Zumba Video Game for Nintendo Wii - 2nd edition

Zumba Fitness released their 2nd video game on November 15th, just in time for holiday gifting. Although the hype wasn't as big as the "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" hype from last Tuesday, Zumba fanatics have been waiting patiently for the video game. If you haven't heard about it yet, Zumba Fitness is a cardio latin-dance inspired party that has taken over the world. In class, participants dance to international rhythms while working core muscles and burning calories. For many, it's become a substitute to the nightclub and girlfriends make plans to attend class together every week, all around the world, just to shake it up. Zumba Fitness fans claim there is NOTHING LIKE IT.

Last year, during the dance fitness video game craze, Zumba Fitness appeared to have rushed right through the creation of their video game. Yes, the game introduced Zumba Fitness to new households BUT it didn't capture the flair, the style, and the fun that is Zumba. It was basically an image on the screen that turned funky colors and danced around, sort of like the "Just Dance" games.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2EdXRmHlY4]

I liked it but I didn't love it. I was definitely skeptical about the 2nd version. They had a booth at the Zumba Convention and I didn't even visit it because I was too busy shopping and I thought it wouldn't be worth my time. Boy was I wrong! This time around, Zumba is definitely ahead of the curve.

Tonight, my friend and I tried the game out and the graphics, the song choices, the dance moves, and the menu choices are much better. The one thing I can say about Zumba Corporate is that they work hard and they continue producing and creating better quality everything (clothes, conventions, dvds, apparel, etc.)

The Menu: It's sleeker and easier to maneuver. Every time you hover over a song, you get to listen to a little snippet and an image of your instructor appears with a caption that includes information on the intensity level and the rhythm you'll be dancing to. You can play as a single player or multiple players and you have the option of doing one song or a full class. Classes are broken into 20-minute, 40-minute, and 60-minute classes. You have a choice of 10 different classes for each. This will definitely help in keeping you from getting bored. You can also customize your own class by choosing up to 10 or so songs that will help you put together a playlist. The one thing about the customized playlist that I didn't like was that there is no information provided on how to build an appropriate playlist. You also don't get built-in warm-ups and cool-downs so it's up to the gamer to figure that out. As a Zumba instructor, I would have liked the customized playlist to define the Zumba formula in order to keep people from over-exerting themselves because all of their favorite songs are high-intensity.

The instructors: All of them are MUCH better looking in person but despite that, the animated versions of Beto, Gina, and Tanya move just like them. The game really does capture their style, their movement, and personality. If anyone has taken a class with either of these three, you'll know what I mean. It's not just an image of Gina, it REALLY IS GINA . . . IN YOUR LIVING ROOM!

The Music:

Zumba Fitness is all about the music and the game gets it right. For those who attend classes or are ZIN, some songs are familiar and the dance moves are as well. You'll find:

But the new songs are really cool too. You'll hear some stuff commonly heard on the radio, as well as, music that isn't so familiar but rocks just the same.

The Game: Once you are in the actual "class," the game pretty much follows the same format as all other fitness or dance video games. There is a little image that pops up on the right that shows you what the next move is. I really do enjoy the omission of the "you're doing great" voice that was in the other game. It was annoying and Zumba is non-verbal anyway. Instead, you see a meter at the bottom with stars that shine when you are getting the moves right and words like "Hot!" and "Zumba!" pop up to encourage you to keep going. On the Wii, you are still using the same waist belt which doesn't register all the movement correctly but you do get an estimated calorie count this time around so that's an added bonus. I also noticed added detail that only devoted Zumba people would catch, like the boat's name is "The Alberto" and some of the back-up dancers look familiar. Very clever, Zumba!

Final Thoughts:

I haven't unlocked all the extras yet but there are so many to unlock such as, scenery, interviews, and behind the scenes footage. I suspect people will play this game into January and perhaps throughout 2012. If you previously owned the first Zumba Fitness Video Game, I highly recommend you buy this one because it looks better and you'll definitely get more use. Add it to your Christmas wish list folks!