Does my ideal exercise game exist?
August 8, 2017 11:41 AM   Subscribe

I love Wii Cardio Boxing, but I've been playing it for nearly a decade and would love to try something new. Are there any similar games that satisfy my picky requirements?

The only exercise routines I've ever stuck with over an extended period of time are Wii Cardio Boxing (sorry, "Gold's Gym: Cardio Workout") and Just Dance 3. The other Just Dance games have never really gripped me in quite the same way, though, and I really prefer punching to dancing. This is what I like about Wii Cardio Boxing:
  • Fun, cartoony characters rather than eerie uncanny valley avatars. I like that my avatar looks like a green-haired Final Fantasy character.
  • Rhythm based. But punching! I like punching.
  • Doesn't require a ton of peripherals. I can even skip using the balance board if I want.
  • Progressive goals so it's easy to gamify my workout. I'm motivated to have a calendar full of punch stamps or a wardrobe full of funky clothes that I've earned through working out. Having my wii fit guilt trip me was not so effective.
  • Easy to do a short, but effective workout. Not so hard to work up a sweat without noticing.
However, after a decade I find the game a little too easy and repetitious. I restart it every few years, but eventually get bored (same thing happens with Just Dance 3). I was thinking about how much I loved Soul Calibur II on the dreamcast back in high school, or that weird rhythm game, Space Channel 5, and was wondering if there are any rhythm games out there that combine exercise and fighting aspects. I've been told that certain Zelda games have interactive fighting elements--but that the battles are pretty well spread out, which would keep you from getting a good work-out. I like games with some tongue in cheek humor rather than empty gyms full of dead-eyed faux humans. I don't like online/competitive play. I just want to punch a computer. I'm more of a retro gamer (loves: Shenmue, older Final Fantasies, anything on the SNES, Maniac Mansion) so I don't really know much about current systems--willing to entertain a new system for a good workout so long as I don't have to buy a ton of accessories.

Any suggestions?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Well it's not specifically made for exercise, but I find playing the game Arms on the Nintendo Switch to be fun and active, and I break a sweat after playing for a while. It's not geared towards working-out or having a progressive program, and there's no rhythm component, but there is punching and it might meet enough of your requirements to be a fun replacement. The Switch hasn't been out for very long, but since it has the Wii-style controllers, I'm hoping for more games like it in the future.
posted by dhalgren at 2:29 PM on August 8, 2017

The investment may rule this one out, but I've found Audioshield to be really fun and it checks a lot of boxes for what you're looking for. The game uses your own music library, so you always have variety to work with. You 'punch' (block) red and blue spheres, which come at you synchronized to the beat of the given song playing. It's quite addictive (imo) and it's one of my favorite 'workout' games -- I find it very similar to DDR (which is also a great cardio workout and available for home systems; I've only played the arcade versions of DDR though so ymmv) .
posted by stubbehtail at 5:00 PM on August 8, 2017

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