While it may not be a complete alternative to a gym membership or playing some more active sports, certain Xbox 360 games that use the Kinect motion sensor are actually a good way to build up a sweat. Speaking for myself, I play Dance Central from time to time, particularly when I have friends over who also want to bust a move.
A Little Latin Flair
Falling into the same kind of genre of fitness and dance games is Zumba Fitness Rush. This is the second Zumba game for the Xbox, capitalizing on the rising popularity of the dance-inspired exercise routine. Zumba involves moves inspired by hip hop, samba, salsa, mambo and even belly dancing.
The gameplay mechanic is much the same as other dance and fitness games for Xbox Kinect. You mirror the moves of your instruction, moving your body in rhythm to the music. It tracks your whole body, including your arms, legs, hips, and torso. You can watch the three bars fill up in the bottom-left corner of the screen, indicating how well you are doing with each segment.
Am I Doing This Right?
One issue that I did encounter was how the game indicates whether you are doing the move correctly or incorrectly. In the case of Dance Central and Dance Central 2, the “incorrect” body part is highlighted in red, giving you an opportunity to fix it. With Zumba Fitness Rush, no such indication is given: you’re just told whether you get one, two, or three bars out of three.
I also found that the songs were, in general, longer than those in Dance Central. This is neither good nor bad, per se, but it will affect your overall experience with this game.
Work AND Exercise at Home
When you work in front of a computer all day, especially when you work from home, it’s far too easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Your posture suffers, your back suffers, and your health as a whole suffers. And when you’re in poor health, your business and productivity suffer too.
While I’m more inclined to play Street Fighter or Rock Band most days, I can completely appreciate the value of games like Zumba and Dance Central. They get you off the couch and they get your heart pumping. You know, even though writing about dance and rhythm games is already pretty exciting. 🙂