It’s the hottest day of the year in London (near 30 degrees), I completely screwed my back up the weekend and haven’t been able to move for three days so what better time to fire up the PS3 and shake my maracas with Zumba Fitness…
I thought TSA had better take a look at the title seeing as it’s been at the top of the charts for eight weeks – so why is it selling so well?
First impressions are not good, the presentation is rather poor and your on screen instructor seems to be have been filmed using a very low res camera – the title has obviously been ported over from the Wii version. It’s rather fiddly to set up a profile so I used a DualShock to navigate the menus instead of Move.
The PS3 version clearly states you need the PS Eye and a Move to play but the game doesn’t use the Eye at all, instead you get a Zumba Fitness band which wraps round your waist and the Move controller slips in one side to measure your hip wiggles. The game uses a combination of gyroscopic sensors and witchcraft as it seemed to register my movements even in the portions when you are standing still and just moving your arms.
First I tackled a training video and it’s at this point I realised Zumba is really going to give me a work out. The steps start slowly but the BPM (beats per minute) of the music quickly increases to over 160 bpm. A house tune (used by many work outs) is around 128 bpm, hard dance is about 140 and happy hardcore is about 150bpm. Zumba is very fast.
Training over it was time to tackle my first 20 minute workout. These programs seem to be well though out, starting with a warm up merengue, then moving on to a more up tempo reggaetron track, then a very fast calypso and finishing with a much needed cool down of belly dancing mixed with stretching.
As I said the game can move at breakneck speeds so picking up all the steps on first go was impossible, but when I did manage to get in tothe swing of things (a ha!) the game did seem to recognise this and offered words of encouragement. As you complete moves a bar fills up along the bottom, every time you fill the bar your on screen instructor is joined by more dancers and more effects.
Before I continue let me just state I love Killzone 3. I play it almost every day. I like shooting people. Shooting and knifing Helghast in the face. Manly games. Grrr! Proper games – you wouldn’t find Sev and Rico doing a Calypso. But…
Zumba Fitness is fun. Maybe it’s because it features tunes you would never normally hear, maybe it’s because it doesn’t really penalise you if you get something wrong and just freestyle for a moment. All I can tell you is at the end of twenty minutes I was knackered, but happily knackered.
Dan had a load of problems with UFC Trainer with Kinect and to be honest I’m not sure Zumba was picking up every single step I did but it doesn’t actually matter – as long as you are moving, you are getting exercise and burning calories. This is the fitness game for people who hate gyms because nasty men shout at you when you’re not rowing fast enough.
The most astounding thing about Zumba is the amount of calories you burn. In an hour long session, depending on your fitness levels you can burn anything between 500 and 1200 calories.
Zumba makes getting fit, fun. That is why it is selling and that’s why I’m going to continue to use it.
Please note this does NOT mean I shall be making a fool of myself at the Eurogamer Expo. Well, not unless I nail one of the routines before then.
Cha cha cha!