot of variety, and you can really work up a sweat. Once you've started to get familiar with the short routines, you can combine them into your own workouts--and not just one, like on WiiFitPlus, but you can save up to 16 different workouts. The pre-programmed routines are good and quite varied, but it's nice to be able to make up ones composed of your favorite things, or to put in the ones you have a hard time with, so you get more practice on them.
It can be difficult to practice some segments on their own, as after every exercise there's a "trip around the world". While fun and interesting, this feature can slow down your workout. If you use the pre-programmed routines, or your own, this feature will only play once, at the end of the workout. Be sure to plan in some stretching!
There have been some complaints that the Aerobics and Hip-hop segments are not well synchronized with the controllers, but I frankly think this is "operator error". The program is kind of picky as to exactly how you hold the controllers, and these routines go so fast, it's a bit hard to be sure you're copying the instructor exactly. But you still get a good workout, even if it doesn't always show in your score, and I find that repetition helps. A lot.
This program is my current exercise favorite!
I wear a bodybugg (what you see on the arms of Biggest Loser contestants) to measure my calories burned as well as a display to show how many I burn per minute. This also allows me to compare workout and fitness games and DVDs. Because the game asks you your age and weight it has some input as to how much it expects you to burn in the timeframe it calculates. However it does not ask you your height so it really has no clue as to how fit you are. Because of this I was a little surprised to see my own calorie count was quite close to what I actually burned BUT I did jumping jacks or walked in place whenever we traveled the map. I am shocked it doesn't tell you to do so. If you don't, all that work getting your heart rate up goes undone if you do different workout segments as your heart rate won't stay elevated and you won't burn as many calories.
I have an enormous library of aerobics DVDs in spite of my lack of coordination and I have to say this is the first one to make aerobics fun because you are concentrating on getting those rhythm points which adds another dimension to working out. And takes away the boredom so it becomes a game. The scenery allows things you couldn't get in a regular aerobics DVD because they simply don't have the budget for windmills and hip hop studios with disco backgrounds etc. And unlike the Wii dance games you see the full instructor and how to hold the wiimote properly and they also verbally tell you what to do
I'm the worst at coordination but these moves are a blast and very easy to follow. I had fun and no coordination issues
Because you add in more routines and types of workouts with points earned in rhythm and workout time, there is motivation to keep going and there is always new variety
How to burn more calories
I already mentioned never standing still. If the instructor is waving goodbye at the end of a routine, jog in place and wave back, do jumping jacks during the map view, get wrist weights or weighted gloves so you build muscle and burn more calories, add in ankle weights to burn even more simply doing bicep curls with a wiimote won't do it.
Negatives: it's horrible that I can't simply do as long of a workout as I want. Doing 2 minutes and then ending and having to go back to the main screen and start all over with another 2 minute workout etc is silly and wastes workout time. For example, in the time I normally burn 125 calories I burned 25 due to downtime. I fully expect this is because they assume I'm a beginner and I'll work up to longer workouts but I'm not--this should be asked at the start. Only burning 10 calories and them saying see ya next time? What message is this sending? That's not even a warm up!
Still this game is one I look forward to doing so I'll be patient with that part and change the settings to lose the tour the world for less downtime and more workout time. Something that makes you WANT to workout says a lot. And the variety is great in learning moves from martial arts to aerobics to hip hop and more. They also concentrate on core so you tighten the tummy even while moving the arms and legs and there is variety in instructors too--all with loads of cartoon energy
It's cool that when you hit the rhythm right your wiimote vibrates so you know!
That said when I first did it I didn't use the motion plus and the accuracy read was poor. I went to the instructions and it said for correct accuracy use the motion plus. I tried that and had excellent accuracy
Conclusion--while I have to make adjustments to pick up the pace and hated the pauses they forced me to take rather than being able to do a 30 min or more workout than loads of 2 min or 5 min ones or whatever, it was SO fun that I still loved it
on October 11, 2011
I did the Exerbeat Wii Game today, and yesterday and last Friday! I skipped 2 days between my 1st time and my 2nd time cuz it was the weekend and I was pretty sore...
Just absolutely love this game! I tried Just Dance 2 and Zumba last week, both are great workouts, but this one is even better! Plus it is cheaper than either of those! I will still use them, maybe between Exerbeat days, once I get to a point where I need something different, or just for fun! However, for now, Exerbeat is all that I need! It has Yoga, Pilates, Stretching, Boxercise, Karate, Latin Dance, Hip Hop Dance, and Aerobics! You can register your Mii character as the person working out, and input your own age and weight, so it knows how many calories you are burning, and it tracks them for you! It has a daily challenge that I am finding myself wanting to try every day! Plus it has 5 games just for fun that also work ya out. Your character makes a trip around the world as you go also! I love to see how far I travel each day after a workout, and I find myself wanting to do MORE workouts to make my character go further! I keep wanting to hit the next checkpoint! You have a little music note named rhythm who chats ya up a bit between workouts, but he is not annoying. He fills you in on interesting trivia about the countries and cities you are visiting on your journey around the world. The better your score the further you walk!
I will eventually need to get a balance board to do some of the workouts, but there is plenty to do without one in the meantime! Today I was learning Karate punches!!!!!!!! How cool is that?? I find myself really enjoying the challenge of trying to master the moves and beat my own scores! I leveled up enough so that now I can make my own combination of exercises from all the workouts available!! So I can mix it up however I want! Seriously, best buy ever for the Wii!
All in all I have to say this is the most fun I have had "working out" ever! If anyone is interested in what to get to workout on Wii, I'd say this is it!
on May 25, 2012
I am just starting an exercise program (again), and I thought this was great. I don't really mind the pauses between exercises, because I need to move slowly right now. I am in my forties, overweight, and recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I didn't mind the Around the World feature, because it gave a little sense of accomplishment as new options and exercises were opened. I got myself the workout I need without overdoing it.
For those who are a little more advanced and find this too slow, you need to wait it out. The more you play, the more you open, including the My Exercise section, which allows you to make your own exercise routine, without the Around the World feature at all. Get your kids or your friends to help you move through the program to open exercises. Each new exercise opened is more advanced, longer, and more challenging than the ones before it. Once you've opened everything, you can make yourself a customized and challenging workout! You can also create a different routine every time, so you don't get bored with the same old thing, by simply arranging the exercises in different orders and changing which ones you choose.
This game is wonderful for those starting a new exercise program, or for those who have conditions like Fibro. I may never be able to do an hour of high-intensity aerobics, but I can make my own workouts, tailored to my personal needs. There are even options to up the intensity, once you have opened more things up.
If you are just starting out, definitely get this game. For others, give it a chance.