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Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout for Nintendo Wii
My Overall Thoughts on the Game
I rented Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout as a game to try out with the balance board. I thought it would work like the rhythmic boxing on Wii Fit. Well, it sort of does, but it does not use the balance board for the boxing training workouts. Instead it only using the balance board for some of the side exercises, such as dodging punches. Thus it really is not all that compatible of a game and even the exercises it does use the balance board for it does not always do it very good, such as ducking for dodging punches does not work very well when using the balance board.
Despite being annoyed at the minimal Wii balance board support I have grown to love the game and instead of returning the rental I purchased it. The part I love is the boxing exercises include a variety of one using different punches, weaves, ducks, etc. and offers way more variety than rhythmic boxing on Wii Fit. The lack of using the balance board for this does not make it less enjoyable, as it really is not a necessary part for a boxing game.
Besides just having more variety to keep it from getting boring I also like that you can use two Wii remotes instead of a Wii remote with a nunchuck. While I mostly do still do it with a nunchuck because I only have on Wii remote at my house, I did have the game for a few days when I had two Wii remotes and boy is that better. The problem with using the nunchuck is that it does not seem to be as sensitive to movement as the Wii remote and does not always recognize the punches as well, although there might be calibration that can fix this. Anyways the bigger issue is that it gets a sort of tangled jumbledness when doing fast punch combinations and just plain gets in the way and limited range of motion to do the combinations effectively. The freedom of movement with the two Wii remotes has almost got me to purchase another Wii remote and only reason I have not bought another one is that they are almost as expensive as a new game and this is the only game I need it for since I do not ever do multiplayer gaming at my house.
The main part of the Gold's Gym Cardio Workout for Nintendo Wii is Shape Boxing. When you first start the game and load a profile you can have a prepared workout of two shape boxing routines and an exercise or you can go to the Shape Boxing caregory on the main menu to do your own a la carte workout. The shape boxing part of the game has five levels of difficulty.
The first level is Basic, which is a very minimal tutorial like learning of the gmae for the most part. It is a very basic thing and not really worth doing more than once.
The second level is Beginner, which has some routines that are only one part and some with two halves. The ones with two halves last about 15 minutes. The combinations in this one are not too hard to get used to.
The third level is Intermediate. This level offers a little more difficulty and the two halves ones last about 16 minutes. These ones also are a little more intense besides just being longer.
The fourth level is Advanced. Again the combinations get more difficult and the two halves get longer (about 17 minutes). They also offer the most intense without being overwhleming in my opinion.
The final level of Shape Boxing difficulty is Special. This one has more complex combinations and new moves to learn such as body jabs and faster punching. This difficulty is definitely the most intense, but also takes much to get used to. I also found this difficulty offers some annoyance in that the Wii remote often registers a second punch in a row when you pull back on the first punch because the punches are so close together and thus hard to get excellent on the second punch because it is recognizing the pull back as a punch and not the next go forward.
The Boxing Examination aspect of the game offers test challenges to perform combinations as perfectly as you can. To pass you can only miss 80 points. For each combination in the test you perform it four times and it takes the average of how well you do the combination. You lose points for hitting it only Good or Missing it and get the best of 100 when you get the whole combination as Excellent.
There are five levels of Boxing Examination. The Levels are E Level, D Level, C Level, B Level, A Level, and finally Master Level. You unlock the levels after beating the one before it. Overall I found them all pretty easy to pass, although B Level took me three tries and Master Level took me two tries. It is kind of fun to test yourself, but it really is a pretty minimal part of the game and too easy to totally beat that I sure would not miss if it was not even on the game.
The Exercise section of the game has several exercises to do including some that use the Wii balance board. There are four that do not use the balance board, two that can be done with or without the balance board, and four that can only be done with the balance board. The four that do are not all that special and not much different than some that you can do on Wii Fit, which the balance board comes with. At first you can only do the exercises in challenge mode (most are 3 minutes or until you accomplish something), but after a while the training part of the exercises is unlocked and you can choose how long to do the exercises between 1 minute and 99 minutes.
Roadwork - In this exercise you use the Wii remote and nunchuck (or two Wii remotes if that is how you are playing this game) to run in place. Every once and a while you stop and have to punch bears with your right or left hand depending on which side of the screen the bear is on. At first it is just the bears and then there are a bear and a man and you only are supposed to hit the bear. There is also points when a big bear comes up that you hit it with right and/or left punches.
Jump Rope - This exercise uses only the Wii remote. You move your hand with the Wii remote as if you are using a jump rope and have to jump at the right moment to jump the rope. This exercise is really hard to get the hang of in my opinion because of the jump rope not always seeming quite as in sync with what you are doing as it should be.
Sandbag - In this exercise you punch sandbags down. In the challenge mode you win once you knock down 10.
Mitt Work - In this exercise you are prompted to do certain punch combinations. The combinations get harder as you successfully execute the combinations.
Punch Dodge - This exercise can be used with or without the balance board. In this exercise you try to dodge incoming punches. At first you just dodge left or right. It later adds leaning back to dodge uppercuts and ducking to dodge hooks. I found the leaning back a little scarier when you do it successfully on the balance board. Also, the ducking does not seem to always register with the balance board. Thus this works way better without the balance board.
Log Chopping - This exercise can be used with or without the balance board. The balance board is just used to put one foot on to supposedly hold the log still. You chop the lof by pulling the Wii remote back and forth. It is a pretty simple thing to do and the balance board realy does not add much to it, but it does not make it worse either.
Push Ups - This is a push up exercise using the Wii balance board. Not really much different than what Wii Fit offers.
Abdominal Training - This is ab exercise using the Wii balance board. Again not really something you cannot get with Wii Fit.
Back training - This is a back training exercise using the Wii balance board. This one is at least somewhat unique to the stuff you can get with Wii Fit.
Squats - This is yet another Wii balance board exercise you already get with Wii Fit.
The My Date section of Gold's Gym Cardio Workout includes several features that mostly help track your gameplay as well as options for the game. The data part includes a Punch Diary that shows how many punches you do each day in a graph type chart, a calendar with punch stamps on the days you workout, and a place to edit your height and weight. The other option parts include changing instructors (there are only 2 at first, but after playing a while you can unlock the other four), change clothing, shop to buy new clothes to wear in the game, and change from Wii remote and nunchuck style to two Wii remote controls style.