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on 18 March 2012
I am a little late at jumping on the Zumba Fitness wagon and this has been my first encounter with the title. Due to playing other games, I did not buy the previous Zumba Fitness, but only got around to this one: Zumba Fitness Rush. So this "review" is more of a analysis for first-time users, and maybe those who own previous titles on either Xbox Kinect or Wii may find it useful too.

Zumba Fitness Rush (ZFR) is an exercise title, which naturally assumes that the exercises are aerobic/cardio based. The exercises themselves are dance choreography, but presented in such a stylish and simple fashion, that it is easy to master. Once you have danced to one of the sessions you'll also quickly realise that this is not just dance moves thrown together, but that the dances actually do work out your body properly. The music is set mostly to Latin beats which gives you that..."Zumba?" sensation and really make you want to shake your body (this coming from a man).

There are 6 instructors in this game that are real life Zumba instructors, though in the game they are presented so by their avatars. I saw below in one review someone commenting that previous Zumba games used the real live presentation of the instructors, but it's just natural that when you work with a game instead of a workout DVD that using avatars allow more flexibility in the programming of the game itself.

The design of the game at this moment to me is a plus side, because I find it easy to use and intuitive. Once you insert the disc, it will do the usual scanning and identifying. From there, you enter the main menu. You have a few options here, but basically you'll only be using two of them, i.e. the classes and the single songs. Single songs are just that: you select a specific song and dance to it. Songs are classified into low, medium and high intensity, with the latter being that one that's going to give you the most sweat. After you select the song, you dance to it and every now and again a flash card will pop up to give you a cue as to which moves will come up next. This is unlike Dance Central where the flashcards are continuous, as ZFR just give you every now and again a clue. As you dance, you follow the instructor's avatar onscreen and will see a display of your own outline in the bottom left-hand corner. Your performance is rated in stars, with 5 stars being the highest. Here I can comfortably say that to achieve 4~5 stars in the songs are relatively easy, even when you constantly miss certain moves. ZFR is very forgiving in this aspect and does not make you feel like you do badly just because you got a few moves incorrect.

That is the SINGLE SONG area. The other one you'll use most of the time is the CLASSES. Classes are presented I guess the way they would be presented at a real live Zumba Fitness course. You can choose between 3 kinds of classes: short, medium and full. The difference between them is only time, with the short one naturally being the shortest. What the class does is combine a set of songs from the SINGLE SONG session into a well-structured class. You will see that quickly as it usually starts with a medium intensity song, then a few high intensity ones, and then cool down at the end with a low intensity. This will be the place you'll camp most of the time when you play ZFR as the purpose of this game is to exercise through dancing, and the classes are the perfect way to do that. Also under the class heading is the ability to create your own playlist. This is awesome: you can make quite a number of personal playlists by selecting songs of your choice from the SINGLE SONG section.

These two sections are what ZFR is all about. For first timers, like me, and actually, even for those who know the game/dance, there is the LEARN THE STEPS section. Don't get excited though, as this section is very basic in nature and only shows you a few steps from 4 different kinds of dances like the salsa and cha-cha. Even once you have mastered them you won't easily recognize them immediately in the songs/classes as they are choreographed a little differently. However, go do them, as by completing this section you get up to 5 achievements worth a 100G on Xbox...if this matters to you.

What I find playing this title is that I really don't care much about the tracking of the Kinect sensor. I often don't even look whether I am getting a good score or not. As you get totally immersed in the experience you completely forget about all that tracking bit and just focus on the moves and building up a sweat. As mentioned, when I do miss a few steps the game is very forgiving and you will still obtain a pretty decent score, something that makes you determined that to even try harder next time. I like this approach as it is fun, something I am pretty sure the creators behind Zumba intended. Something all exercise and dance titles should incorporate.

One could argue that the omission of a proper tutorial section like Dance Central or Black Eyed Peas Experience is questionable, but again, if you consider this a Zumba Fitness product, you will realise that there are no tutorial sections when you go to an aerobics class or workout. It's just jump in and learn how to swim. ZFR though is so well choreographed that within playing a song just once you would have picked up the moves. Granted there are more challenging ones, but I doubt whether a tutorial would have helped much. It's more a matter of getting into the moves and mastering them, especially when it's on high intensity.

Another comment I would like to make. I've heard this kind of game being compared to a workout DVD/video, and that's what it is in a sense. When you break it down you quickly realise that this kind of game does not really care about 1-on-1 tracking of the Kinect sensor, though I have to admit that this title actually does do a pretty good job at tracking. My point is, even live aerobic classes in gyms are not about 1-on-1 copying, it's copying and applying the technique best to your ability, working up a sweat and feeling good about working out. The difference is a DVD workout title is static--the classes are rigid and you cannot match and choose and create playlists. This is one crucial benefit of a gaming title as it is basically a piece of software which allows the developers to be more flexible, such as allowing you to create your own playlists.

Another bonus is the voice command. I love this. Sometimes there are a few misses, but from the start to the end I can navigate the entire game by voice commands. I find this incredibly nifty.

Finally, a very important feature at this moment for our household is the co-op ability. ZFR allows a second player to join and make it perfect for two people to workout together.

To round it up:

- SINGLE SONGS should be displayed in a list rather than in a big button menu-style, making it currently difficult to select certain songs down the menu.
- some moves require a bit more space than usual dance games, but should not be a big concern

= no big tutorial section
= songs are Latino based with a few mainstream ones in between

- excellent voice navigation
- co-op ability
- easy layout of the menu
- great exercise routines
- can create your own playlists

Anyone interested in a sweat workout at home with cardio activity should consider this. This is aerobics in a dance fashion and made fun. Originally I wanted to give this game a 4-star, but looking back at this review and the last few weeks of using it, I can hardly say that it has ever frustrated me or let me down. I am pretty sure we will get some DLC (downloadable content) in the future sporting some additional songs and moves. As this is my first Zumba Fitness program I can understand why this has become so popular internationally.
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on 5 March 2012
I love love this game have been playing it all weekend. Feels like being in an actual class. Love the classes feature on high intensity can get a really good workout. Great songs and a variety of characters. Only downside is the flashing which means that you can't always see the dance moves. But would recommend, Zumba has helped me lose 12 stone in a year so a great fun exercise and this game will add to my Zumba classes so can do Zumba at home and have as much fun.
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on 24 February 2012
I received zumba fitness rush today. I already know I will keep coming back to it very often.

It has more songs than 1st Zumba Fitness
Graphics and tracking is such an improvement
Navigating is great
The tutorials in learning the steps has improved as well (to pass the step get 5 "zumba" ratings on slow and normal speed)
During songs it has a star scoring system and cue cards (like in Dance central) I think it's a nice feature.
Routines are easy to follow, fun and engaging
Progress tracker is a great addition too, you can view calories burned, total time played, and accuracy by calendar day, week, or month

The only cons I would have are no online multi player mode and constant flashes during routines. Despite them I think Zumba Fitness Rush is a fantastic game
I would recommend it to anyone, it certainly be my staple workout for a long long time

Shed the pounds.. feel the RUSH :)
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on 17 February 2013
Got this for the wife who was struggling to get out of the house to do her Zumba class due to children commitments. The game has allowed her to continue doing her Zumba classes at anytime. Good range of songs and the wife loves the rating system that gets her trying really hard to be a Zumba master for each song/routine
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on 30 May 2016
My daughter loves this. She enjoys it very much and sometimes on it for a good 1 1/2 hours
You have different levels... she goes on the intense ones. An excellent way to work out and burn loads of calories for Zumba lovers
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on 11 April 2012
Ok, ok, I'm 55 years old and wanted some exercise. This does the job and also gives anyone watching me exercise by laughing their ribs out. Great fun and if you have no shame, you'll enjoy it. If you want to look cool, maybe not the right one for you - however, doing anything via the Kinect is, let's face it, guaranteed to make you look demented. I absolutely love Kinect, it's great fun.
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on 14 June 2012
Zumba fitness rush is brilliant! I was worried that it would be to hard for me to do as im not very fit, but I can do this easy because theres different levels and you can do just one song and work your way up to 15 which is a full class. It is so much fun and in 6 weeks im doing the Zumba fitness 5 times a week on the medium intensity class which is 12 songs long (about 50 mins) and getting 4-5 Zumba stars which is great, so im getting so much better at it and loving it the more I do!
The best thing is that ive lost 3 inches off my tummy, waist and hips and 2 inches off the top of my legs and an inch off my arms and chest, I have been eatting healthy and cut down my meal size and Ive lost 16 pounds as well, I do have stones to lose so this was a very good start. The Zumba has really helped me get fitter and I feel healthier and Im going to have to get some new clothes soon because things are a bit baggy now :)
If you like dancing with some exercise moves thrown in then I would recommend the Zumba fitness rush, its a really fun way to get exercise and to lose those inches!
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on 1 February 2015
I bought this as I have the original Zumba game for the Xbox 360. This one is far better! It has loads more to do/learn, it counts the calories burned, better music, more routines, more options and it's just good fun!

Never has Zumba felt like a chore! I have completed a 5 min medium intensity Zumba session this morning and burned 950 calories! You won't do that in in the gym or running!

If you are looking for an inexpensive and fun way to keep fit, this is it!
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on 11 April 2012
After attempting Wii Zumba and Zumba on DVD I was keen to find a more interactive way of checking your moves without going to classes. So I bought Zumba Rush.

Even though it is with Avatars, I find it's much easier to follow them than the real instructors on the DVDs.

I think it's great that you can see yourself as well (if not a little embarrassing) as with the DVDs you could get away with sitting down and watching for 10mins then get up and carry on..... Not that I ever did that.....

It's useful that there are 3 different workout lengths so it fits with your time demands and how much you can be bothered doing that day!!!

A word of warning - try out the simple song or the moves first, I went straight for the full class option & then got half way through & found it too hard. So if you're a beginner, go for the moves so you can get into it and learn the steps.

Get it - its the best Zumba product I've ever tried & feel like I am actually wanting to do it again tomorrow.
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on 1 March 2012
I really liked the first zumba game, i dont like this one! They have used CG people rather than real people this time which does not work for zumba as you cant see the movements properly, they are wooden and boring. Im soooo dissapointed as I was really looking forward to playing this but I've just turned it off after 10mins of "trying" to copy a computers idea of dancing.

The first one had its problems but atleast I felt like I was doing teh moves properly, with this one the lack of enthusiasm from the CG people is less than encouraging :(
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