160 of 169 people found the following review helpful
One of the best exercise games for the Kinect, and a vast improvement over the first version,
This review is from: Zumba Fitness Rush - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The original Zumba Fitness video games, released in November 2010 for Wii and Xbox Kinect, sold millions of copies but were admittedly quite lackluster. While it was great to be able to dance Zumba routines to your TV screen, motion tracking on both systems was terrible (something especially disappointing on the then-new Kinect), and the so-called tutorials didn't do a very good job of teaching those new to Zumba.
I'm happy to say that Majesco listened to its users. In November 2011, they introduced Zumba Fitness 2 for the Wii which made great improvements. They added different beautifully designed venues (such as a Yacht in Miami or a Rooftop in New York) complete with crowds of synchronized animated dancers in the background that help put you in that "party mood". They also added a few licensed music tracks, and even used the cartoon versions of real-life Zumba instructors Beto, Tanya Beardsley, and Gina Grant as your virtual trainers. It was a huge improvement over the original.
It took them a few more months to release the sequel for the Kinect (which they're calling Zumba Fitness Rush). I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. The Xbox version has the same new features as the Wii version, and then adds three more Zumba instructors (Kass Martin, Jason Thompson and Erica Pierce), five new venues, and 10 additional music tracks. And of course the Xbox version has much more detailed graphics and glorious hands-free control that works the way it should.
When you start the game, you have six menu options:
1) Single Song: Here, you can just dive into dancing. You can scroll through the list of songs of many different musical styles, ranging from Cumbia to Samba to Batucada to Mambo to Hip Hop. The intensity of the songs range from Low to Medium to High. Most of the songs are Zumba originals, but there are a few licensed tracks (Pause by Pitbull, Poison Remix by Nicole Scherzinger, and We No Speak Americano by Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP).
Dancing works the same way as with most dance games--a Zumba instructor will dance on the screen, and you have to mirror his or her moves. A visual cue card will show up to tell you what move is coming up next (it's animated, which I find much more useful than the cryptic icons in other dance games). Despite the similarities to other dance games, one thing to keep in mind is that Zumba Fitness Rush is an exercise game first. The dance moves are simpler and more repetitive by design. The game is less about fancy choreographed dance moves, and all about aerobic dance steps that get your heart pumping.
Your silhouetted image appears in the lower left-hand corner, so you can compare your poses to the trainer's. I liked the fact that even though my Kinect is only 6 feet from the TV (so my legs are cut off), the game still let me play and still had accurate motion tracking.
For some bizarre reason you don't see numerical scores as you're playing, you just see a row of 5 stars on the bottom of the screen. As you hit your moves, you'll be graded "NICE!", "HOT!", or "ZUMBA!" and your star count will go up accordingly. I found the accuracy to be vastly improved over the original version. You could get a couple "NICE" scores by faking it, but you really had to use to hit the moves precisely using your whole body to get the "ZUMBA!". If you miss a move, the part of your body that missed it will glow red.
After you finish a song, you finally see the numerical score along with the number of calories you burned, the percentage of moves you got right, the number of stars you earned, and a ranking (Zumba Fan, Zumba Rocker, etc.).
Calories burned is a useful addition, but since they don't ask you to input your weight (which is technically needed to calculate calories burned), it's only going to be an approximation. By my rough calculations, it looks like their calorie counts assume an average weight of 175 pounds; if you weigh more or less you'll have to adjust the calorie count higher or lower respectively.
2) Learn the Steps: The tutorial here is much more useful than the one in the first version. You're taught four basic steps of Salsa (Sidestep, Forward and Back, Travel, Backstep), Reggaeton (Stomp, Knee Lift, Destroza, and Bounce), Cumbia (Two Step, Forward and Back, Sleepy Leg, and Sugar Cane), and Merengue (March, Two Step, Six Count, Zumba Shuffle) by the animated Beto himself. You start out doing the steps slowly, and then once you've mastered that you can dance at normal speed. The system will accurately detect if you got the move right, and will check off that move once you do it successfully five times. There are of course many other steps and musical styles within the game, but learning these basic steps will get you warmed up and ready.
3) Zumba World: As of the launch date (2/13/12), the screen here still says "We're sorry, these features are not available yet. But check back soon!". They promise that under this menu option, you'll get the latest in Zumba news, let you locate a local class, and get new routines via DLC.
4) Full Class: Here, you can choose from 15 Short Classes, 15 Mid-Length Classes, 15 Full Length Classes. Classes are really nothing but individual songs strung together; the only real difference between Class mode and Single Song mode is that at the end of the class you can get aggregate statistics all the songs you played, not just one. Classes come in three lengths, short, mid length, and full-length which contain 20, 45, and 60 minutes of music respectively (add 5-20 minutes more to account for breaks between songs and rest time, and you're talking some major time investment). The good news is, you can also design your own class by stringing together your favorite songs. The one annoyance I found about the classes was that as you're going through the songs there's not any indication of how many songs you've danced to and how many there are left to go, which is particularly rough with the longer workouts.
5) Progress Tracker: Here, you can view Statistics (calories burned, total time played, and accuracy) by calendar day, week, or month, view Kinect Achievements (trophies you get for accomplishing various milestones in the game), or view "behind the scenes" videos that you unlock during the course of the game. I do like how you're incentivized to keep playing the game to unlock new trophies and videos.
6) Options lets you turn visual cues on and off, and adjust the sound effects and music volume.
There were a few minor annoyances with the game. Similar to what I said about Classes, while you're playing any song there's no indication of how much time has elapsed in the song and how much left there is to go. The result is an effect where, if you're not familiar with the song, you may start getting that "when is this going to be over?" feeling. I would have liked to see at least an option for displaying some kind of countdown timer on the bottom of the screen.
The graphics are much more stylized than the first version, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. On the good side, it makes the dancing experience a lot more exciting and immersive. On the negative side, some of the camera changes (e.g., from the trainer to the crowd and back) can really be distracting. Even worse, when you hit a series of moves right, you'll be rewarded with "Euphoria Mode", where the screen flashes a white so bright that you feel like you're being blinded (and ironically, you'll probably miss the next couple of steps because of it).
But the positive features of Kinect Fitness Rush outweigh any negative ones. It's definitely one of the better workout games available for the Xbox. Even with "Low Intensity" songs you'll get your heart rate pumping and will build up a sweat. The dancing is a lot of fun, and scoring is such that beginners won't get discouraged and yet experts will still feel fully rewarded for perfecting their moves.
If you're a Zumba fan, I'd say this is a must-buy if you want to have the Zumba experience at home; it's not quite the same as being in a real gym with a real instructor and fellow dancers, but it's probably the next closest thing to it. If you've always been curious about Zumba, this is a great and inexpensive way to learn it so that if you do sign up for classes you'll already have some experience under your belt.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 14, 2012 9:16:47 PM PST
Jean-Pierre Pellissier says:
Great review ~ thanks!
One question: can beginners to Zumba Fitness easily pick this up and get used to it? The previous Kinect title kind of excluded newbies as the moves were much to sophisticated too soon.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 2:27:11 PM PST
Amazon Customer says:
I'm not the original poster, but I did just get Zumba 2 on xbox and I am a beginner. I only tried the demo of Zumba 1 and it wasn't for me. However, Zumba 2 has slower paced songs and I think you will be fine. I am enjoying the game/workout.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 6:24:35 PM PST
I'd say that this version is much, much more "beginner friendly" than the last one. The tutorials do a great job of breaking down the steps for you and a much more accurate job of "testing" you to make sure you have them right.
As for the songs, there's also a good mix of easier ones and more advanced ones, so you can work your way through them. I'm a beginning too; my average score was 2-3 stars out of 5 on most of the songs, but after just a day of practicing I was scoring 4s and even one 5.
Posted on Apr 5, 2012 10:19:10 AM PDT
Brandi L. Smith says:
Can I save my progress if I am in the middle of a class and have to stop? or can does it only save after the class is over?
Posted on Feb 8, 2013 7:14:55 PM PST
A. Suges says:
Your xbox profile (in settings) has a place to enter age and weight/height for use by fitness games. Likely, this game uses the 175 default but will adjust if you change it.
Posted on Mar 4, 2014 3:57:28 PM PST
Kenneth Matthews says:
Thanks kindly wonderful review.. Question are all the songs for the Kinect use or only some of them> Thanks
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