Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 4/12/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Nintendo seems to be going down a fitness route at the moment. With Ring Fit Adventure, the original Fitness Boxing and that free Jump Rope game, the Nintendo Switch seems to be the best choice for those looking to get fit. With Ring Fit Adventure currently the fitness game to beat, Nintendo has added to this pedigree with Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise.
The exercises in Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise are vastly different from those offered in Ring Fit Adventure. Ask anyone who’s played Ring Fit, and you’ll be told how a simple session leaves your muscles wishing you were dead. Anyway, the same can be said about Fitness Boxing 2, but is it as fun and engaging as Ring Fit? Well, come with me as I find out…
Jab & Straight
For anyone who’s played the original Fitness Boxing, there isn’t much here that’s different. To me, Fitness Boxing 2 feels how Wii Fit Plus did to Wii Fit. There are some variations in exercises on offer, but the core gameplay is the same. You’d be right if you think of Fitness Boxing 2 as an add-on rather than a sequel.
The only real addition I can see is apart from a couple of different Instructors, new songs and a fancy-looking User Interface is the wealth of new accessibility options. These improved options allow you to tweak the game to your liking. If you’re of limited mobility Fitness Boxing 2 allows you to substitute the moves you can not. Inclusion is a massive thing for video games, so seeing Nintendo include this is quite a big thing.
Each exercise has a score tally that lets you know how well you’re doing. It’s very much similar to that seen in other rhythm games where timing is everything. Hit a few well times punches fills up a gauge which activates a multiplier when full. This then fills the screen with colour, and you then earn double points. It looks pretty, and the vibrant colours do a great job in hyping you up, but it’s just window dressing. If Fitness Boxing wasn’t being marketed as a “fitness” game, I’d be all up for flashy screens and combo multipliers. But it is a fitness game, so does it benefit from having these options?
Burn Those Calories
As someone who’s currently calorie counting I can assure you that the calorie count in Fitness Boxing 2 is way off the mark. The game was routinely telling me that I was burning between 10-18 calories, whilst my FitBit was saying I was burning more 5-8 instead. It’s a bit disheartening when you think that you are doing well but in reality your not. However, at the end of the day the Nintendo Switch isn’t a dedicated fitness device so do we expect it to be accurate?
Each exercise also comes with various difficulties for you to select. These settings don’t change the sessions apart from making them longer. There’s no increase in intensity or variation. It’s just a longer version of whatever exercise you had chosen. If you could make these sessions faster and more intense, that would be brilliant, and it would make a far better experience but sadly you can’t.
As with the original, Fitness Boxing 2 uses motion controls to measure your movement. I say movement because the Switch has no way of knowing if you’re making these moves or not. It’s not particularly accurate either. Performing straights and jabs are generally fine. But once ducking, weaving, and uppercuts are introduced, it gets a little messy.
More surprisingly, Fitness Boxing 2 also has an odd performance issue. With the core gameplay being to punch various actions as they scroll up the screen. It’s incredibly noticeable when these slow down. It’s certainly more noticeable if you’re in the rhythm of the accompanying song to feel out of tune. Whilst it isn’t necessarily game-breaking it is certainly annoying.
An Instructor Calls
Very much like the original, we have several Instructors to choose from for our sessions. The original six instructors are all here alongside three new members of the team. The three newbies all fit into a weird fitness stereotype, and we have Karen, Hiro, and Janice. Karen is by far the friendlier of these three. Where Hiro feels like a failed J-Pop star and Janice is frankly too enthusiastic for her. Each instructor also has a set of alternative attire for you to unlock. This has been made more simplistic this time around and a lot less time-consuming. Who wouldn’t want to throw 198,000 punches to unlock a new top?
The game also has a host of achievements to unlock via performing certain routines or reaching certain milestones. These achievements then reward us with a set of orange tickets that we can use to unlock the new clothing for our instructors. Whilst this means that you still have to unlock more clothing over time, you are given a healthy balance of tickets to start with. You know if customising pointless characters is your thing!?
The music selection is a bit hit and miss. You have 20 tracks to choose from which range from several years. Whilst more modern-ish hits such as; Hot N Cold by Katy Perry and Alone by Marshmallow are included. We also get some older songs such as; Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind & Fire, and everyone’s favourite Cyndi Lauper song – no, not The Goodies theme – Girls Just Want to Have Fun! Whilst only including 20 tracks does knock the variation a little, what tracks we do have are already a decisive bunch so more would have probably added to the weirdness. A special mention goes out to Sandstorm by Darude which is also included in case you fancy streaming to Twitch ;).
Did I mention that the songs are also chip-tune covers? Why? I’ve got no idea, but it’s hilarious and feels like a nostalgia trip into the late 90’s early 00’s Internet whilst using an old AOL trial disc.
Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise isn’t going to win any rewards. However, it is a fun, energetic game that will get you up off the sofa and bouncing about. The new Instructors and achievements are a worthy addition, but the same issues still plague the game as its predecessor. With a disappointing selection of music available, this one is going to tire quickly. Whilst Ring Fit Adventure is still the one to beat; Fitness Boxing 2 offers a cheaper alternative.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise on the Nintendo eShop by clicking here.