Customer Reviews: Zumba Fitness Core - Xbox 360
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on November 8, 2012
When Majesco released Zumba Fitness for the Kinect in 2010, by most accounts it was a groaner. It was clear that the game had been rushed to market to try to cash in on the Kinect launch. The result was a sloppy and forgettable game. In 2011, they made amends by releasing Zumba Fitness Rush. This version added much better motion tracking, real Zumba personalities like Beto and Gina Grant, an improved tutorial, and much more engaging graphics.

I'm happy to say that the newest iteration, Zumba Fitness Core, builds on the improvements and makes the game even better.

When you start off the game, you see stylized videos of a number of famous Zumba personalities, including Kass (Martin), Tanya (Beardsley), Nick (Logrea), Loretta (Bates), Gina (Grant), and Beto. Their animated counterparts will be your instructors throughout the game. While in the previous version they looked more "cartoony", with this version they're starting to almost look like the real person (almost).

Some of the options in the main menu are the same as previous versions, while others are new. They are:

"Single Song": You can choose a Single Song to jump right into dancing right away. You can scroll through songs and choose them by instructor (whom you can identify either by their picture or the color of the button), or by name, intensity (low, medium, high), genre (e.g., samba, disco, cumbia, hip-hop, etc.), or workout type (warm up, core, cardio, cardio with some core, core with some cardio, and cool down). 17 of the 33 songs are licensed tracks, and 16 are Zumba originals, an impressive ratio compared to past Zumba games. Here's a full list:

Ain't Nothing Wrong (Robert Randolph and the Family Band) - Pop
Alegria Pa Zumbar (Zumba Original) - Samba
Bailamos (Enrique Iglesias) - Pop Salsa
Balans (K-liber4life) - Reggaeton
Bem Vindos (Zumba Original) - Brazilian Funk
Boogie Shoes (Juptier) - Disco
Brokenhearted (Karmin) - Jazz
Crazy Love (Mara) - Samba Techno
Cumbia Flow (Zumba Original) - Cumia Reggaeton
Dancing With Myself (The Donnas) - Pop Samba
Desert Groove (Zumba Original) - Bellydance
Drop It Low (Kat DeLuna) - Hip-Hop
Ella Me Copia (Zumba Original) - Bachata Flemenco
For You (Zumba Original) - Axe
Gati Bongo (Orchestre Baka de Gbine) - African
Ho Jayegi Balle Balle (Daler Mehndi) - Punjabi Bollywood
Hola My Friend (Zumba Original) - Polynesian Rhythm
Jamming (Bob Marley) - Reggae
Jhoom (Shankar Mahadevan) - Bollywood
Jump Jive And Wail (Charlotte Swing Band) - Swing
Kazachok in Habana (Zumba Original) - Russian Folk
La Bomba (Zumba Original) - Techno Cumbia
Las Gatitas (Zumba Original) - Hip-Hop
Lift Ya Leg Up (Spice and Company) - Soca Calypso
Magalenha (Carlinhos Brown) - Samba Capoeira
Mirage (Naked Rhythm) - Bellydance
Nyana (Tiesto) - EDM
Paris (Oh La La) (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) - Rock Burlesque
Quiebra (Zumba Original) - Quebradita
Roll Wid Di Don (Sean Paul) - Stepping Reggaeton
Shake It (Anane featuring Mr. Vegas and Tony Touch) - Hip-Hop Reggaeton
Suave (Kiss Me) (Nayer featuring Pitbull) - Salsa
Sugar Plum Fairy (Ryan Franks) - Ballet
Surf to the World (Zumba Original) - Surf Rock
Sweet Girl (Zumba Original) - Techno Merengue
Taki Contry (Zumba Original) - Celtic Bluegrass
The Trip (Tres Mundos) - Arabian Reggaeton
Vamos Pa'La Pista (Zumba Original) - Salsa
Vem Vem (Zumba Original) - Brazilian Funk
Zumba (Don Omar) - Latin Pop

Each song has a venue associated with it, which you can change. The venues range from city nightclub scenes to open air stadiums to scenes reminiscent of Las Vegas, Niagara Falls, and Hawaii.

Dancing works pretty much the same as previous versions of the game. You have one Zumba instructor whom you'll mirror the moves of, reinforced by other dancers in the background doing the same moves. Animated visual cues will come on the screen to let you know to get ready for the next series of steps. You'll also see a little silhouette of your body in the lower left hand corner that you can match against the instructor. The one thing I thought was missing was some kind of status bar to tell you how much of the song was left.

Some reviews have complained that the choreography can be repetitive, but I think these fail to understand the nature of Zumba: repetition of certain "classic" dance steps is by design, as it helps make the class accessible to both beginners and advanced alike and helps people start burning calories quicker. In other words, it's an exercise program first and a dance program second. If you're looking for more elaborate choreography, I'd stick with a dance game like Dance Central or Just Dance.

I was very, very impressed by the motion detection in this game. For the most part I found the accuracy to be excellent, even down to detecting which arm and leg you're moving (something the Wii, for example, could never do). When I tried most songs for the first time I usually scored about a 50%, which was enough for 3 of 5 stars. But as I repeated the songs and started to memorize the moves, I found my score and my accuracy going higher. One other little detail they've added is that if you really mess up on a song, the instructor at the end of the song will let you know with a shrug or a little head shake, unlike previous versions where the instructor would jump up and down excitedly no matter how you did. I also really liked how I could play the game even though the Kinect sensor is only about 6-7 feet from me; with other games I have to rearrange my entire living room.

At the end of each dance you'll see your level, your score, the calories you burned, and the percentage of moves you got right. You'll also see a rating from 1 to 5 stars. You'll have the option of taking your picture (thankfully it doesn't randomly take pictures of you without your consent), as well as sharing your progress on Facebook.

"Full Class" lets you take virtual Zumba classes, which are basically single songs strung together. You can choose Short Classes (about 19-25 minutes), Mid-Length Class (about 44-48 minutes), or Full-Length Classes (about 57-62 minutes). You can also put together Custom Classes choosing your own duration and song lists. One major improvement they've made is the inclusion of low intensity songs that can help you properly warm up and stretch before exercises as well as cool down afterwards.

"Learn The Steps" is Zumba Fitness Core's tutorial section. You can learn four basic steps for Salsa, Merengue, Samba), Bollywood, Reggaeton, and Cumbia. After you select a style and a step, you need to match Beto dancing that step in slow motion. As with Dance Central his arms or legs will glow red if you're completely missing the target. Once you get the steps right you can try it in real time. The nice thing about perfecting the moves in the tutorial is that a lot of these basic steps are used throughout the songs.

"Progress Tracker" is a much improved section of the game that helps you see the progress you're making and helps keep you motivated to come back over and over. You can view running statistics of time played, accuracy, and calories burned by day, week, or month. You can also collect Xbox achievements for various set goals, as well a define goals for yourself, which you can share with your Xbox Live friends and tackle them as "Community goals". Strangely and disappointingly, it doesn't look like the game is supported by Kinect PlayFit at this time.

Overall, I was extremely impressed by what Majesco did with Zumba Fitness Core. They could have easily phoned it in and basically released the same game as Zumba Fitness Rush and still made boatloads of money. Instead, they effectively moved the platform forward with better graphics, more instructors, more songs, and more features to help incentivize you to come back to the game again and again.
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on October 19, 2012
This is my third Zumba game. Having lost over 50 pounds just using Zumba and some dieting tweeks, I'm completely sold on this product as an exercise tool.
What I was not convinced of, was that a cardio tool could really do any core work. Personally I do between 100-300 sit ups a day, depending on what else I'm doing. I honestly didn't think adding "core" to the title would assist with any additional "core" work. I'm happy to say, I was wrong.
I just got this product 2 days ago, so I've only done 3 routines (maybe 56 songs), but I can actually feel the workout in my core. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy floor work in order to get a core workout, this is PERFECT for you. I abhore getting down on the floor, on a mat, on a ball, etc. Gyms are dirty places, floors are dirty places; combine them and you may as well be sitting in a cess pool. So to find a workout where you can get some core work in without having to be on the ground is phenominal. I'm SO impressed.
Will it replace sit ups; probably not. But, can I foresee it doing more than just working cardio--absolutely.
I'm living proof that this franchise does what it says it'll do---it has you working out without realizing you're getting a work out. I finish the workouts drenched in sweat. And now I'm looking forward to finishing drenched in sweat and with tighter abs.
Thanks Beto and crew. You've done it again.
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on February 27, 2013
Just tried it the first time. thought I jump in the shallow end of the pool and tried a short session. (MISTAKE) The first jitterbug routine KICKED MY ASS.and subsequent 4 dances were slightly better. It did have a label of High intensity. So I survived the full 20 minute. Felt pretty cool. I think they have some serious Crumping inspired moves. great for the core. So I move to the longer session next, it was 44 minutes. This one is labeled medium intensity. A lot better. It's a whole workout in one. including warm ups and cool down, And it's so diverse! from what I see, (I'm no dance major, so pls forgive me if my terms are incorrect)Boot Camp type martial arts move, Paso Doble, Hip Hop, Rock. aerobics, belly dancing, the aforementioned crumping and some folk dances of various global origins. So I don't think one will be easily bored by this game. I do like this better than Dance Central 2, DC2 does not have the same intensity like this game. This will keep you at high intensity for a longer duration. But one have to get over looking silly. Especially for a guy.

4th session Update.
It's even more surprisingly diverse. I have one song of Ballet, Irish Jig, and some country type square dancing, not to mentioned some good ol fashion Russian Dance. It's a lot of fun. I'm sub 200lb guy trying to lose weight, by a website calculation, I lose around 700 calories per session of medium intensity workout. pretty amazing.

After 3 sessions, it gets easier after. I got some 5 stars songs already.

By the way when you are in full cardio mode, your problem area (fatty area) get real cold to the touch. I found out that this game makes your core workout a lot harder. I don't feel the belly getting cold during Kickboxing sessions, but in here. It was ice cold, so the game makes you dig deeper to get toned. Interesting.

One year point, I no longer uses this software and now I attend live Zumba classes 3 times a week, plus a smattering of other group fitness classes in my gym, I've lost a total of 47 lbs and jeans size down to 30. I'm now also doing Yoga, spin classes, Kickboxing classes. and generally considered a success story inside my gym.

After 9 sessions, I went to the Gym today and I can crunch twice the weight that I can before I started Zumba, I was crunching 80lb comfortably, now I can crunch 160 lb after 9 sessions(30 reps * 3). really works so far.

After 12 sessions, Did a 1 hour long class on high intensity, beat it. and 73% score. Tummy 60-70% gone. Back arch above the small of the back is arched more. Addicted and doing it daily.

Beat the game (all 1 hour long session completed with 5 stars ratings) after 45 days.

5 months update, No longer doing it on the Xbox, I've regularly attending live Zumba classes 2-3 times a week, In the front row, dancing on the stage with the instructor! lost 36 lbs, Fit in a waist size 33 inch jeans, (from waist size 38)Starting to do insanity, and yoga and pilates and biking and swimming...Phew. All because of starting from this one little program.
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on January 15, 2014
My ADD really kicks it up a notch when it comes to anything related to exercise, so I need something engaging and fun and that doesn't make me think about how much time I've been actually working out.

Zumba Fitness Core is the perfect game/workout for that. The tunes are catchy and you're so busy dancing that you barely notice the sweat running from your head. I've found that the harder I work on hitting my marks, the more calories the games says I burn. I don't know how true that is because that's not really what it's about for me. It's the movement that's important in any weight-loss situation and spending 30 minutes dancing the Samba is a heck of a lot better than 30 minutes sitting watching TV.

I say get the game and have some fun. You may surprise yourself.
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on December 23, 2012
I'm a post-bariatric surgery patient, and part of the weight loss has involved commitment to a regular exercise program. At first I was unable to do more than 5 minutes of any video-game based exercise routine, but eventually worked my way up from the competitor's games to the Kinect-based ones. I still use the other Zumba games for variety, but I finally outgrew - or shrunk out of - however you want to think of it - and needed a higher difficulty level. UGH! This game is it. It is still fun, and each time the Zumba franchise releases a new game, they seem to clean up some of the previous things, like now it seems that they've pretty much incorporated a "warm-up" dance as well as the cool-down dances, which is good.

For me, the cons are: I'm not as into the music on this one compared to the previous release, and the moves don't repeat as often so it's taken me a while to master them. I find some of the jumping moves a bit difficult/uncomfortable, but I keep trying!

The pros: Fast paced - will keep you moving! They seem to be broadening their range of dance styles - there's even some ballet (it's the one that makes me jump the most and my knees aren't fans of it, but I'll get there eventually) this time. It's more challenging - harder to get to the "Legend" status and a 90% or more grade than the previous game, so it keeps me pushing to get to that mythical status, haha.

So far, with the help of the Wii exercise system and now the more challenging XBox games - especially the Zumba games, I'm now down 130 pounds in one year. So it is doable by someone who starts out categorized as morbidly obese. I can actually see muscles starting to show!!!! So get up off those couches, try a Zumba game and get sweating! :-) Good luck to all of you struggling with your weight. I know the pain of that one.
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on October 17, 2012
I received my Zumba core yesterday, The music is better than previous games but many of the dance steps are the same in each song, not much new cretivity in choreography. If you've bought other Zumba Kinect games , you might want to wait because the only difference is the kicking that builds the core. I don"t regret buying it because I was getting bored with the Zumba Rush routines, The kinect seems to be more responsive. Graphics are great. They have calories in the game but you don't add your weight or height so how accurate can it be. The biggest disappointment is you can"t take the dlcs with you from the other game like you can do with Dance Central. A definite buy if you didn't buy Kinect Zumba Rush.
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on May 20, 2013
This is pretty close to a real class and 100% better than the DVD's.
The only thing I miss are the # rep, cues the Zumba instructor gives you.
Yes, I know you get cues from the Xbox but not the # cues.
I've been doing it for a week and have lost close to 4 lbs!

Love the multiple classes you can choose and the length of the classes option.

I was so happy b/c normal classes are 1 to 1 1/2 hours and I was glad I
was able to do the 1 hour.

Plus, you can create your own playlist with only 12 songs, normal class is
15-16 songs, but I was glad I was able to do my own Playlist.
Love the Cumbia Flow song, that's my fave and Dancing with myself.

If you want something that is as close to the real classes, then this is it.
I love it!
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on January 2, 2013
This is the perfect game for people wanting to get active, receive feedback, but still not let anyone see them.
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on February 25, 2014
This game gave me a butt kicking work out for the price of 1 class at the community school.
Music is good.
Wish there was a better stretching option, but I can do that on my own before starting.

You definitely need a good bit of room to do the moves and make sure the Kinect reads you properly
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on December 18, 2012
This game is so much fun, but if you're out of shape (like I am) be prepared to be sore from just the 20 minute class (that i stoppoed at song 4). Can't wait to see if my core actually gets tight!
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