New Year’s Resolutions, Gamer Style: Part 1
The first of a three-part series that will take a common New Year’s Resolution and make it fun. First up: fitness.
Happy New Year! A new year brings with it new beginnings and opportunities to bring about some change in your life. Good change! Get that raise you’ve been shooting for. Or new job. How about moving to a new house or apartment? Or maybe do some travelling. The world’s your oyster.
Now some of these things aren’t the easy to do. They take time, dedication, and hard work. But work can be boring So, why not have fun getting some of these resolutions resolved?
We’re gonna take a look at three of the more common New Year’s Resolutions out there and figure out how to get them done, gamer style.
A wee disclaimer: I haven’t played all the games mentioned on this post because I don’t have the necessary accessory (for example, I don’t have a Kinect). However, based on what’s been said, these might be solid.
So, without further ado… the first Resolution!
Resolution #1: I Resolve To Get Fit
Okay, so many of us gamers aren’t primed specimens of physical fitness perfection (I know I’m not :P). But we can be. And with some form of motion control on all the consoles nowadays, it makes this whole idea of getting fit with video games a wee bit easier and more fun.
A recent study showed that even though fitness games are a good start to get you moving, they’re not a substitute for more traditional programs. I say, they haven’t played Dance Dance Revolution on an insane difficulty level (and I hear UFC Personal Trainer can give ya the shakes. More on that later).
Now, I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV), and I would be totally irresponsible if I didn’t say that you should consult your doctor to make sure you’re okay to do this. They might suggest that fitness games would make a good supplement to your current exercise program.
Accessory needed:Wii Balance Board (comes with Wii Fit)
When Nintendo released Wii Fit with the Balance Board, it was the hottest thing ever. They were sold out everywhere, and places that have them ran out quickly. And with good reason: Wii Fit is pretty fun.
You have two companions joining you on your quest to being physically fit: your Mii, who will be your avatar, and… the Balance Board.
… No, I’m not kidding.
… You can stop laughing now.
After you create your profile, you’ll be weighed in and given your BMI. You can then set up a Goal — how much weight you’d like to lose or gain — and be told how you’re doing after each weigh-in thereafter. Next, you’ll be ask to do a little test which will help determine how well you can control your balance. You’ll then be given your Wii Fit Age and be told which areas you should work on to improve.
After that, you can choose what you want to do. There’s four different categories: Balance Games, Aerobics, Strength Training, and Yoga. There are a few activities at first, but as you workout, you’ll earn credits that go towards unlocking more stuff for you to do. The game keeps track of all the activities you do in-game, and you can even log in things that you did outside the game (went for a jog earlier in the day? Let Wii Fit know! It counts!).
Overall, I find that Wii Fit is fun. I admit to not sticking to it as much as I would’ve liked to, but it was still pretty good. My favourite, have-to-play-this activity is Hula Hoop/Super Hula Hoop in the Aerobics section. Really works the abs (won’t feel it right after the workout, but the next day… OY!)
Wii Fit Plus offers the same things as Wii Fit, but it has additional areas you can choose to improve (exercises for back pain, for example). You can also log in the food you ate during the day.
To find out more, head over to the Wii Fit website.
Accessory needed: For 360 – Kinect; for PS3 – Move controller
Some of us have seen fights on UFC (and if not, are probably at least familiar with them). Those guys are brutal! And buff. They could tear you to shreds with their eyeballs if they wanted.
And now, you can be just like them.
UFC Personal Trainer gives you the option of doing a series of workouts designed to make your body sweat, your muscles tremble, and force you to cuss out your console. Yea, I heard it’s that tough. If you have a particular goal in mind, you can set up a more personalized program to suit your needs, scheduling specific days for cardio, strength training, and rest days. You can keep track of your progress with a nifty journal feature.
This seems right for you if you don’t mind pushing yourself way past your comfort zone, or if you’ve plateaued on your current program and need to get past it in a big way.
I wouldn’t mind giving this a try. The more I hear about it, the more it sounds like PGX90 program… except in video game form.
Get more details at the UFC Personal Trainer website.
Accessory needed: Dance pad (sold separately, but is usually bundled with the game)
This used to be my go-to when I wanted a cardio fix in video game format. And I really haven’t found anything like it. So huzzah!
For those unfamiliar with Dance Dance Revolution, you are stepping on arrows on a huge directional dance pad in rhythm to the song that’s playing. At the top of the screen, there’s a group of stationary arrows. and there are glowing arrows scrolling up. When the scrolling arrows reach the stationary arrows, you need to step on the correct arrow on the dance pad.
Sounds easy, right? Not when the arrows are flying up the screen at 9000 miles an hour in pairs!
Don’t let that video scare you: this is on Expert Mode (one of the hardest modes). You can put this song on a much lower difficulty and be able to do it comfortably. There are a bunch of different modes you can play through, including a workout mode. And on the current versions can record your play session and upload the video onto YouTube and Facebook for all your buds to see.
I haven’t play DDR in a really long time, but have been meaning to get back into it. It really was a good swap for treadmill time, and the music choices were kick ass.
Check out more details on the Dance Dance Revolution website.
I’ve been hearing about Zumba for quite a while now. I never did tried this hot fitness craze at the gym, but maybe I should give it a shot from the comfort of home.
A variety of different styles with a number of different routines, it sounds like it can keep you busy for a while. Plus, Zumba Fitness 2 comes with a belt, so you don’t have to hold the Wii Remote while you shake your money maker.
If you enjoying dancing, but think that DDR isn’t quit for you, maybe Zumba Fitness 2 might be more up your alley.
This looks like it’d be a lot of fun, and something I’d be more than willing to try (especially if I don’t have to hold the Wii Remote in my hands).
You can get more info on the Zumba Fitness website.
Just Dance 4 (available on all consoles)
Accessories needed: PlayStation Move (PlayStation 3); Kinect (Xbox 360)
When I read about what Just Dance was about, I dubbed it Dance Dance Revolution: Evolved. No longer must you rely on a dance pad, rather, you use the power of motion control to track your movement as you shake your money maker to choreography.
You can set up your own personalized workout session (which looks enticing, really), and you can challenge your buddies in a Dance Off, coerce your buddies to actually join you in a group dance session, and unlock new choreography via several challenges.
The Wii U version has a unique mode called, “Puppet Master”. One player uses the Wii U Tablet to choose the dance moves that the other players must do.
You can get more songs from each of the consoles’ respective online stores from some big names out there in music land (Rihanna, Christina Aguilera) and some classic (Elvis Presley!?), but here’s the one that has me excited:
Oh, sweet Jesus. I’m sold.
Check out Just Dance 4′s Official Website for more info.
Which Game Will You Try?
They all sound pretty interesting. I have Wii Fit and Dance Dance Resolution Universe 2 (and other games in the DDR series), but I’d really like to give the new versions a try, and I’d be willing to give Zumba Fitness 2 a shot, if Just Dance 4 didn’t pique my interest the way it did (damn you, Gangnam Style). I would get UFC Personal Trainer, but my gaming area’s a wee bit small for a Kinect.
Of course, these aren’t the only fitness games out there (there’s a ton of ‘em!), so I’d like to know if there are any others that you guys enjoy. Let me know in the Comments Section!
Tune in next week when we’ll talk about another common New Year’s Resolution: money management.
Amazon.com Has You Covered:
Amazon.ca — for all your gaming fitness needs:
Other Bitty Bits of News
- 5 Video Game Cartoons That Kick Ass
- Angry Game Reviewers: Fad or Here to Stay?
- Minee Musings — New Year’s Resolutions, Away!