Walking around E3 is a workout, but over at the Majesco booth, the company was encouraging attendees to work out their abs with Zumba Fitness Core, the third installment in the popular dance fitness craze. Zumba Fitness Core offers a full-body workout that is designed to strengthen and focus on your core area. It's nice since most of us want to tighten up our abs.
According to the rep who demoed the game, Zumba Fitness Core includes 45 new routines. Players who own the previous title, Zumba Fitness Rush, will be able to purchase an export code allowing all of the content in that game to be used in Zumba Fitness Core. Existing DLC is also planned to transfer over.
The Majesco rep said the company enlisted the help of the Zumba community when researching features to include in the new installment. Famous Zumba instructors, such as Gina Grant and the creator of Zumba, Beto, were recruited to choreograph routines as well as star in the game. Motion capture was used for all the characters (both instructors and background dancers) to ensure realistic movement. Majesco claims to be testing the game with a wide range of body types and shapes. Hopefully, the game will be able to recognize your body movements no matter what you look like.
Tutorial mode in Zumba Fitness Core is designed to help players learn the basic moves. You can adjust the speed, either slowing it down or speeding it up. Tutorial mode has limb-specific feedback, so you can perfect your form and body movements. Limb-specific feedback is purposely lacking in the main gameplay section since the developers want players to concentrate on dancing and having fun.
While Zumba Fitness Rush concentrated on cumbia, merengue, reggaeton and salsa (the four main dance elements of Zumba), Zumba Fitness Core builds on that by adding samba and Bollywood dance styles.
There are 45 different routines in Zumba Fitness Core, and they're categorized based on intensity (low, medium or high) for different skill levels. The game includes more than 30 different dance styles including ballet, Celtic bluegrass, disco and Polynesian.
The main section of the game features two gameplay modes. You can either pick a single song or take a class. Classes are sets of dance routines organized into different blocks of time. You can choose 20, 40 or 60 minutes depending on how much time you want to work out. Custom class routines can be created by picking your favorite songs to form a playlist. Up to 1,000 calories can be burned in a one-hour Zumba session, according to Majesco.
Scoring in Zumba Fitness Core is based on the accuracy of your performance as well as how much intensity or energy you put into it. You can earn up to five stars in single-player mode or 10 stars in co-op mode. Earning five stars on several dances will unlock a video. This can be health and nutrition advice or an interview with one of the celebrity instructors. The game keeps track of calories burned, overall rank and a technique score. The Xbox 360 version of the game will support up to two simultaneous players while the Wii version will support up to four.
I haven't played the previous Zumba games, so I can't directly compare it to the current release. With that said, it is similar to the popular Dance Central game, with the instructor in the middle and the upcoming moves on the side of the screen. The demo was lots of fun, and I was definitely out of breath by the end of the song. Having fun while working out is a core element of the Zumba philosophy, and Zumba Fitness Core definitely fits the bill.
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