Thanks. Thanks for reading my honest and very straight-forward review. I’m Mr Mc, a primary school teacher in the UK who’s simply a guy that has been playing video games since he got his own C64 when he was about 8. Nowadays, when I’m not teaching, lesson planning or marking books I’m usually found playing video games. Feel free to send me a shout out on Twitter- @chrismcgivern 🙂
January. That time of the year where there’s a always a new fitness DVD in the shops. Or a new low-fat recipe book to preorder. People have always been fixated with improving their quality of lives… and Nintendo are no different.
Quality of Life (or QOL) has been a factor that Nintendo has had on its agenda for many years. I still to this day remember falling madly in love with the quirky software called ‘Walk with Me! Do you know your walking routine?’ Blimey, that really did hook me. I walked a heck of a lot and really enjoyed racking up those steps.
Then, of course, we have Wii Fit and Wii Fit U. Both really encouraging the user to get off their backside and move. In all sorts of ways. This approach really broadened Nintendo’s appeal to many demographics. Heck, my great auntie even had a Wii and Wii Fit. Fast forward to today, and Wii Fit to many, simply has become a distant memory and something to sneer at, being called ‘lame’ and a ‘fad’.
Well, just like many games, apps and software, it’s down to personal taste. I, for one, absolutely loved them. Just like all QOL applications, the more you dedicate yourself to something, the more you get out of it. Mind over matter and all.
Well, Nintendo isn’t done yet because they have just released their newest iteration; Fitness Boxing for Nintendo Switch. Developed by Imagineer and published by Nintendo exclusively for Switch, Fitness Boxing aims to get us up and active all over again.
The ‘game’ has a very familiar presentation style to the Wii Fit series, instantly allowing past users to feel right at home. You’re presented with options to work on different parts of your body, take part in warm up stretches as well as customise your motivational instructor’s presentation.
Once you’ve selected your work out aims and timings, it’s time to get boxing! Unsurprisingly, the player holds the joycons, one in each clenched hand (just as you would in ARMS) facing the screen. You’re shown how to stand in the correct stance and are encouraged to bob back and forth on your feet in time to one of the many catchy built-in pieces of music.
During game play, the screen is beautifully clean and simple, with your instructor inbetween two musical columns. Each column represents your left or right hand and, with the beat, shows symbols sliding upwards towards the main target square. As an action symbol moves up towards the target square, you can then easily see when it is time to jab, duck, hook or uppercut. Me, being a big fan of Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution games anyway, found working out to the music very satisfying. The motion sensing works very well and, with all of the ducking and diving I’ve been frantically doing in front of the screen, I can safely say that achieving ‘Perfect’ is easily doable.
Once a timed work out has been selected, your instructor shows you what moves you’ll be using, to what songs and other interesting data such as how long the workout should take and an estimate as to how many calories you’ll burn based on the weight and height you’ve entered.
What’s particularly impressive, is how Fitness Boxing eases you into all of the moves. Gosh, I really had no idea as to how many moves there’d be! I’ve been playing this game religiously each and every day since launch (21st December 2018) and I’m STILL unlocking new songs and new moves; it was only yesterday that I unlocked blocks! But wow! If you thought it’d only include basic moves such as straights, jabs, uppercuts and hooks then think again. The joycons sensors have really been utilised with workouts having me weaving to either side, stepping forward, back and ducking- all slowly building the player up through each and every song to end with strings of combos where the player must achieve either Perfect or OK hits to accumulate high scores and combos. At the end of each song, the player is presented with their score; showing their accumulated Perfects, OK’s or Miss’. The higher the score, the more likely they will achieve 3 stars. The more stars you earn, the more you unlock; such as new songs, workouts and accessories for your instructor such as sunglasses and tops – yippee.
Just like the Wii Fit series, you’re encouraged to set your own fitness targets and regularly update your weight. You can then view all sorts of information such as total number of punches, calories burned and total amount of time spent working out. Of course, you can also give yourself a ‘date stamp’, just like Wii Fit, by punching the date after the completion of your daily workout. Very satisfying. I haven’t missed a day yet, and due to the Switch’s portability, I don’t intend to all year!
Fitness Boxing also allows you to enjoy some 2 player boxing action. You can choose to either work out together cooperatively, or you can instead enjoy a more competitive session – still to the music.
Fitness Boxing is certainly a ‘game’ that you will either love or simply avoid. Very Marmite. Me? I adore it. It combines my love of music rhythm games with my never-ending desire to lose weight, and become fitter and more active. Even if you’re not particularly interested in the motion side of gameplay, if you’re a music/rhythm fan, then I strongly recommend you download the free demo and give it a go, and if you’re like me, you’ll have bought it by the end of the first play through!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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