Review by Steve Cullum
Game – Zumba Fitness 2
Version – Wii (retail disc)
Obtained – Review copy from Majesco Entertainment
The first Zumba Fitness was a hit on Wii. The sequel brings even more to this dance-fitness phenomenal. Will these 32 all-new routines and more than 20 different dance styles be enough to keep you coming back to burn more calories?
Story & Plot
Since this is a fitness-game, there is not really a story or plot. You learn and perform very involved dances in order to burn some calories. As you workout, the game teaches you the steps, tracks your calories, and encourages you to keep going.
The only thing that might fit the plot category is the ability to unlock behind-the-scenes videos and other features as you make progress. In the end, the game is all about working out by dancing, and that is what it does best.
Gameplay & Controls
Due to the nature of this being a dance-workout title, the gameplay is quite simple. Even so, the dances themselves are not so simple. Keep in mind that this is not for the uncoordinated couch-potato. Zumba Fitness 2 will get you moving! In an effort to do so, you will choose between five different modes in order to sweat off the pounds.
- Single Song – Dance a single routine of your choice. The new song preview feature gives you a feel for a track before you dive in and lose yourself in the music.
- Zumba Class – A workout block of routines in 20, 45 or 60 minute formats. You can now create your own custom routines by saving a playlist of your favorite songs.
- Zumba Party – Up to 4 players can join the party in your living room with cooperative gameplay.
- Learn the Steps – Revamped tutorial mode lets you learn at your own pace by breaking down the core dance styles into the basics.
It is best to pick the class. If not, you will have to pull the Wii Remote out of its pouch between each song, in order to point and select the next song. This is one big setback.
Speaking of the pouch, the game comes with one Zumba Fitness Belt, which allows you to dance hands-free. If you want to try multiplayer, you will need to pick up an additional belt. In contrast to other dance games like Just Dance, you will place the Wii Remote in the belt, and that is how the game tracks and scores your movement. When all said and done, it is actually quite accurate. Of course, you can easily cheat the system once you find out what type of movement it wants each time. However, be sure to place the Wii Remote in the pouch the correct way – wrist strap at the bottom, buttons facing out. If you place it in upside-down, you will find yourself not scoring well.
One area of neglect is the use of the Wii Balance Board. The game could easily track your weight if they included input for this Wii peripheral, which would only help users keep coming back for more.
Graphics & Sound
In addition to controls, a dance-game’s atmosphere is crucial. While the dance teachers and studios are not realistic, they do have a great look to them. The game features five different environments, and their 3D nature helps you get into the groove.
Possibly even more important is the music and sound. Zumba Fitness 2 features 32 songs* that include 24 dance styles, including hip-hop, salsa, swing, rumba, tango, mambo, and more. All this may sound great, except most of these tunes are unknown. Some songs by Pitbull, Nicole Scherzinger and Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP may be noticeable to you, but the majority are a bit more obscure. Nonetheless, the songs are quite catchy and definitely fit the dances well. After a while, once you are covered in sweat, you will forget the fact that you did not know a particular song.
SCORE: 8 out of 10
While Zumba Fitness 2 may not be for everyone, it is a quality fitness title. The songs are mostly unrecognizable, but that will not matter once you get into it. After just a couple dances, you will find yourself having fun and covered in sweat, which proves quality in a game like this. It is not perfect, but Zumba Fitness 2 does a great job at bringing this growing dance-fitness genre to the Wii console.
*For a full list of songs, including samples, head to http://www.zumbafitnessgame.com/zumba_2_music.php.