If you’re finally getting a little tired of Wii Fit, there are a couple of new fitness “games” releasing on the Wii that may help breathe new life into your video game workout routine. Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout is the first of the crop, and it combines one of the biggest names in the health industry Gold’s Gym—putting out their first videogame—and one of the more well-known development houses in the gaming industry Ubisoft—better known for Tom Clancy and Prince of Persia games. So does the combination of these two powerhouses create a power workout to take the place of Wii Fit?
Well, I’ve only had the game a couple days now, so it’s hard to tell, but I can give you a quick overview of what it offers. As for whether or not it produces results, well, let’s give it a couple weeks and I’ll let you know.
The main focus of Gold’s Gym, in case the title didn’t give it away, is a good cardio workout. This mainly comes in the form of boxing. If you have two Wiimotes, you use those with one in each hand as you toss out different punches. You also have the option of using Wiimote and nunchuck, but the dual controllers work better. On starting the game, you create a character, enter some data such age, height, weight, and then you’ll go through a brief tutorial on some basic stances. You’ll learn how to hold your hands, throw basic punches such as jabs and crosses, and what to do with your feet. After you finish these basics, you’ll be ready to either do some free-form boxing or do some prepared exercises.
The prepared exercises consists of sets of punch combos. You’ll mix up jabs, crosses, uppercuts and more all while constantly shifting your weight back and forth in rhythm. Eventually you can toss in some ducks as well to create a fairly intense workout once you get to higher levels. In truth, I was surprised at just how quickly I was breathing hard and working up a sweat by simply doing various punch combos. I also like how the game teaches you basic fight stance—not that you’ll become a kung-fu master or boxing champ with this, but it at least gives you the basics.
While the boxing makes up the bulk of the game, there are other exercises as well. You can do squats using the Wii balance board, as well as push-ups, abdominal exercises and back-strengthening exercises. You’ll also find different modes for the boxing to play with from just doing ducks to hitting mitts and more. Finally, there’s the boxing examination where I assume you’re tested on how well you’ve learned your moves. I haven’t taken it yet, mainly because I don’t test well.
My first impression of Gold’s Gym Carido Workout is mostly positive. The controller feedback is pretty accurate and registered my movements accurately about ninety-percent of the time. Most of the time I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that I was holding two controllers. The workout itself is a bit more intense than that of Wii Fit, but I haven’t found any place that charts my progress the same way Wii Fit keeps track of weight and BMI. I’m sure there must be some sort of progression chart, I probably just haven’t located it yet.
Graphically the game sticks to simple, cartoony-looking instructors and simple backgrounds. Nothing fancy, but very functional although at times is looks a little too cartoony and the characters a little too anime for a game that’s trying to promote a more western approach to fitness than Wii Fit. The music is bland instrumental—covers of various songs like “Eye of the Tiger”—but it helps you keep time and rhythm.
If you’re looking for a different type of workout than Wii Fit, Gold’s Gym may fit the bill. Although the focus is on boxing and a cardio workout (again, it does say that right on the box), there is some strength training you can do as well. Right now, I’m experimenting with this game’s cardio focus while using Wii Fit for yoga and strength training. Again, as to whether or not Gold’s Gym helps produce any results, especially in conjunction with some of the extra features of Wii Fit, well, only time will tell. Keep it here for a full review and what the results are from my workouts in the coming weeks.