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Zumba Fitness Core†
Reviewed by
Sean Warhurst
on
Zumba Fitness Core 360 Review. Zumba Fitness Core is a great addition to the exercise genre, featuring some sublime examples of motion tracking and a strenuous but rewarding workout.
Rating:
3.5

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 7.0
Sound 8.0
Value 7.0
Developer: 505 Games
Rating: G
Review Date: Jan 2012
Reviewer:
Sean Warhurst

7.0


Zumba Fitness Core 

I have a confession to make: Iím not the target demographic for this game. Like, in any way at all. My fitness regime is nonexistent and if I chunk up a little I usually just stop eating for a few days and by the time I wake up in the Hospital, BAM!l Iím back down to my regular weight. However, having put on a few sympathy pounds during my partnerís recent pregnancy, I thought that Iíll put my hand up to review Zumba Fitness Core, the latest entry in the commercially popular exercise series for the Kinect.

Following 2012ís Zumba Fitness Rush, Fitness Core deviates slightly from the formula of past releases to focus primarily on the abdomen area. Donít think that this means that the fitness routines are easier as a result of this; theyíre even more physically demanding this time around. The dance-based Zumba franchise, basically this generationís Tae Bo or Jazzercise, is touted as a way to both get fit AND have fun. Well, I donít know about the fun part but these routines will whip you into shape quick smart.

You can choose to do a quick routine or attempt the more demanding 20, 40 and 60 minute classes. Set to a backing soundtrack of pop hits, the routines run you into the ground, hammering your midsection relentlessly and requiring quick feet and stamina to keep up.

Unless youíre a regular Gym Junkie, you WILL leave this game exhausted to your very bones; one complaint is regarding the brevity of the stretching sequences before the main workout. These seem a bit rushed and, considering the intensity of some of the workouts, youíd imagine that physical safety would be paramount. For someone who exercises regularly this wouldnít be a problem but for newcomers this could provide a barrier that could deter them from delving deeply into the multiple styles of routines available.

Despite the focus being predominately on the abdominal muscles, your quads, glutes calves and arms also come into play. Basically gameplay boils down to following onscreen prompts as accurately as possible, much the same as the myriad of dance and fitness games available out there.  

In this respect Zumba Fitness Core doesnít bring anything new to the table. The addition of different modes, calorie tracking, custom tracklist creation and the ability to set personal goals for yourself are all nice touches but thereís really not that much deviation from the set formula available to a game of this ilk.

Working within these constraints, the developers have done an admirable job. Typical as it is coming as the 360 is gasping its dying breath, it seems that Devs are finally coming to grips with the motion tracking abilities of the Kinect.  

Usually when you see that purple Kinect game case you canít help but shudder internally at the thought of the squandered potential and hours of lousy motion tracking endured flailing your arms furiously at an unresponsive screen; thankfully this isnít the case with Zumba Fitness Rush, with precision issues practically nonexistent.

The motion tracking is as accurate as you could hope and if you mess up a sexy Latin shuffle itís likely due to your own two left feet rather than detection issues. Menus are easy to navigate and there is a wealth of easy to obtain achievements available, although, as is usually the case with these games, some of the tougher ones require time and dedication to acquire. There could have been some more feedback regarding your moves but for the most part the choreography is easy to figure out how to perform correctly. 

Graphics/Audio

The soundtrack is a major draw of this game and the developers have gone all out to rope in some big names. Routines based around songs by major artists such as Tiesto, Pitbull, The Donnas and more ensure that, musically at least, there are top marks all around. Personally I would have liked to have had some tracks more conducive to my personal tastes but I guess itís hard enough gyrating your pelvis to Slayerís ďReign In BloodĒ without adding some jazzy finger snapping to the mix. The sound quality of the music is crisp and clean and the use of licensed tracks adds to the appeal of the game, lending a kind of Dance Central/ Just Dance vibe to proceedings.

Graphically the game holds up well, with pleasant and easy to read character models. The graphics have a vivid quality to them that is complemented by smooth animation. There are times where youíll notice a graphical glitch crop up but these generally donít affect gameplay. One disconcerting aspect of the game is that on occasion you may find yourself pumping your pelvis frantically for what appears to be a blue shirted Chris Klein, famous for playing ďOzĒ inďAmerican PieĒ. Once you see him, you canít ever un-see him.

Final Level

The game assumes that youíre already adept at keeping up with quick tempo choreography, making it a hard sell as an entry point for casual gamers. Zumba devotees and fitness freaks will be able to jump right in and jam out with the best of them but us regular folks will find it hard, particularly at the beginning, to mould our jelly rolls into something less prone to confectionary comparisons. If you stick it out though the results speak for themselves, with noticeable changes in definition after barely a week of use for this tubby reviewer

If this is your first foray into the world of Zumba you may want to start with the less punishing Zumba Fitness Rush, as some of the routines here are brutal. For what it is - Basically an interactive exercise video - Zumba Fitness Core is a great addition to the exercise genre, featuring some sublime examples of motion tracking and a strenuous but rewarding workout.






 
 



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