Compared to the cardio and fitness focus of last year's 'Zumba Fitness Core', the Zumba series' 2013 offering, 'Zumba Fitness World Party' feels like the franchise's opportunity to stretch its legs beyond the familiar core workouts and fitness. While 'Fitness Core' was user friendly, 'Zumba Fitness World Party' is notably more approachable, putting the franchise's world music appeal at the forefront.
Those of you who buy 'Zumba' video games out of reflex will be pleased to know that this latest installment will retain the series' core gameplay, progress tracker, and class mode. How 'Zumba Fitness World Party' differs is in presentation. It's comprehensive cast of famous instructors like Gina Grant have been filmed in crisp HD instead of depicting dancers as uncharismatic polygonal models. Better yet, they each perform their specific dances in the context of both authentic music and high definition backgrounds specific to each region. Taking a page from classic rhythm games like 'Bust-A-Move' and 'Parappa The Rapper', the backgrounds change based on how you perform. Do well and more background dancers appear and dreamlike effects populate the layered background.
Content-wise, the world tour goes from India to Hawaii to Puerto Rico, seven environments in all and fit the game's 30+ dance styles. Just Hawaii alone is the setting to learn hula dancing, modern hula and Tahitian style dancing. Further motivating your routine will be a set-list of songs from 'Born This Way' to 'Mas Que Nada'. Furthermore, completionists will find additional motivation with the game's unlockables that comprise of videos, souvenirs and Facebook-integrated postcards.
Publisher Majesco will have a busy November as 'Zumba Fitness World Party' will be out for Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. We actually got to check out the Xbox One version in action, and while we couldn't see any discernible differences with the Kinect 2.0, this version will have exclusive songs and dance styles.