Dance Dance Revolution II by Konami
5 of 5 stars – “DDR is back.”
Written on October 24, 2011
Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) admittedly seemed to be showing its age the last year or two. The last version of Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii to show any kind of real innovation was Hottest Party 2, which was released in 2008.
Hottest Party 3 was released in 2009, but didn’t add much new to the series except a few poorly-conceived attempts to try to incorporate the Wii nunchuk and the Balance Board. At the end of the day these attempts just detracted from what made DDR great to begin with.
In 2010, they released Hottest Party 4 in Europe. Perhaps taking a cue from successful movie “reboots” such as Star Trek and Batman, Konami decided to name the same game “Dance Dance Revolution” in the United States. But sadly, it was pretty much the same game as before. Many who ended up paying upwards of $70 for it were asking themselves why they wasted money for essentially the same game they could have bought in 2008.
In 2011, Dance Dance Revolution II (still being called Hottest Party 5 in Europe) is here. And the burning question is, does this new version bring anything new to the table? Or is it yet another repackaged version that will cause more buyer’s remorse?
For the few out there who don’t know, DDR requires the use of a 3′ x 3′ plastic “dance mat” you put on the floor with four directional arrows that you step on. As music plays, a combination of arrows will scroll on the screen to the beat, and your goal is to step on the arrows precisely. Sounds simple, but when the arrows are coming at you at breakneck speed, and things like eighth-notes, “hold” notes (where you keep your feet pressed down) and simultaneous arrows (requiring you to jump) are added, you’ll be moving your feet faster than Fred Astaire.
The first thing to get out of the way is any comparison to games like Just Dance 3 for the Wii, Dance Central 2 for the Xbox, and Everybody Dance for the PS3. Those are dancing games where you learn “real” dance moves. DDR is and always has been a “pattern-matching game more” than a “dance game”. You won’t “wow” anyone at weddings and bar mitzvahs with moves you learn on the DDR dance pad (and sadly, I’ve tried).
What DDR does have, and probably always will, over those other “dance games” is the best precision, not surprising as it has only four steps to detect as opposed to an infinite number of motions. So whether your score is high or low, you know you’ve earned it legitimately!
The opening menu of Dance Dance Revolution II is blissfully simple. There are four choices: Dance Mode, Workout Mode, Training Mode, and DDR School.
Dance Mode is where you can jump into playing. You start out by selecting the number of players, from 1 to 4. You’ll need a dance mat for each player and a Wii remote for each to control menu choices.
There are two modes of play when playing solo. The first is “Normal” mode, which is the DDR we all know and love, where you dance to progressive sets of challenges to rack up DDR points and unlock new songs and features.
Here’s me playing Selena Gomez and the Scene’s “A Year Without Rain” on Normal mode (set to Expert Difficulty). This is after about 10 tries and I still could only muster a “C”
The second is new to the Wii called ”Double” mode, where if you have two Dance Mats, you can dance using EIGHT arrows instead of four, jumping from mat to mat to try to achieve a high score. This is a feature that’s been available on the arcade version of DDR which has finally made it to the Wii version, and definitely is an innovation which really extends enjoyment (and workout potential) of the game. Here’s me attempting to playing Justin Bieber’s “Baby ft. Ludacris” using Double mode.
I did okay, right? So feeling my oats a little bit, I decided to try “Spice Up Your Life” at Difficult mode.
Needless to say, I was jumping and flipping around and could only muster a “D”. This is definitely something which, as you try to master it, you’ll find yourself getting into great shape!
There are three modes of play for playing with 2 or more players. “Normal” style lets users compete head-to-head. “Friendship” style will award all players with the highest score that any player achieved. “Sync” style is the opposite: if any player gets a “MISS” or “NOT QUITE”, the entire game fails.
Next, you’ll select your song and the difficulty level (Beginner, Basic, Difficult, or Expert) that you want to attempt. If you’re playing multiplayer, each player can choose their own difficulty, so stronger players can compete against weaker players on the same song, each playing at the level they’re most comfortable with.
Something else that’s been carried over from the arcade version is the “Groove Radar”. Each song has a somewhat complex graph that rates each song/difficulty on five attributes: Stream (the overall density of steps in the whole song), Chaos (how irregular the steps are), Freeze (the number of “freeze” steps where you hold on a particular arrow), Air (the number of jump steps in the song), and Voltage (the highest density of arrows that appear at once in the song). At the end of your performance, you’re given a score based on these attributes. Since this wasn’t a big hit with the arcade version, I’m not sure why they’ve ported it over to the Wii version. In any case, if you’re someone who really wants to evaluate your DDR performance, this lets you do it with unprecented precision. If you’re not, it’s something that you can easily ignore.
There are 19 licensed songs, mostly which will appeal to teen and tween players including artists such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus. Here’s the complete list of licensed songs:
Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
Nothin’ On You feat. Bruno Mars (B.o.B.)
A Year Without Rain (Selena Gomez & The Scene)
Don’t Go (Yaz)
Don’t You Want Me (The Human League)
In My Head (Jason Derulo)
Just A Dream (Nelly)
More Than Alive (The Ready Set)
Baby ft. Ludacris (Justin Bieber)
Strip Me (Natasha Beddingfield)
Somebody To Love (Justin Bieber)
Beautiful Monster (Ne-Yo)
Spice up your life (Spice Girls)
Candy Girl (New Edition)
This Time I Know It’s For Real (Donna Summer)
Only Girl In The World (Rihanna)
Can’t Be Tamed (Miley Cyrus)
Whip My Hair (Willow)
In addition, there are 64 other songs which consist of new original songs from Konami and songs from previous releases of DDR on other platforms and arcade machines. These are mostly in the frenetic, rapid-beat, Japanese pop music-style that DDR is known for.
Something else new to this version of DDR is the ability to choose either the short version of a song (1-3 minutes) or the long version (3-5 minutes).
There are also improvements with gameplay itself. Getting from the menu to the song takes only a few seconds, where in previous version there’d be a painfully long wait. The voice of the annoying commentator with the fake British accent (“it’s 100% AWESOME!”, “relax and FEEL THE BEAT”) is now relegated to the speaker in the Wii remote, while the TV speakers play just the song (you can also turn the voice off completely under Options). As with previous versions, for most licensed songs you can view the music video in the background; for other songs you see animated dancers.
Thankfully, they’ve completely done away with gimmicks such as hand movements and Balance Board compatibility. This is DDR back to its basics–step on the arrows correctly to get a high score. And it does this as well as it ever did.
With “Workout Mode”, you start out by typing in your height and weight. From there it’ll calculate your ideal weight and BMI (discreetly hidden from view until you click the “-” button on your Wii remote). You can then select a workout target by Play Time (for example, if you want to do 30 minutes of cardio a day) or by Calories burned (for example, if you want to burn 30 calories a workout). By the way, DDR will use the scientifically-accurate term “Kcals”, but that’s the same as what you and I call “calories” (which the average adult takes in 2000 a day of). You can also choose no goal, in which case you’ll work out to your own preference and still be able to track calories and time spent.
To make your workout simpler you can turn CUT on (which ensures there are no notes less than a quarter note) and turn JUMP off (which will turn off simultaneous step arrows). But I find leaving both on make the workout a lot more fun and strenuous.
You then go to song selection, where you have the same options as in Dance Mode. Happily, even in workout mode you can still clear “Challenge Tasks” and earn DDR points. And of course, you’ll see exactly how many calories you burned for the last dance and how many you’ve burned cumulatively. You can also keep a record over time of all the calories you’ve burned.
Here’s a workout where I set a target of 70 calories, which had me playing Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)”, Miley Cyrus’s “Can’t Be Tamed”, and Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” before I reached the goal.
Needless to say, I was quite out of breath. If you had to choose between typical step aerobics and DDR, the choice is clear–DDR is more fun, much better exercise, and much better motivation.
If you’ve got grade school kids in the house, ask them if they play DDR in their gym class (many schools are starting to do this now). If so, bringing it home is a great way not only to get them exercise, but also to give them a little bit of an “edge” in gym against the other kids
“Training Mode” lets you choose any unlocked song at any level and practice any section of it, either in Normal or Double mode. This is extremely useful at advanced levels where there’s a section of a song you just can’t master. “DDR School” is for complete newbies who need to be taught how to play from the beginning.
The verdict? I’ve admittedly been bearish on Konami the last two years, disappointed that the last two versions of DDR really did nothing to push the platform forward. But this time they’ve gone “back to basics” by getting rid of a lot of those gimmicks and focusing on what works.
I won’t say it’s a perfect game yet. I was a bit surprised at the lack of a DLC option, meaning that to get new songs we’ll probably be forced to purchase future versions. And the dance mat is still flimsy and its lack of padding is horrific for those who play on upper levels of houses or apartments.
But even so, the addition of Double mode, the improved Workout mode, and the large selection of new songs tells me that Konami is really trying again and not just resting on its laurels. Hopefully with future editions they’re continue to not just phone it in, but reinvent it in new ways that’ll continue to keep it relevant amid the competition (I know this is just a dream, but some day I’d love to see a game that teaches dance steps like the tango, foxtrot, salsa, and waltz…but I guess that would require a pretty big dance mat).
5 stars out of 5.
Now, just for Nutwiisystem readers, here’s an “insider tip”. I definitely recommend you purchase a second DDR mat, especially given the new Double mode. And unfortunately, mats from the Namco Active Life series will not work properly.
5 of 5 stars – “The best dance franchise on the Wii gets better.”
Written on October 20, 2011
In the beginning there was DDR. Video game “dancing” consisted of mashing your feet to certain patterns. It was fun, it was a great workout, but at the end of the day it wasn’t really dancing.
Then along came Just Dance, which introduced the world to dancing to popular music using “real dance moves”, the kind that you could practice at home and then wow everyone with on the dance floor. It was slightly annoying that the controller accuracy was a bit off, but the dance moves were so fun we didn’t care.
Just Dance 2 introduced much better motion control accuracy. Plus, it introduced the concept of “duets”, where people could dance cool choreographed routines together. And it was another winner.
Because of the popularity of Just Dance, this spawned a lot of “copycat” titles from Ubisoft to cash in. Dance on Broadway. Michael Jackson The Experience, Just Dance for Kids. Even Just Dance with Smurfs. They were fun, but at a certain point they started to get a bit tiring, as they were all variations of the same theme.
And so, we’ve all been waiting to see what Ubisoft would do for an encore with Just Dance 3. Could they push the genre forward, even as copycat titles like Dance Central on the Xbox and Everybody Dance on the PS3 encroached on their turf? I’m happy to say that Just Dance 3 pushes the platform even further and does it with great success.
When you start up Just Dance 3, the first thing it asks is if you’ll connect Just Dance to the Internet so that “Ubisoft can learn more about the way you play to make Just Dance even more groovy”. I wasn’t sure quite how to answer the question, but I figure since Just Dance 3 doesn’t use a video camera like those other systems, there wasn’t too much harm in it.
The opening menu, like in Just Dance 1 and 2, is delightfully simple. There are only a couple choices:
As with the previous versions, you just right into the dancing. What I love about Just Dance 3 is that getting started is extremely simple. No silly things to take up your time like creating avatars. No adjusting of cameras or calibrating of equipment. You just shake your remote to see what “color” you are on the screen, and get started.
You can create a profile at any time; your name is limited to 5 characters. If you don’t create a profile you’ll be dancing by default as “Happy” (as opposed to “Sunny”).
As with previous versions, your job is to dance the “mirror image” of a colorful silhouetted on-screen figure showing you the dance moves. I’m happy to say that the motion controls are better and more accurate than ever. Granted, it still only detects the movement of one arm holding the Wii remote, so technically you could still just hurl your arm the right way and build up points. But of course the fun of the game is to get into the dance with your full body (and in fact, if you follow the choreographed moves perfectly with your whole body, your score will be better than ever). One other subtle improvement over previous versions is that the audio cues coming through the Wii remote (for example, when you hit a milestone while dancing) are much louder and clearer than before.
The choreography and backgrounds are as fun and in some cases as quirky as ever. For example, in Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1000 Dances” you’re following a dancing alligator in a fancy suit dancing in a schoolroom. And yes, you “do the alligator” If you dance well on some songs, you can even see the background animate and change.
As with Just Dance 1 and 2, each song has a “technical difficulty” indicator from one to three gears, and a “workout intensity” indicate from one to three drops of sweat. There are over 45 great tracks to suit everyone’s tastes, and most of the songs are popular and familiar. For example, here’s Katy Perry’s “California Girls”
Multiplayer is where this game really shines. There’s “Dance Crew Mode” which is like Duet Mode, except that up to 4 players has their own independent choreography (and a chance to shine with a solo performance). There’s also a “Dance Til Dawn” party mode where you can just start the game up and it’ll cycle through songs all night, without the need to go back through menus again.
2) Just Sweat
As someone who follows Wii exercise titles very closely, this option was the one I was most excited about. You can choose from a “Free Session” (an instant fitness session for up to 4 players) or the “7-Day Challenge” (A selection of challenges to boost your fitness during 7 days).
For “Free Session” You can choose from a variety of options for the kind of music to work out to, including:
Oldies but Goodies
Fancy Dress Ball
Around the World
There are also fantastic options for working out in a group, including:
I tried Sweat Attack, and sure enough I was sweating up a storm after just one song. The songs kept going and the more points I collected (on both Dance and Just Sweat modes), the more filled it up a “Mojo” meter by collecting enough points. Once the “Mojo Meter” was filled, I unlocked a “gift (Simon Says Mode). There are 27 “gifts” to unlock, ranging from new songs to new choreography to new playing modes, so it’ll definitely motivate you to keep coming back and building up those points. The songs in my case before I collapsed of exhaustion were Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It”, Anja’s “Dance all Night”, Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1000 Dances”, and appropriately, a cover of C&C Music Factory’s Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)..all very energetic and lively (and fun) songs.
As in the Dance mode, you rack up points when you hit the right dance moves. In addition, as with Just Dance 2, they don’t count calories for some reason, but rather, they count “sweat points”. With Just Dance 2, the consensus on the Web was that 4.2 sweat points = about 1 calorie burned, and it seems about the same with Just Dance 3. In all honesty, I’m not sure why they didn’t just use calories, which would have made things a lot easier. But still, as long as you do the math in your head, you can pretty much figure out how intensive a workout you’re getting (3500 calories burned or about 25-30 vigorous songs danced do equals about 1 pound of fat lost). As you reach certain points, the system will give you an indication of how much exercise you’ve done (after completing 1000 sweat points, it told me “You’ve just walked across Central Park”; after 2000 points, it said “you’ve just run 10 rounds of the Wembley Stadium”).
For “7-Day Challenge” you’re presented with three options for the next 7 days: The Fresh Start (3500 sweat points a week, the equivalent of walking 30 minutes a day), The Healthy Choice (7000 sweat points a week, equivalent to running 30 minutes a day), and The Sweat Explosion (21000 sweat points a week, equivalent to swimming for 30 minutes a day).
Overall, I loved Just Sweat mode, but I would have liked to see the ability to chart progress over days and weeks. Still, it’s a great improvement over previous version and definitely one of the best workouts you can have on the Wii.
This is where you can purchase downloadable content (DLC) if your Wii is connected to the Internet. As of this writing (October 8, 2011), the store contained only the following songs:
Baby Don’t Stop Now (Anja)
Jambo Mambo (Old Orquesta)
Soul Searchin (Groove Century)
Twist and Shake It (The Girly Team)
But a bunch of empty icons indicates that there are more coming soon. Each song costs 250 Wii Points, so if you buy a 2000 point card for about $20, this comes out to about $2.50 a song.
This is where you can adjust options, such as whether to display lyrics, display pictograms (the icons telling you what move to make), display help screens, and track usage. You can also view the medals you earned.
I think one of the questions most people will have on their mind is: is Just Dance 3 on the Wii still relevant when there are so many new “real dance move” games out for systems like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. My answer is a resounding “yes”. Not only does Just Dance 3 hold its own in terms of fun and accuracy–it actually has an advantage over those other systems. While those systems force players to squeeze into a camera view of 6 feet across, with Just Dance, players can stand anywhere in the room, and it doesn’t even matter if there are spectators or “dancers without controllers” standing among them.
Long story short, I think Ubisoft has taken a great franchise and moved it even further. Just Dance 3 for the Wii is another winner.
5 of 5 stars.
Here’s a complete song list:
Apache (Jump On It) – The Sugarhill Gang (difficulty=3, intensity=2, dancers=1)
Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz(difficulty=1, intensity=3, dancers=1)
Baby One More Time – Britney Spears (difficulty=2, intensity=2, dancers=4)
Baby Zouk – Dr. Creole (difficulty=2, intensity=3, dancers=2)
Here’s a deal and a half from Groupon. That’s right, Groupon, the folks who bring you half price restaurants and dance lessons and pottery making classes.
For $39, you can get a Motiva Heart Rate Watch that sells on Amazon for $64.22 and retails for $119.99. For $25, you can get a MIO Heart Pro watch that sells on Amazon for $42.03 and retails for $69.99.
Reviews are decidedly mixed, but if you’re just looking for something quick to use with your Wii workouts that doesn’t require pesky chest straps, you can’t go wrong with this. But jump on it while you can, as the dreaded “limited quantity available” message is already up!
In a bit of a reversal from the norm, the PS3 version was ported to the Wii. The Wii version was released last week. Personally, I think this is a brilliant move by the publisher, as there is definitely a shortage of Wii fitness games right now (only Ubisoft is making a push into active gaming with the upcoming Just Dance 3). So if Get Fit with Mel B is worth its salt, it may be a huge hit for Christmas 2011.
For those who don’t know, Mel B. is better known to us old-timers as “Scary Spice”. You know, the only Spice Girl who you felt could (and would) beat you up after spicing up your life.
Starting up the game, it asks you to verify that the time and date on the clock are correct. You’re treated to a video introduction from Mel B, which is of surprisingly good quality for the Wii. You start out by entering your name on an on-screen keyboard, telling her if you’re male or female, entering your birthdate, and entering your height. You then choose your “build” from three icons (a lot more pleasant than entering your weight), and then tell her if there are any foods you don’t eat (by choosing from icons representing pork, beef, fish, etc.).
You can then choose a “workout location” from the following choices: Central Park, The Maldives, Infinity Pool, Forest Meadow, Apartment, or Luxury Yacht. I chose Central Park (which incidentally doesn’t look a thing like Central Park).
You then select a goal. You first choose a goal category from one of the following:
Lifestyle (fitness to make you feel better in everyday life)
Special Occasions (exercises to get you ready for a big event coming up in your life like a wedding)
Sports and Activities (exercises that help boost your performance in specific sports)
Shape (working out different parts of your body).
Choosing a category will show you goals within the category. For example, under General Health you have the choices of Weight Loss, Detox, Lower Cholestrol, or Healthy Heart.
Depending on whether you’re male or female you may see different choices for each category (for example, men will see “Six Pack for Summer” or “Slim Down for a Suit” under “Special Occasions”, while women will see “Bikini Fit”, “Drop a Dress Size”, “Red Carpet Ready”, “New Mom”, “Get Fit for an Active Holiday”). Other categories are the same for men and women (for example, under “Lifestyle”, you can choose “All Day Energy”, “De-Stress”, or “Keep up with the Kids”; under “Sports” you can choose general sports, golf, tennis, skiing, or dance).
You can choose up to two goals. I chose “weight loss”, and as a secondary goal I chose “De-Stress”. You then choose whether you want to work on both goals equally or one more than the other (I chose 80-20).
Choosing goals will customize the types of workouts you get later on in the game. In all honesty, I think this is more smoke-and-mirrors than anything else…there seem to be a pretty finite set of exercises, so there is going to be a lot of overlap from one workout to another.
Next, you can choose optional equipment to use, something we haven’t seen on a Wii exercise game since the original My Fitness Coach. You can choose to include a Fitball, a Resistance Band, Wrist Weights, or Ankle Weights in your workout. I went with the Resistance Band.
The next step is calibrating the Balance Board. Once this is done you’ll see a message:
I’ll schedule a different workout for you each day. You can just choose “Today’s workout” each day if you want to stick to the schedule, or you can use “Choose workout” to pick one of the types.
The next screen is a menu selector that’s reminiscent of “My Fitness Coach 2″. This is no accident, as that game had been developed by Lightning Fish games and had been called “NewU Fitness First: Personal Trainer” in the UK. However, when the game was brought to the United States, the publisher, Ubisoft, foolishly chose to change the name to try to “cash in” on the success of My Fitness Coach. But because the new game was completely different, fans of the original were disappointed and felt they’d been misled (which, in fact, they had been). They never gave NewU a chance. Happily, Deep Silver, the new publisher of Get Fit with Mel B in the US, was smart enough to keep the original name.
Ironically, Get Fit with Mel B feels in many ways like the true sequel to My Fitness Coach that we’ve been waiting so many years for. As with that game, you can choose your workout environment (which is a photorealistic setting, not a cartoon), you can choose your own equipment to work with, you can watch your trainer make the exact moves (again, as a video instead of a cartoon), and your workouts consist of reps of many different activities strung together. You really feel like Mel B is your own “personal trainer”. I’d go so far as to say that if you were a fan of My Fitness Coach and have been disappointed by wannabes (no pun intended) like Jillian Michaels, 10 Minute Solution, or Zumba Fitness, you’ll feel like you’ve come home with Get Fit with Mel B.
The Menu options are extremely simple. They are:
1) Today’s Workout: This takes you right into each day’s scheduled workout, which is a different workout each day based on the goals that you selected.
2) Choose Workout: This gives you a couple more options:
- Workout. You choose between standardized “Fitness” and “Aerobics” workouts, customizing the length of the workout.
If you choose “Fitness”, a standard workout comprised of fitness activities is customized to your goals and put together. You’ll see a breakdown of each of the individual fitness activities (mine consisted of 15-20 reps of push ups, see saws, crunches, jumping jacks, hip swings, squats, chest presses, tricep kick backs, and bent rows).
If you choose “Aerobics”, you can choose from step, dance, combat, cardio, or advanced cardio aerobics. Again, you’re shown a breakdown of the different aerobic moves (Advanced Cardio has you doing pulldown knees, shuffles, jumping jacks, ice skaters, swinging star jumps, toe touch jump squats, side jumps and drop squats, spring hops, twisting tuck jumps, rotating hamstring curls, jumping jacks and drop squats, jumping single leg lunges, high knee runs, and side ski jumps). And happily, all the aerobics exercises use the balance board, and use it well–if you bought a Balance Board for step aerobics but were always disappointed by Wii Fit’s weak “plink, plink, plink” step aerobics, you’ll love how they use the Balance Board here.
You can choose the length of the workout, and then just start working out.
- Custom Workout: With custom workout, you can literally build your own workouts, choosing the fitness or aerobic move, and then choosing how many reps of each move you wish to make. It takes a while to set up, but the resulting workout is yours alone, which you can play over and over again.
There is a staggering number of individual moves which you can choose from. Here’s a list of Fitness Moves:
Three point push-ups
Push-ups on knees
Cat crawl push-ups
Long arm crunches
Roll up crunches
Squats with kickbacks
Lunges with running arms
Tricep kick backs
Single shoulder presses
…and a list of Step Aerobic Moves:
Step on, step off
steps with turns
diagonal knee raises
Front knee raises
Kicks and leg raises
Hamstring curls and presses
Turns with arm circles
Heel digs and bicep curls
Sideways high knees
Front kicks with scissor arms
There’s a similar list of moves for dance, combat, cardio, and advanced cardio aerobics.
- Practice: Here, you can choose any single exercise and practice it as many times as you like. This becomes handy with some of the more complex moves.
- Challenges: If you’re up for a challenge, these are intensive groups of exercises where you’re pushed to complete a set of themed exercise routines (Dance, Abs Attack, Legs of Steel, Fighting Fit, or Cardio Test) within a certain period of time. I would have liked to see this section be a little more “fun” and interactive, but it’s really not much different than the standard workouts, just a bunch of tougher ones strung together.
3) Nutrition: Here, you’re presented with six meal plans and 140 heathy recipes. I do like the sentiment–any successful workout routine will be coupled with healthy eating. If you have your Wii hooked up to a printer or set up in the kitchen, this section will be useful to you. In other words, this section is pretty worthless. But on a positive note, the recipes do look delicious and they are all relatively short, so it might be worth you copying down by hand.
Whether you select Today’s Workout, a standard Workout, or a custom Workout, they’re all similar. You’ll see a video image of Mel B in the milieu you selected, and she’ll call out the moves you need to make and demonstrate on-screen how to do them. Unlike the Playstation or the upcoming Xbox version, there is NO support for a video camera image of yourself next to Mel B.
Having said that, I didn’t really miss having a video image all that much. The on-screen rendition of Mel B is pretty clear, and the vocal instructions she shouts are very understandable and easy to follow (unlike games like Jillian Michaels, where the on-screen Jillian would shout mundane and irrelevant platitudes).
As for the accuracy of the controls, the game does use the Balance Board for certain exercises, and for most exercises it uses the Wii MotionPlus. But by now we all know that because it’s a Wii, the controls are not the most precise in the world. Most exercises will err on the side of being generous in “awarding” you accuracy points, and of course, it’s easy to “cheat” by moving your hands but not the rest of your body. Of course, if you want to get the most out of the workout, accuracy points aren’t the most important thing–the most important thing is doing the exercise.
Long story short, if you’re looking for a simulation of a real personal trainer working out with you at a gym, in many ways Get Fit with Mel B comes closer than any other game since the original My Fitness Coach. Given the paucity of new fitness titles for Fall 2011, Get Fit with Mel B is a great choice if you’re looking for something a little new and different, especially if you enjoy cardio and aerobic sessions at the gym. 4 of 5 stars.