Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wii got sass

When it comes to Amusements of Tomorrow, Today, I'm kind of an old fuddy-duddy. Case in point, I just last night did a Wii. (That's what you do, right? You "do a Wii"?) My friend brought over her console along with "Just Dance," and for the first time since...ever?...I enjoyed a video game made in the 21st century. (Angry Birds doesn't count.) It juiced my raspberries.

At the risk of sounding horribly behind-the-times and stating the obvious, here's the gist of "Just Dance": There are bunch of routines to real songs (mostly original tracks, with some quality covers), and each is led by a CGI dancer that seems to have been motion-captured from a real dancer. The CGI dancers wear amusing costumes appropriate to the songs. It's a surprisingly decent workout, as long as you don't take (long) breaks. The menu ranks each dance routine by difficulty and intensity, so it's possible to engineer an hour-long sweat-fest simply by choosing the harder selections -- such as this aerobics-inspired number:

Or this '90s jam:

Fun, right? 

Am I the only one who's just discovering this? Because a quick Amazon search revealed a bunch of other "Just Dance" titles -- there is a "Just Dance: ABBA" in the world, people -- as well as some other Wii dancey games. 

AWESOME! Fidelity to the original MJ video, plus the original track -- what's not to like?

ANNOYING! Too much talkie-talkie; bad sound mixing.

Is this what all workout videos are gonna be like in the very near future? Is CGI cheaper or more watchable than a flesh-n-blood, hard-bodied instructor? Does a cartoon presenter make it easier for viewers to concentrate on their own progress, rather than comparing themselves to a real-life hottie? And what about the whole opt-out thing? I mean, you can opt out of a regular exercise video anytime, but if a workout is packaged as an entire experience with a set length, aren't you more likely to try and finish it? If it's up to you, the pupil, to keep selecting short routines, one after the other, will you actually keep pushing yourself to go harder and longer?

So many questions. This is a whole fitness frontier to which I hadn't given much credence. That will have to change, won't it?

In the meantime, I'm gonna practice this: GOBS. O. FUN.

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