157 of 163 people found the following review helpful
Excellent collection of dancing, boxing, and mini-games,
This review is from: Gold's Gym Dance Workout - Nintendo Wii (Video Game)
When Gold's Gym Cardio Workout first came out a year and a half ago, it pushed the bar forward and helped prove that there was a market for Wii Fitness Games. So the question is, does its sequel do the same? I'm happy to report the answer is yes.
Gold Gym Dance Workout consists of three main types of exercises: a pure "dance workout", a "boxing workout", and "mini-games".
In the "dance workout", you perform fast-moving choreographed dance steps using your arms and feet. It's not exactly like "Just Dance" in that the choreography doesn't really contain any "signature moves" for the song. Rather, the dance is made up of a series of basic latin dance steps (i.e., merengue, samba, salsa, reggaeton, and cumbia). You first go through a series of tutorials to learn the steps, and then you put them together through beginner, intermediate, and advanced stages of increasing difficulty and speed. Just as you'd do in a dance class at the gym, you follow the lead of an on-screen workout instructor shouting out steps to you to the beat.
In the "boxing workout", the game has come a long way since its predecessor. Again following an on-screen instructor, you upper-cut, jab, punch, and hook to the beat of music. And thankfully, Ubisoft decided to license a whole slew of popular songs, so you're not stuck to boxing to "Eye of the Tiger" over and over and over. The motion controls are remarkably accurate in detecting specific boxing moves, and the workouts were fast-moving and fun.
I admit that I loved the "mini games". Unlike other fitness games where minigames are an afterthought, Ubisoft seems to have put a lot of thought into these, and I love the touches of humor in the games. There are a variety of new and original mini-games, you can dodge charging bulls (ducking from side to side while holding your Wii remotes), try to balance yourself on a bucking bull (on the balance board), canoeing (using a combination of your Wii motes as a double-plated paddle while sitting on the balance board) and running (basically making rapid punching movements, made more interesting when you get chased by the occasional lion!). There are also a few games clearly borrowed from Wii Fit and Wii Sports resort (chopping things with a samauri sword, boxing a kangaroo, and karate-chopping certain items).
You can either jump into the various workouts immediately, or have your virtual trainer prepare a weekly workout routine for you. You can also choose two-player mode, which lets you exercise along with a friend (there will be two trainers on the screen, and when each person follows their trainer, not only can they compete to see who scores the highest, but to the casual bystander it looks like they're doing a cool latin dance together).
One thing I was impressed with was the accuracy of its controls, which is head and shoulders above previous Wii exercise games. It allows for the use of two Wii remotes. That Ubisoft eschews the use of the nunchuk is a good sign that they've taken accuracy in motion controls more seriously than they have in the past.
The one big thing I wasn't crazy about at first was how very difficult it was to follow and learn the dance steps. The first few times you play the dance workout games, even at the tutorial level it's very easy to get very overwhelmed. You have to basically follow the on-screen trainer and mirror the moves she's making, but she's moving so fast that it's incredibly difficult to follow, especially trying to do it in a mirror image. They provide a series of video and audio cues to help you, but it's still terribly difficult to follow her feet and to match them to yours.
The good news is, for each dance they offer a "practice" mode which breaks down the dance into different sections, lets you review each section, with three different camera angles to view the instruction, and lets you view the whole thing in slow motion. I would definitely suggest playing the entirely in "practice mode" until you get the arm and leg movements down and memorized, and then proceed to the workout. This may take days or even weeks for each song, so if you don't have the time or inclination to do this, you might be disappointed. On the other hand, once you commit the moves to memory, they're yours to do over and over again. And it probably goes without saying that you need a LOT of room.
And so while the game isn't for everyone, I think it's a great new Wii fitness title after a very long string of disappointing ones. Once again, Ubisoft has set the bar, let's hope upcoming fitness titles like EA Sports Active 2, Zumba Fitness, and the Dance Dance Revolution reboot continue to move the bar forward.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 1, 2010 11:49:56 PM PDT
The Coffee Queen says:
Outstanding, detailed review!
Posted on Sep 2, 2010 8:26:37 PM PDT
I saw that you mentioned a few of the minigames required the balance board. Does the dancing and boxing require the balance board at all? Or can you play the game w/out it?
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2010 4:28:24 PM PDT
Wei Hsien Li says:
Balance board is optional..
You can play without it.
Posted on Sep 23, 2010 11:23:34 PM PDT
silver bird says:
Interesting and useful review, thanks.
Posted on Jan 14, 2011 11:52:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2011 11:53:49 AM PST
A. Showalter says:
I just got this game a couple of days ago, and only had it on for a few minutes. It did look incredibly difficult to follow even the first most basic tutorial. I mainly just wanted to check the game out a bit since I didn't have much time to play it yet. After reading your review, I am so happy to see that you can set the practice mode to slow motion. That was my main concern, how fast the tutorials went. Even with Just Dance, I usually start out doing just the arm movements until I've learned them well, and then I add in the foot movements. I couldn't even get the arm movements on this game however. But knowing I can slow it down to see exactly what she's doing is awesome. Thank you for including that in your review. I went back to read more reviews today and yours (so far) is the only one I've seen that mentioned this. Makes me wonder if everyone else knows it can be slowed down to see the movements better (in practice mode only, of course).
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