Nintendo managed to get the majority of the country moving this year thanks to Ring Fit Adventure, and being stuck at home without the gyms being open gave us instant access to a fun workout. It allowed people to train whilst playing video games, and whether you’re not the fitness guru you wish you could be, using the ring peripheral to exercise gave many of us an opportunity to stay healthy during a difficult time. Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise isn’t in the same league as Ring Fit Adventure, but it does offer plenty of options to help your fitness levels regardless of weight or experience.
Thank God I didn’t have to do a video to go with this review. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to see my sweaty body bouncing around on screen. As much of a painful realisation I had whilst playing showed exactly how unfit I actually am, Fitness Boxing 2 did a great job of helping me to find my rhythm and take part in regular sessions every day. It’s simple in its execution, but it gets the blood pumping, and with various settings to make sure you find the perfect workout, there’re a lot of positives to be found.
The actual act of performing in these workouts is simple enough. Once you’ve attached your Joycons to your wrists and got in the correct position (posture is key), you’re ready to start throwing your punches in time to the beat. Some workouts require you to throw simple straights and jabs, and others need you to connect with an uppercut. Two bars appear on screen, and as the punch icon fills the hitbox, you need to move the relevant hand with the correct punch to earn a Perfect hit.
It’s not particularly difficult to make sure you’re getting perfect hits, but I sometimes had issues with the responsiveness of the punches. I felt I was moving my arm at the right time, but the game had other ideas. There’s a certain knack to each punch, and once you start to play through the different workouts, you’ll start to grasp how each one should be completed. If you’re playing on Expert, expect a flurry of different prompts to be thrown at you, leaving you sweating from every orifice and craving that sweet, sweet oxygen. It’s tough, but the reward of feeling better in yourself is certainly worth it in the end.
Once you’ve gone through the basic tutorial with Janice, your first instructor, you can enter your details to help work out how many calories you’re likely to burn as well as your BMI. Daily Workout lets you complete a workout aimed at different parts of your body, and how intense the training will be. Once you’ve completed it, you’re given your feedback, including an estimated amount of calories burned, and how many punches were thrown successfully. As the days move on, the training becomes more advanced, but you’re never thrown in at the deep end. Free training is more customisable, as you can pick the intensity level and music to listen to (more on that later), and what type of punching you want to incorporate into your training.
You can also switch between different instructors, and unlock new items of clothing to change their appearance by completing different achievements. Whilst girls like Janice and Lin are nice enough, I wanted an instructor with a little more pep and zing. Enter Bernado, a bulky bloke with some killer dreads. There are nine in total, all with their own personalities, so finding one that suits you is much easier now there’s an extended list of trainers to choose from.
The music is so bizarre, both in the types of songs you can choose from, and the way they sound. Due to the fact they are all MIDI versions, everyone would be better suited to your keyboard’s demo playlist from secondary school. They all sound exactly like they should, but none are particularly uplifting or motivational. Then there’s the mix of genres. I imagined myself punching in time to something more motivating than Y.M.C.A. by The Village People and Venus by Bananarama. It’s an eclectic mix, featuring the likes of One Direction, Ariana Grande, Bon Jovi, and Katy Perry, but there isn’t a single one of these tracks I would ever work out to.
Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise does its job in providing a mix of routines to get you up and out of your seat, offering various workouts and personal goals to achieve. The general presentation isn’t anything special, the responsiveness isn’t as tight as I’d hoped, and the music featured does nothing to make me feel motivated whilst training, however, there’s still a solid fitness experience that’ll appeal to a lot of people who need that extra push over the Christmas period.
Welcoming to people of all skill and fitness levels
Rewards you for playing
Responsiveness isn't as tight as it should be
Music is pretty bad
Not much to do outside the Daily Workout and Free Training
Presentation isn't great