By: Michelle Garza
With more than 155 exercises covering eight categories of popular exercises genres like aerobics, hip hop, karate, boxercising, yoga, pilates, and latin dance, Exerbeat, is a great option for active gaming. It is a game that truly offers something for everyone, Namco Bandai, the makers of the We Cheer and the Active Life series games, created Exerbeat.
The exercises are easy to follow with friendly instructors that give helpful insight. Players can also unlock additional exercises the more they play the game and the more points they rack up, which means you are always working toward a goal of increasing the difficulty and variety of the routines in each section in the game. To begin playing, there are a few quick steps to follow:
- Create a new avatar or use your existing Mii.
- Input your age, weight and dominant hand (You can bypass this step by choosing “guest”.
- Follow the short tutorial (You can also bypass this).
- Select single or multiplayer mode.
- Select your workout.
Selecting your workout
Upon selecting each category, you’ll see colored icons representing different workout routines in each category; as you select each icon, it will show you the length of the workout, the intensity of the workout on a scale from one to five flames, how many METs you’ll expend during the workout and which parts of the body you will be targeting. A MET is a measure of energy cost, so the more METs a workout has, the more intense it is and the more energy you will expend doing it. During each workout, the current workout time, points and the remaining time of the workout is visible on the screen.
Dance Exercises – There are three different categories of dance exercises: Aerobics, Hip Hop and Latin Dance. Each has 20 different exercises, five are unlocked at the start and you are able to unlock the others are you play and gain points. Ten of the Latin Dance exercises require use of the balance board.
Martial Arts Exercises – There are three different categories of martial arts exercises: boxing, karate and karate forms. Boxing and karate each have 20 exercises and karate forms has 10, five are unlocked to start under each and the rest are unlocked as you gain points with repeated play. The instruction for these exercises is thorough and easy to follow, helping players achieve a good workout.
Body Conditioning – There are categories under body conditioning: yoga/pilates, which contains 20 exercises and stretching which contains 10. Like the othercategories you have to unlock levels as you gain points with repeated play.
Party Games – There are also five really fun games included which are similar to Wii Fit games: swimming, dance fever, pizza toss and wall smasher, these are all just fun mini games requiring exercise motions. In swimming you simulate different swimming strokes with your Wii remotes, in dance fever you wave your arms to the beat and earn points, a lot like in their We Cheer game, in pizza you twirl pizzas with upper arm motion and in wall smasher you follow on-screen motions to smash down walls.
After you finish a workout a screen appears showing your results, Rhythm Points, Success Rates and other stats. You can press the A button to see your workout time, calories burned and history so far. Players with a high number of points make it onto the ranking board where you can win bronze, silver or gold medals. After seeing your ranking, you go to the Around the World mode, where you can “travel around the world” based on how much you’ve exercised. It is as you travel the world and master exercises, that you unlock new exercises. You also unlock pieces of the map and learn fascinating new things about all of the different countries you visiting.
This game has some very positive points.
- It can be played in its entirety with a single Wiimote, and it asks you which hand you favor, which makes it very user friendly. Only a few of the exercises require the WiiMotion Plus or Balance Board accessories so someone who did not have these could still use it effectively.
- The “My Exercises” tab allows you to set up your own routine for a personalized workout program.
- It has eight popular genres of exercises appealing to a wide variety of audiences.
- It is an affordable option, priced just under $20.
- If scoring rhythm points is not important, there is a ‘Workout Video’ mode, where you can simply follow along with the trainers, no controllers required, which is a great option for schools and large groups.
- The “Around the World” mode gives you the opportunity to learn some new and fascinating things about other countries while you workout, something that could be appealing for school use.
There are a few things that I found frustrating as well.
- The motion detection is very picky. Sometimes you have to hold the WiiMote in just the right way to get it to register your movements. Often times, even when you are doing the movements correctly, it doesn’t register them.
- The need to unlock so many of the more advanced exercise moves can be limiting for those who want to get right into everything the game has to offer.
- The game is only available online at limited retailers.
- You are taken to the “Around the World” screen after every exercise routine, even if the routine only lasted a few minutes, where your avatar walks a path around the world, which can seriously cut into your workout time and lower your heart rate because you are constantly starting and stopping your exercise regime.
After playing this game several times, I think it is a great addition to the exergames genre. It is fun, easy to use and offers another great option for individual or group use. Though it does have some motion detection issues, it really doesn’t take away from the workout potential. It has a great variety of exercises to choose from, so there is great potential for long-term use.
This game is rated “E” for Everyone.