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4.5 out of 5 stars
Zumba Fitness Core - Nintendo Wii
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiChange
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555 of 566 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
Platform for Display: Nintendo Wii
The first thing to know about Zumba Fitness Core for Wii is that it's really "Zumba Fitness 3". Supposedly, the word "Core" in the title connotes that this version of the game focuses on your abs, but the choreography seemed to me no different than what you'll find in earlier versions or standard Zumba classes. My impression is that the name was probably more of a marketing move than anything else; they could have called it "Zumba Fitness Cardio" and no one would have known the difference.

In any case, just as with the previous versions of Zumba Fitness for Wii, you'll need a belt to hold your Wii remote as you dance. There is a belt that comes packaged in the box, but if you want to play with multiple players (the game supports up to 4), each player will need their own belt. You really don't need to buy additional belts from Majesco; any belt will do as long as you can tighten it enough to securely hold your Wii remote at your waist level.

One very, very important thing to remember is that the Wii remote needs to be positioned with the buttons facing out (towards the TV) and the remote right-side up vs. upside-down (i.e., with the A button on top). If you stick your remote in the belt the intuitive way (upside down), the game won't track you at all. There was so much confusion about this in past versions that this time they've included a little video on it to show the right way to do it.

The first thing you do is set up your profile. Strangely, it doesn't let you use your balance board to detect your weight. Worse, you input your weight in the most painful way possible--by starting at about 100 pounds and pressing the button for what feel like an eternity (in my case at least) to get to your actual weight.

The first thing I tried were the tutorials, which aim to teach you some of the basic steps you'll use throughout your workouts. One reason why Zumba in general is so popular is you're doing what look like pretty elaborate dance routines, but at their core (no pun intended) are basic classic dance steps that you learn and find yourself using over and over. In this case, you'll learn four basic steps for Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Bollywood, Reggaeton, and Cumbia respectively. Mastering these 24 basic steps will serve you well as you play the game. The tutorial is done very well--you start off by watching Beto break down the steps in slow motion, and once you get those steps down you can see and try them at actual speed. I like how when you view the dance steps at full speed, the animated Beto will throw in flourishes that take the dance step beyond the mechanical and show you how to put some artistry into them.

One of the key things I look for in any Wii game is how good the motion detection is. In the first version of Zumba Fitness this was not good at all. The second version improved it. I think it's safe to say that this third version is probably as good as it's going to get on the Wii's technology. I tried to deliberately "fake" the system out by sitting on the couch and waving the Wii remote in my hand, but the game would have none of it. It was only when I stood up and danced with the Wii remote strapped to my waist that I started getting points.

Having said that, the game is pretty lenient with scoring. When I danced to the same song on the Xbox version and the Wii version, the Xbox version gave me 3 stars out of 5 vs. the Wii version which gave me 4s and even 5s out of the gate. As much as I'd love to think I'm a dancing machine, I think it's more a reflection of the Wii's not being able to detect certain kinds of movements as well as the Kinect, such as intricate foot movements or any kind of arm movements, and so none of those things are reflected in the Wii's scoring. At the end of the day, all it can really do is judge where your hips are at any given point, and assume that if it's in the right place the rest of your body must be too. So while it's still pretty accurate (you still need to dance a pretty spot-on performance to get 5 stars), for a lot of things you're pretty much on the "honor system" to do them right. Incidentally, while the Xbox excels at accurate tracking, the Wii version does have something that the Xbox version doesn't do and probably will never do: allow for 4-person simultaneous play.

There are 33 songs to play, 17 of which are licensed tracks from artists such as Carlinhos Brown, Enrique Iglesias, Sean Paul, Kat DeLuna, and Karmin. They span a huge number of genres from African to Bollywood to Polynesian Rhythm to Reggae to the more traditional Latin dance moves such as salsa and samba. The songs range from low intensity to high intensity (where some of them will literally have you grasping for breath if you're not in shape).

The graphics were improved with Zumba Fitness 2 and this version improves on them even more. You can choose from eight venues to dance in, such as a nightclub scene to an amphitheater to exotic locations such as Las Vegas and Hawaii. Each song is presented by a different Zumba personality, such as Kass Martin, Tanya Beardsley, Nick Logrea, Loretta Bates, Gina Grant, and Beto. As with the previous games, you mirror the moves of your onscreen trainer as precisely as you can.

You can play virtual Zumba classes, which basically string together a number of individual songs for short classes (about 20 minutes), mid-length classes (about 45 minutes) and full-length classes (about an hour). One thing new to this version is that as with real Zumba classes, you start off and end your sessions with lower intensity songs to properly warm up and cool down respectively.

There are a lot of great features of the game which inspire you to play over and over again, something you need to do in order to see your workouts result in weight loss and better health. The Progress Tracker is much improved in that you can visually see graphs of your score, time played, accuracy, and calories burned by day, week, or month; it's definitely a good feeling and pretty good motivation to see those graphs filling up. There's also a lot of a great unlockable video content and achievements that'll incentivize you to keep working out.

Zumba Fitness Core doesn't quite take the place of a real Zumba class; there's only so much technique you can learn from a two-dimensional video game, and of course you don't get the social component of taking classes with a real instructor and a real class. Having said that, it's a great introduction for those new to Zumba, and it's also great to use if circumstances (e.g., the weather, your work schedule, your wallet, etc.) don't allow you to take as many real classes as you'd like. While Zumba exercise is not for everyone, if it's for you, I think you're going to enjoy this game.
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122 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
Platform for Display: Nintendo Wii
Note: I purchased Zumba Core for use with my middle school physical education classes. We use a ceiling projector so everyone (as many as 46) can follow along.

The 3rd Zumba in the last three years follows right along with the first two with some improvements. The workout program now has 40 tracks covering many styles of dance.

For my classes today, I set up a custom workout with 8 songs that took around 35 minutes:

1. Sugar Plum fairy (Warm-up) - Terrific rendition of the famous nutcracker song that threw in lots of ballet. My students were surprised at first, but actually loved it. Great choreography!

2. Vamos a La Pista - Excellent latin style dance with good choreopgraphy.

3. Kazachok in Habana - A russian style dance with a little salsa mixed in. Again, students were surprised with it, but with lots of clapping, they liked it.

4. Roll Wid Di Don - Raggaeton style from the artist who sung Temperature. My students liked this one as well.

5. La Bomba - Latin style, good choreography with excellent core moves.

6. Quiebra - TERRIFIC song and probably the most intense cardio and core workout in Zumba history. This one will make you sweat!

7. Nyana - Electronic music that has easy to follow aerobic style moves. Well liked but most suited as a warm-up.

8. Jammin (cool down) - My students absolutely LOVED cooling down to Bob Marley's Jammin. Lots of stretches!

Some minor complaints:

1. I miss the first Zumba where the dancers were in "shadow form" It makes me a tad uncomfortable with some of the Zumba dancers from 2 and 3 wearing bikini tops. I like the tank tops much better.

2. A few routines I scanned before my first class had a lot of hip gyrations. Won't play those with middle school students :)

My students earned badges after completing the workouts but I am not sure what they do besides unlocking videos.

I really like the custom workouts...wish Just Dance 4 had that feature.

There are a terrific amount of variety of styles from belly dances, bollywood, an Arabian dance and also the song "Jump, Jive and Wail and Dancing with Myself (cover of Billy idol)

There are also a few warm-up and cool down songs.

Great job Zumba and Majesco. You have made another terrific workout program!
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
Holy cow! What a great and FUN workout. I am 59 and having a blast with this. There is a huge selection of workouts and the music is outstanding. Really gets you going. It is tough though. Burns a a lot of calories in a short time. I highly recommend this. Oh, I have a bad lower back but this workout doesn't hurt.
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96 of 112 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
Before now, Zumba 2 for wii was my favorite workout. Now, this new Core version trumps any fun I used to have. I'm a dancer so I appreciate them bringing their 'A' game with intricate moves.It is challenging yet do-able. Love it!! So much fun for all levels.
PROS:
*added a warm-up and cool down to the programs(this was omitted in previous editions)
*music is a genre hodge-podge mixing new &old, foreign & English songs
*much shorter pauses in between songs (keeps heartrate up)
*easier to utilize with clearer instructions
*faster paced routines mean burning more calories faster
*shows exactly how long each routine will take so you can better plan your workouts

CONS:
*choreography is varied and could be quite challenging for the novice or non-dancer. Different cultures use different counts so don't expect the standard 1,2,3,4....
* new format on the progress tracker is much more difficult to understand, are graphs really needed?

Overall, it is a vast improvement over past versions. I highly recommend for anyone wanting to have fun, workout and sweat either alone or with others.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2013
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
I am hesitant to go to a live Zumba class because I'm not in great shape, and I've heard our local teacher starts out at a high skill level, so I thought I'd try it on Wii first. A friend lent me a previous Zumba game, which I enjoyed, so I then purchased this one, which I like even more!

The first thing to do is go through the little tutorial that shows you the various steps you will encounter, at slow and fast speeds. There's no need to memorize the moves, but it lets you know what to expect. There are 3 lengths of "classes", around 25 minutes, 45 minutes, and 60 minutes. After about a month of working out with this game 3-4 times a week (starting from a low fitness level), I can now easily do the 25 minute classes, and I can finish the 45 minute class, though it gets tough toward the end!

These workouts really get your heart rate up, and they're pretty fun! I get bored easily and don't want to sit on an exercise bike or walk on a treadmill for my cardio, so being able to do these Zumba routines in the comfort of my own home is just great.

There are multiple choreographers, and they're motion-captured, so you're watching an animated version of a real person on screen (like the way they filmed 'Avatar'). I like this, because the movements on-screen are more natural. Each choreographer has their own style, and there are little prompts to let you know what they're going to do next. I find one girl's moves to be more difficult than the others, but you experience all of the choreographers in a class, so you'll get a range of styles and difficulty, which I enjoy.

The game comes with a belt that you put the Wiimote into to measure the movement of your hips, and your overall "bounciness", so you get the most points if you follow the leg movements and keep your energy up. Once you start "slumping", you'll see it's harder to get a good score on the routine, so it is pretty good at measuring your activity.

One of my favorite things is the progress charts - it shows you your usage of the game over time, so you can get a sense of your fitness and skill levels increasing as you use it more frequently.

The only thing I would change is to add a progress indicator to the screen during the class, so you get a sense of how far along you are. Sometimes when you think you're on the last song and there are 2 more, you think it would have been nice to know you weren't as close to the end as you expected! However, you know how long the class is before you start, so you can just use the clock for this and it's not a bad enough "negative" for me to dock it a star.

But overall, if you're a 30+ year old woman like me that has never been athletic but needs to get back into shape and improve your health and you don't want to embarrass yourself at the gym, try this game out!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2013
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
I really enjoy Zumba 2, but I while I burned up the calories--and had fun doing it--there wasn't much ab/core work. Zumba Fitness Core took care of that. I don't feel it so much as I'm doing the class, but I sure feel it the day after; and around my entire core, not just my abs.

Highlights:

Fun songs (i.e. Boogie Shoes for those of us old enough to remember)
You can still choose 3 different lengths of classes and/or intensity
New instructors, though Gina Grant and Beto are my favorites
Another nice new feature is the warm up at the beginning of the class; though I can certainly warm up on my own, I liked having that extra piece added

I work out regularly with either a stair master, elliptical machine, or treadmill and some weight training, but sometimes you just want to have fun and still get the benefit of burning calories; this fits the bill.

It did take me a few attempts to get some of the steps with the new instructors, but it was well worth the effort. Once you get the hang of it, you can just let yourself go and enjoy.

Regarding the Zumba belt--though they did a good job with the design, it still slides up or down and becomes more of a distraction. As a remedy, I just bought a lower slung pair of sweat shorts (heavier material) with a draw string, wear a sturdy pair of underwear, and tuck the controller in my shorts a little more than half way, by my right hip, and tighten down with the drawstring (in between the buttons on the controller). The controller is in the same position as if I was wearing the belt. There is minimal, if any movement, and I find that I can focus on dancing instead of the ever wandering belt/controller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
I bought this game in March and have lost a ton of weight using it daily. It really works your cores. Love it...makes exercise fun!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
Platform for Display: Nintendo Wii
This game had my core burning I loved it soo much I'm trying to lose a little weight the only thing is its not a fast pace game but you still sweat like a dog lol. I would get it if you don't like to do a lot of jumping around.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2014
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
ok. i was the last kid chosen in gym class for anything and am too self conscious to dance in public. i hate working up a sweat but but as i've grown older my slowing metabolism has forced me to reevaluate my dislike of aerobic exercise. in an effort to trick myself into some means of working out, i started with the let's dance 3 and eventually purchased zumba core, which i prefer. i make the following brief comments:

PROS
1. i like having relative intense, short (17-22 min) workouts. if i'm ambitious, i'll tag on a second workout. if not, at least i've done 20 minutes for the day.
2. this will really work up a sweat for me and isn't impossible to score, so i am not panting, sweating, and demoralized by my one-star rating at the end of a workout.
3. i like the music better. somehow a foreign accent makes everything more appealing.
4. zumba doesn't require you to constantly move your arm to register movement. after injuring my shoulder, my ability to keep up with the arm movements (and score) in let's dance was limited.

CONS
1. i don't like the belt for the zumba. it's hot and awkward to remove the remote when you want to click on the screen. i've ended up just tucking the remote into the elastic/drawstring of my sweatpants and it stays without problem.
2. the dance moves are harder overall than let's dance. also, the "upcoming moves" visual cues don't seem to be quite as good in zumba, so it takes a lot of concentration. if you have any sort of dance sense this probably won't be an issue for you. (then again, if you have any sort of dance sense, you probably don't need to work out with zumba!...)
3. although there are tutorials, i didn't find that the actual workout used many of them. perhaps they are more useful in the standard (not "core") zumba games.

i've had this now for almost a month and use it 3-4 times per week. it really gets my heart rate up, is more engaging than the elliptical, and seems to satisfy my secret wallflower urge to gyrate (however awkwardly) to latin and eastern music in the privacy of my own basement. what can be better than that?
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
Platform for Display: Nintendo WiiVerified Purchase
Lots of fun & I'm glad got it. It comes with a wii belt & is an awesome workout with plenty of dance styles & songs. Highly recommend to anyone who's into Zumba & wants to get fit while having fun.
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