Zumba Fitness Review

Game: Zumba Fitness
Genre: Dance, Rhythm
System: Xbox 360 (Kinect)
Review By: Illmatic

Zumba is the dance craze that almost everyone has heard of, yet probably have not tried. It is a workout/dance routine that fuses all types of music; hip hop, salsa, merengue, etc into a fast paced, fat shredding workout. The concept of Zumba is simple, lose weight while having a ton of fun. With the release of the Kinect it was almost inevitable that we would see these types of games hitting the market. Does Zumba Fitness live up to its mission statement, or will this title be in the bargain bin soon?

Gameplay: Zumba Fitness is a dance based game in which you follow the on-screen instructor’s instructions. The Kinect tracks your movement and slowly builds up your “Energy” meter, assuming your doing the dance moves correctly. The more energy that is pumped into the meter, the more dancers start to join you on-screen. During my experience with Zumba Fitness I tried a few of the modes out, especially the tutorial, since I am in no way a Zumba expert. The first mode I tried was obviously the tutorial. The tutorial is set up to help you master the moves of Zumba to ensure a decent playing experience. During the tutorial I came to realize that the Kinect was not tracking my movement correctly. There were times when I wouldn’t move at all, yet the game was saying that I was doing “PERFECT”. I immediately shut down Zumba and attempted to re-calibrate my Kinect sensor. Once I started the tutorial again, the same problem persisted. I decided to try my luck at an actual routine and forget about the faulty motion tracking. I selected Single Routine and I had my wife join me. I decided to see if my wife’s movements would be tracked correctly, since she has way more rhythm than me and has danced Zumba before. The same problems happened again, so I gave up on the motion tracking and focused on the actual dance routine. After our 20 minute Zumba workout I was covered in sweat, literally. Zumba Fitness will have you shaking your tail-feather and burning calories, all while having fun.

Graphics: Zumba Fitness is not meant to be the next God of War or Metal Gear Solid. Instead Zumba Fitness relies heavily on its dance routines and music. The graphics in Zumba Fitness, although not bad, look like they belong on the PS2. The game focuses mostly on using shadowed people. What I mean by this is, the instructors have this glowing aura around them, making them look like they are full of radiation. This effect looks really cool and I feel this helps with the overall theme and tempo of the game.

Sound: With this being a dance and rhythm game, the sound is everything. The music that is in Zumba Fitness is energetic and actually quite good. Usually with these types of games you don’t really hear good music, or the music is flat out boring. This is not the case with the music in Zumba Fitness. Although you wont be dancing to Lady GaGa or Pitbull, the music is still very entertaining and highly energetic!

Controls: So this is where the game falls apart. Looking at this title as a gamer, it fails. Looking at this title as a person who wants to have some fun while at the same time lose a few pounds, it wins. The motion tracking in Zumba Fitness is horrible. Most of the time it does not correctly track your motions, leaving you feeling frustrated. On the other hand, if you use this game as a workout DVD instead, you will have a blast!

Wishes: I really had high hopes for this game. The moment I loaded it up and heard the music, I was pumped. This eagerness to play ended shortly though, as the motion tracking ruined the “gaming” experience of it. I do hope they release some sort of patch that addresses these issues or maybe even release a Zumba Fitness 2.0 game in the future, obviously with working controls.

TQ Bottom Line: Although I don’t recommend this title if you are planning on taking advantage of the Kinect. I do recommend this title if you are looking for an awesome workout while having fun at the same time. My wife and I have played this for a few hours and the dancing never gets old. There is also the added bonus of losing weight and getting into shape if you stick with this title.

Final Score: 3 out of 5 Michelas!

Zumba Fitness
Developer: Majesco Entertainment
Publisher: Majesco Entertainment
Metacritic: 43
MSRP: $49.99