Customer Reviews: Zumba Fitness - Nintendo Wii
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on November 20, 2010
I am into weight lifting and hate cardio. I was told by a cardiologist that my bp and heart do wonderfully as soon as they have me step on a treadmill and recommended that I do cardio even though I workout in other ways. I hate organized workout routines and programs, as they tend to bore me quite quickly. I decided to try the Zumba DVDs because of all the raving I heard about Zumba. I loved the DVDs so much that I purchased the Zumba Fitness for WII. All I can say is within 10 minutes, I already burned 100 Calories (I wear a Polar HR monitor). Within 30 minutes I had burned nearly 400 calories. Yes, my lungs burn but I do not focus on that because it is so darn fun! The Zumba Class is so amazing! It really feels like walking into a class and learning by the art of "keeping up!" It is motivating because you watch your energy point go up the better you do. I use to do cardio once every few days, now every free moment I get, I turn on my Zumba Fitness game so I can "Play" while burning loads of calories. The only downside to this game is you may find yourself taking showers throughout the day if you play all the time, like me, because you WILL sweat buckets. People complain about the basic graphics, but I really think the lack of graphical beauty allows us to focus on ourselves. HAVE FUN, DROP WEIGHT, STRENGTHEN YOUR HEART with this fun game. I love it.
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on November 19, 2010
I have been anxiously waiting for this game to come out as I love exercising with my Wii. This has got to be my favorite thus far. I used to go to Zumba classes 4 days a week, but the popularity of the classes soon meant that they were too crowded and to get into the class you had to arrive an hour before which I couldn't do. I bought this game and wasn't expecting much, but it surprised me. Unlike Just Dance 2, it was a pleasant surprise. The routines are more or less the same routines I got to do at the gym. Of course each instructor puts their own twist in their classes.

One thing that people who are not familiar with Zumba should know is that there are NOT vocal cues. The instructor will give visual cues, but no vocal cues. That threw me off a bit because my instructor at the gym always gave vocal cues when there were new people in the class which she followed by saying that they are not supposed to give vocal cues.

The one complaint I have so far is when you are choosing a single song to play, it doesn't play a snippet of the song, it just has the title and what kind of dance it is. I'm sure over time I'll figure out more things that bother me, but for now that's it. I am anxiously awaiting going home and playing this after work tonight.
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on November 23, 2010
Before getting started, let me just say that I have never bought any kind of "dance" program for the Wii, so my expectations may not have been reasonable.

Having been aware of the Zumba wave of fitness products, I was intrigued by one for the Wii. The way I figured it, if I could have fun, dance and get fit at the same time, why not?

The game comes with a belt you fit the Wii remote into. You have to take off the Wii protective jacket to do this and it is inserted into the belt so that the sensor is facing toward the ceiling. The belt itself has Velcro ends, so it's adjustable.

I must say getting started with this game was a bit difficult (for me). It took me a while to figure out how to get past adding my name. The setup seemed to go in circles and I it took me a bit of time to get past it.

So, I finally got past the registration part of it and started the tutorial. There are about 5 or so basic dance moves and then variations from that. The Wii remote senses your arm, hip, & body movements. From that it can tell if you have "mastered" the dance move it is teaching you and then progress to a more complicated step. Sometimes, while I was learning the moves, the instructor on the screen appeared to magically change steps without any way for me to mimic the moves.

One thing I did realize, when you got the moves "right" the instructor on the screen would turn green. Otherwise they were red most of the time. I looked in the instruction book to see if this was the case, but I couldn't find any reference to it.

I finally did start a dance session, and I couldn't keep up with the moves and the music but I didn't see this as a big issue. I know that with time, I'll get the moves down and be able to keep up. As long as I keep moving, that's the whole point isn't it? The session last 20 minutes.

There are other options as well, you can compete with friends, customize your work out and there is also a dance marathon session that lasts an hour.

Overall I would say this is a good investment. I do wish the creators had taken more time to make it a bit more user friendly.
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on November 19, 2010
I have been going to Zumba classes for the past 6 months and I had to pay $10 per class, I enjoyed the class and the instructors but, when I found out that they were coming out with a game I was exited, I did not know what to expect. This game exceed ALL my expectations!!! No comparison like (just dace 1 or 2) this is more of a Workout, they have dances that are 4 minutes up to 20 minutes long, you can also do a 40 minutes class and a lot more features, track your workouts with a calender and much more.

If you like to dance and you want to lose weight ( like ME ) and have fun while doing it, this game is for you!

Better than going to a ZUMBA class and FUNNN right in your living room.!!!
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on December 20, 2010
Zumba is a fitness craze started by dancer Beto (choreographer for Shakira, among others) back in the 1990s. Since then, it's swept the world. Zumba classes are given in more than 90,000 fitness centers worldwide, and over 10 million people have tried it. In fact, one just opened up just around the corner from my apartment!

Zumba is a simple concept. Standard aerobics exercises become repetitive and stale. But with Zumba you can learn latin dance moves, have fun, and get just as solid a workout (or more).

The game comes with a belt in which you place your Wii remote. It's not the most solidly constructed belt in the world, but it gets the job done. You fit it around your waist (it looks like it'll accommodate anyone with as much as a 40-50 inch waist), and secure it with velcro. You put your Wii remote in the front pocket so it's standing vertically and the buttons are facing forward (you need to take the protective plastic cover off before and after putting it in the pocket, which is a bit annoying, but luckily I had a spare Wii remote I wasn't using, so I just used that).

The starting menu is simple--you use the arrow buttons on the Wii remote to choose from the options (I'm guessing they chose not to use cursors knowing that the Wii remote would be in the belt while navigating the menus; it is a bit clunky, but you get used to it after a while).

The options are: Create / Edit Player, Play, Workout Calendar, and Extras. You can start dancing single routines immediately, but in order to access most features, you'll need to create a player.

The player creation is pretty quick. You enter your name, and select your difficulty level (easy, medium, hard). There's a bit of sloppy programming, in that there's never confirmation that you've successfully created a player (you get sent back to the "Create" button). But once you go back to the Main menu after creating a player, you'll see a bunch of new options open to you: Tutorials, Zumba Party, and Zumba Class.


The Tutorials are broken into several parts. Learn the Steps lets you learn a wide range of Zumba steps, including:

- Calypso (Basic)
- Calypso (Single Single Double Pump)
- Calypso (Basic with a Travel)
- Cumbia (Basic)
- Cumbia (Machete Step)
- Cumbia (Sleepy Leg)
- Merengue (March)
- Merengue (Que Te Mueve)
- Merengue (Pump)
- Reggaeton
- Reggaeton (Bounce)
- Reggaeton (Single Single Double Basic)
- Salsa (Travel)
- Salsa (Forward and Back)
- Salsa (Cuban)

The tutorials were pretty weak. The graphics weren't very impressive, but that's understandable given the limitations of the Wii (it's tough to get high quality full-motion video on the Wii, which is required for learning Zumba, so they made the instructor a glowing silhouette). The real weakness of the tutorials was that you really weren't "taught" anything. It's up to you to figure out what the on-screen instructor is doing and to mimic her moves. The biggest annoyance is, no matter what slight move you make in response to the on-screen instructor, the system will tell you "great!" and then move you on to the next step.

I'm guessing that the developers who made this game heard all the negative comments about games like Just Dance not picking up moves correctly, so they went too far in the other direction and decided that it'd accept ALL moves. I would much preferred to have had the instructor showly break down the moves, step by step, and let me decide if I understand them and want to move to the next step, rather than ingratiate me by telling me I did great when I didn't.

So ironically, in order to follow the tutorials effectively, you have to take the Wii remote out of the belt. Then, you watch the tutorials like a video until you learn each move. Then, when you're ready for the next move, you pick up the Wii remote and waggle it a little until it says "great"!

Ridiculously oversensitive Wii remote aside, the tutorials themselves they were fairly decent in terms of their content, if not their execution. They break each dance move into different steps which start with basic movements and get progressively complex (again, I would have preferred a little more vocal instruction rather than forcing me to try to figure out what was going on). Regardless, I was able to learn a lot of the basic Zumba steps this way.

Zumba Party and Zumba Class

It took me a while to figure out the difference between "Zumba Party" and "Zumba Class". From what I could figure out, they're pretty much the same, except that Zumba Party is a more compressed series of 10 levels (which you unlock one by one by completing it). These are the levels for Zumba Party:

- Beginner 20 minute Class 1
- Beginner 20 minute Class 2
- Intermediate 20 minute Class 1
- Intermediate 20 minute Class 2
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 1
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 2
- Expert 20 minute Class 1
- Expert 20 minute Class 2
- Expert 45 minute Class 1
- Expert 45 minute Class 2
- Zumbathon

Zumba Class, on the other hand, consists of many more levels.

- Beginner 20 minute Class 1
- Beginner 20 minute Class 2
- Intermediate 20 minute Class 1
- Intermediate 20 minute Class 2
- Intermediate 20 minute Class 3
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 1
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 2
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 3
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 4
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 5
- Intermediate 45 minute Class 6
- Expert 20 minute Class 1
- Expert 20 minute Class 2
- Expert 20 minute Class 3
- Expert 45 minute Class 1
- Expert 45 minute Class 2
- Expert 45 minute Class 3
- Expert 45 minute Class 4
- Expert 45 minute Class 5
- Zumbathon

In each "class", you're basically go through a series of Zumba workouts, one after another, until you hit about 30 minutes. As you hit the right moves (or rather, as the system interprets you hitting the right moves), your on-screen character will turn green and you'll see a progress bar on the bottom fill up. Successfully finish a class, and the next one will unlock.

The difficulty levels are a little confusing. You can choose Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced when you set up your character. But in addition to this, you can unlock Night Club, Factory, Rooftop, and Stadium levels. And in addition to this, you can select Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Classes.

Having said all this, Zumba is such a fun way to exercise that the idiosyncrasies of the game can't stop it from being fun. My recommendation would be that if you haven't learned Zumba yet, you probably won't master it from this game--in that case your best bet is still to go to a class with instructors who can give you real feedback. Also, just as with Just Dance, you need to set your expectations properly. This game will NOT capture your motions 100%. As long as you can live with that, you're in for a ball.

On the other hand, if you're an avid Zumba dancer, this game will definitely help you hone your skills and get you in shape on those days when you can't make it to the gym or can't afford to go every day. As of December 2010, I see that Zumba is sold out all over the Web, which is a great sign that the game is a winner.
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on November 20, 2010
So, I anxiously anticipated this game so much so that I brought it immediately on the 18th. Just got around to playing it yesterday and while the game is fun (I love to dance)I have two major gripes with the game. Those being the learn the steps area and the way the game records your movements. As some one who has never actually gone to a Zumba class I decided to practice before hand so as to be familiar with the moves. However, unlike the Zumba dvds I have seen that break the dances down by beat this moves so fast that you can't really pick up what is going on. Now I am sure that if you were to go back over it again and again you could get it, however, I would think if it was supposed to be a learning section it would have clicked in someone's head to make it slow enough to follow. I could understand speeding up once the steps are learned so one would know how to truly do the routine but maybe that's just me. Secondly, as another review stated this may be better on the Kinect but the way the movement is recorded on the WII seems as if the game is not really monitoring your movement. There were times when I was not moving at all as I was trying to watch to get back in step with the instructor and the game was steadily progressing (bar filling up) and saying good job. Yep, she also stayed green for a while. So then I intentionally stood still to see if it would progress all the way and sure enough it did. Sure this is not a major major thing as I find the purpose of the game being to simply get you moving in a fun way to exercise. However, if it claims that part of the game involves the ability to compete against someone to see who can follow the instructor better than it should really monitor the movements. I only played an easy one person routine so maybe it is only a problem during single player mode. Perhaps as you move further from beginner to expert the monitoring becomes more stringent. I hope it does. Yet, all and all the music is fun and the dancing definitely gets your pulse racing and you will sweat. So as far as exercise I believe the game will produce favorable results if you keep up with it.

****Update:Crazy Fun ****

I've had more time to play and study the game and despite the things I pointed out earlier I am so in love with this game. It is the most fun workout I have ever had and keeps you going for hours on end. The music gets you into the mood and the time just flies by. As for the things I pointed out before the more I play it seems that the learn the steps still seems fast in some spots but it may be due to how well you keep up with her. Also once you truly get into the dancing the motion sensing doesn't seem to be off so much. I guess if you take the time to really focus on something you can find fault with anything. Yet, if you really get into the spirit of the game you will enjoy it more than you could imagine. If you like to dance and want to work up a serious sweat Zumba Fitness is a definite must have.
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on January 14, 2011
As stated in the title, I've danced for years (not professionally, just in studios and on school dance teams), and for several months I was able to take an hour-long high-impact Zumba class in my area, so I also have prior experience with Zumba. I noticed when I started reading reviews for this game that most people reviewing it were not very used to picking up choreography. Which is perfectly fine, of course - but their experience would be different from mine, so I couldn't quite predict how I would like the game. So I thought I'd throw in my review as someone who IS very accustomed to learning new steps and choreography in case there are any other dancers out there who are curious about the physical challenge of the exercise as well as the intricacy of choreography. I've so far worked my way through all of the "Zumba Party" routines, from beginner 20 minute to the 60 minute "Zumbathon." Here's what I've discovered. (I should note that I am currently pretty overweight, though I exercise regularly at the gym...but I am no longer as strong and fit as I was when I danced, so that will factor into my evaluation of the workout intensity.)

In general, I really like this game. There are a few problems, but I'm glad I own it and I use it frequently.

First of all, I completely skipped the tutorials and just jumped right in to the workouts. The Beginner workouts are nothing. I did the two "Zumba Party" 20-minute routines back-to-back, and barely broke a sweat. They're pretty fun, but the moves are fairly simple and repetitive and it's very low-impact.

The Intermediate workouts are something of an improvement in terms of intensity, mainly because you have the option of doing a 45-minute workout. That made me sweat more, and my legs were certainly tired afterwards. The choreography didn't seem that much more complicated than Beginner level, but again - it was still fun. It helps if you really enjoy shaking your hips (and I do!) because there's a lot of that. Like the beginner workout, it was pretty low-impact.

The Expert workouts are my favorite as far as choreography and intensity. Beto steps up the complexity of the movements (though they're not frustratingly difficult), which makes it even more fun, and most of the dances are a little bit more of a cardio challenge. By the end of the 60-minute Zumbathon, which was a mixture of Beto's Expert dances with a few of Gina's Intermediate dances thrown in, I literally had sweat flying off me as I was spinning around, and I was tired during the last 2 songs before the cool-down. There are a couple problems at the Expert level, though:

*** Sometimes, Beto does moves where you stand still and do arm movements, which the Wii remote obviously cannot pick up. This results in you losing energy in your "party meter", and the idea is to fill up the party meter to earn points and add more shadow-people and more exciting background detail. The way I remedy this is I shake my hips Shakira-style any time Beto decides to stand still and do arms (like in the flamenco dance). I feel like the game should have known better than to include moves where you actually lose "energy" on the meter. It can't really be helped in the cool-downs, but it shouldn't happen during the exercise portions because it's frustrating for the gamer part of me that wants to build up my meter.

*** Beto messes up his own choreography. This has grated on me a little bit. He has certain moves to go with certain parts of the song, and he sometimes anticipates the wrong part of the song and thus the wrong move coming up. So we'll do about two counts of one move, he'll realize the music is not the part he thought it was, and then he'll switch into the correct moves for that part of the song. He keeps the movement going so that at least you're not just standing there, but it's frustrating as a player to make that sudden switch mid-phrase in the music. And it's plain irritating that they didn't just re-record the dance from the beginning, since they were planning to sell it to people; you'd think they would want to put out the most perfect product they can, and it would take less than five minutes to re-record each song he messes up in (there's at least a couple, including the warm-up that you do *every single time you do an Expert workout*). Did they think no one would notice?

The Zumba class I took in real life was, as I said before, a relatively high-impact class. It had me breathing REALLY hard after every song because it moved fast and involved plenty of jogging and jumping moves. This game only involves any sort of jumping or really fast movement at the Expert level, and even at that level, it's only a few of the dances. So one dance will actually give me cramps, a few others will leave me pretty out of breath, and I certainly sweat a lot, but it's not a really challenging workout. Don't get me wrong - it's a good workout, but it won't push you a lot. You can up the intensity a bit by making sure you're doing the moves as big and sharp as the instructor does, as if you were performing them, but it doesn't add that much.

Other problems to be aware of:
*** First of all, as many others have said, the game simply does not accurately pick up the moves you're doing. You can stand there and wiggle the Wii remote, and the instructor turns green to show that you're doing the moves correctly. This disappointed me for a while; however, if you can get over that problem and just focus on the fact that the game is at least rewarding your movement, it's still fun and a reasonably useful motivational tool to keep you moving.

*** Whenever I do manage to turn the instructor green because I'm (theoretically) doing the correct moves, sparks fly from the in-game ceiling in celebration...and the game lags (video-wise, not audio). It can be frustrating because the instructor will be moving a bit slowly due to the lag, and then the game fixes itself and the instructor speeds way up for a second in order to catch up. Personally, I noticed the problem more in the beginning/intermediate levels when I was still new at the game. I'm not sure if the game has gotten better, the expert routines don't lag so much, or I've just gotten better at ignoring the problem and continuing on with the beat of the music. Either way, it doesn't bother me so much now, but it's something they need to fix for future games.

*** The Zumba belt does not hold the remote very well. This may be because I have some extraneous bulk (hence all my efforts to work out!) that's pushing into the remote when I bend over or move around in certain ways, but I'm not completely sure. Either way, the remote definitely likes to pop out of the belt completely sometimes when I bend over too far, or when I do any of the jumping moves. I have decided I need to sew a little strap onto the belt that will fasten over the top of the remote when it's in the belt pocket in order to hold it there. It's annoying to have to stop your workout to pick up the remote and wiggle it back into the pocket. You can pause the game by hitting the plus (+) button, but I'd rather not have to. Hopefully they will redesign the belt to have a little strap that velcroes or snaps over the top of the remote to keep it in.

Finally, this isn't a criticism - just a word of warning. I found that when I was trying to do some of the hips and leg work that my sneakers were not sliding on the rug enough to allow my feet to twist the way I was trying to move, which resulted in some painful knees later on. I switched to doing the game in my socks, and my knees haven't had problems since because I can slide my feet around without so much friction. So if you find that this Zumba is hard on your knees - try it without sneakers or shoes that grip the floor.

I know that this has been a long and often negative-sounding review, but despite the problems I have with this game, I actually really like it. I just explained all the flaws I found in it so that prospective buyers don't approach this game with certain expectations, but it really is an enjoyable game. The music is fun and it gets stuck in my head ALL the time. The dances are fun with a pretty good variety of steps. The game aspect makes it feel less like work, and silly as the "party meter" might sound, it actually does provide me with good motivation to keep moving. All the bright colors are enjoyable to look at, I didn't have any problems figuring out the steps from Beto and Gina's silhouettes, the backgrounds are fun without being distracting, and there's a number of features that I haven't even tried yet. For instance, there's a workout calendar where you can track your exercise, and there's multiplayer capability. Plus, I only did the "Zumba Party" section. There's another "Zumba Class" section of the game where you are presented with additional workouts that I assume are just made up of different combinations of the same dances (there are about 30 including 3 warm-ups and 2 cool-downs), but I like that they have included these different options.

And while the workouts don't usually leave me completely exhausted by the end, I do feel them in my muscles later. It's also nice to do some cardio that involves the upper body rather than just the same old leg work on the treadmill or elliptical machine. So I definitely recommend the game, with just a few small reservations. It's pretty infectious, to the point where when I sit down to play the new Donkey Kong game, even that music makes me want to get up and do my Zumba moves instead!
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on November 29, 2010
Having been going to Zumba classes since June, I was ecstatic when I found out they were releasing a Wii version in November. I've played the game for a week now. Here are my thoughts:

- Choreography is fun and similar to the ones in Zumba classes
- Encouraging: instructor says positive remarks often to keep you going
- Easy to tell how you're doing: instructor turns green to let you know when you're matching their moves
- Good variety of songs
- Waist band to hold Wiimote is okay, not uncomfortable
- Same great calorie burn as the classes!

- It's really, really fast, even at the beginner level. I can see people completely new to Zumba having some trouble initially getting up to speed, no pun intended.
- Matching the game movements don't always feel accurately recognized, though it feels about 75% accurate
- Graphics could really be improved, they're a bit grainy and sometimes it's hard to discern what movement the instructor is making (Just Dance has better graphics and they just use silhouettes too!)
- User menu interface is wonky - you can only go left or right on the D-pad, and after you create your name it's unclear that you need to go back to the main menu to start playing

All in all, it's a solid workout game investment. If you're wondering whether to pick up Golds Gym Dance Workout over this, having played both, I say pick Zumba Fitness instead because there's more variety in dance and will probably keep you interested longer.
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on December 13, 2010
I love Zumba. I have the DVD's, I go to class at the gym regularly & got a Wii specifically for Zumba for the Wii. I could not possibly be more disappointed. While waiting for this to arrive, I rented Michael Jackson The Experience. Outstanding. Amazing interface, super graphics, easy to play. Really good workout. Then I borrowed Gold's Gym Cardio Party. Again, easy to get started, great interface, good instructions, great all the way around. I have also rented Dance on Broadway and Just Dance 2. While I didn't love those, they weren't boring and Just Dance 2 is a pretty good workout.

Then comes this piece of junk. The graphics are poor and blurry. The interface from how to program your profile to playing the game is not easy. If you see the other reviews, several people couldn't find their profiles after they created them. The tutorials zoom by so fast that you don't learn anything.

This is just boring. I cannot understand how this got past their internal Majesco team, the Zumba people and the game testers.

I cannot wait to unload this thing. I'm simply shocked that people like it.
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on November 28, 2010
I used to go to Zumba classes early this year 3 times a week for about three months. I moved so I was farther away from my gym so I stopped going. I really missed going to Zumba and had thought about buying the dvd's. I saw the game yesterday in store and I read the reviews today and decided to make the purchase today. I was so excited to try it, I had lunch and immediately when I go home and I got it going. I went for the beginner 20 min workout. I will be honest, I am not in the best shape, 250 lbs, 5' 10" and it's been a while since I worked out. I didn't even make it through the 20 minute workout without feeling like I was going to die. I almost made it and had to stop for water and then I realized we were just getting to the cool down. It even had one song that I knew from going to classes, one of my favorites. I think the game is very easy to follow. One of the big complaints that I read in the reviews is that there are no vocal cues for move changes, well when I went to my Zumba classes we never had vocal cues, the instructers would just point or hold up 1 or 2 fingers for a visual cue so this was not a problem for me. It is fast in some places or some songs but thats just how it is. It really is a good workout and fun to do. I can't wait to try out the multiplayer and have my sis in law do it with me. I think the game is very similar to my classes so I think this will be just the substitue I was looking for, no more having to miss Zumba! Now I just need to work on getting myself up in the morning before work to do the workouts.
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