Wii

  News 
  Reviews
  Previews
  Hardware
  Interviews
  All Features

Areas

  3DS
  Android
  iPad
  iPhone
  Mac
  PC
  PlayStation 3
  Vita
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Media
  Archives
  Search
  Contests

 

Exerbeat

Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: NAMCO BANDAI Games America
Developer: NAMCO BANDAI Games America
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Health and Exercise/ Party

Graphics & Sound:

The Wii seems to be the go-to platform for exercise games, mainly I think because it is a family friendly system that can sense motion. Exerbeat is a new exercise game for the Wii that does a really good job of giving you plenty of different exercise choices so that you never get bored of doing the same thing, day in and day out.

The visuals in Exerbeat are upbeat and bright, which is what you want when you exercise because it keeps your mood elevated. The characters aren't ultrarealistic, but they look good. I do wish they weren't all so ultra-skinny though. I mean yes, it is an exercise game. but that doesn't mean that non-size zero people don't exercise as well. However, they did do a good job of making the instructors resemble what you think they would.

The music is generic, but fits the exercises. I liked that it has a strong beat so that you know exactly when to hit a move. Since rhythm is a very important part of the game, it is necessary for you to be able to tell where the beat is and feel it easily.


Gameplay:

When you first start Exerbeat, it prompts you to create save data, and then you choose a Mii to play as. Rhythm is an orange 1/8th note who walks you through the game. He is your guide. First thing, you will enter your birthdate, weight, and dominate hand. I wish it would let you use the balance board to input weight and even to update your weight daily, but since you don't use the balance board very much, I guess it makes sense to just input weight. You can change these settings in your calendar.

There are quite a few options on the Main Menu. The Pink Heart on Main Menu is the target heart rate calculator. It will help you decide your target heart rate based on what level of intensity workout you want. The globe on the bottom is Around the World. This is an interesting little place as it takes you around the world based on how much you have exercised and how many rhythm points you've earned. You start off in England. The next stop is Athens, Greece, but you've got to get there. You'll stop at several points along the way, starting with France. It took me two exercises to get to France, so it shouldn't take you long either. For each place you stop, you will get a bit of history or facts about the area. There is also a personal trainer on the top of the screen. There, she will create a custom workout for you based on your likes. Then there are five workout selections on the Main Menu: Dance Exercise, Martial Arts, Body Conditioning, Party Fitness, and My Exercises. Dance Exercise has Aerobics, Hip Hop, and Latin Dance. Of these, I think I personally like the Latin Dance the best. You'll notice that not all the exercises are unlocked when you go in. You'll have to play through some of them to unlock more. Martial Arts has Boxercising, Karate, and Karate Forms. Body Conditioning has Yoga Pilates and Stretching. Party Fitness has five games that will keep you entertained while still burning calories. My Exercises will let you put together any exercise that you have unlocked into your own custom routine.

The calendar screen is also a wealth of information. A graph on the calendar screen will show you rhythm points, calories burned, and time exercised. There is also a Weekly Challenge under your calendar. You can use it to set goals for yourself on how much you want to do each week. Don't forget that you can also change your settings under the calendar screen as well.


Difficulty:

The really nice thing about Exerbeat is that you can't fail. Even if you don't do anything, you won't fail. You just won't get any points for it. There is even a Video Mode where you can choose to just follow the videos without even holding the controllers. You won't get any points for them of course, but you can workout that way if you want, making it very easy to play any way that you want. Believe it or not, you can actually do some of the exercise without getting up, since it can only measure the arm movements. But the benefit to this is that you can be lazy and start really slow if you want. Consider it a way to get you hooked on the game and wanting to get up.

When you are on the exercise selection screen, you can see how difficult the workout is based on the number of fireballs under the exercise. The more fireballs, the harder it is. When you first start out, you'll only have lower difficulties available, but it won't take long to unlock more. Exerbeat measures the workout intensity in METs. When you select an exercise, it will tell you how many METs it is before you play. When you complete an exercise, you'll get a ranking. The game keeps track of how well you're doing and who is highest in each exercise.


Game Mechanics:

Exerbeat give you quite a few choices to play as: 1 player with one Wii-mote, one player with two Wii-motes, 1 player Workout Video Mode, 2 players with 2 Wii-motes, 2 players with 4 Wii-motes, and 2 players Workout Video Mode. If you choose to play with only one Wii-mote, it will only read one hand. You can have it remove the arrows for the other if you want. I really like the fact that you don't have to use the Nunchuk with the Wii-mote. Instead, you can choose to use two Wii-motes, one for each hand. This means that there is no cord to the Nunchuk that will get in your way or limit your range of motion. You only need the balance board for one game, Pirate Attack on Party Fitness, so if you don't have a balance board there's no need to worry because you can play almost all of Exerbeat without one.

Arrows for right hand movement are red, left hand arrows are yellow. Follow the instructor for rhythm speeds as well to make sure that you're getting things just right. Even though the game is only reading the hand motions, if you follow the instructor's total body movements as well you will get a much better workout and most likely be more on beat. Your points are on the bottom left of the screen, and the time gauge runs across the entire bottom. The red portion of the time gauge is "Turbo Time" which means that the workout will get harder there.

So far I have really enjoyed playing Exerbeat. It gives me so many different exercises that I want to keep playing to unlock them all and play even more. If you're looking for a fun and quick way to get back into exercising, consider picking up Exerbeat today!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Related Links:



Windows Curse of Slate Rock Manor iPad Storm in a Teacup

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated