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Preview: Zumba Fitness: World Party invites you to get in shape

The next entry in the Zumba series is on its way to consoles with Zumba Fitness: World Party. The game, which is due out for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Wii will feature improved mechanics and a complete visual overhaul. If you've been a fan of these games or just really dig Zumba workouts, World Party definitely looks like a way to get you moving while in the comfort of your own home.

The core idea of past titles remains intact here. The key to succeeding (and getting in shape) is to follow the onscreen dancers and prompts to the best of your ability. It can definitely be daunting at first, especially if you possess absolutely no rhythm. That said, with a bit of practice you can undoubtedly get the hang of it. At the very least, you get a mad workout, which means you could potentially look both silly and sexy at the same time.

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Three factors are taken into account for the scoring system. The first, and most important, is based on whether you're actually moving to the beat. Second, the energy behind your movements plays a major role. Finally, the accuracy of your movements is also a part of the scoring, though this has the least repercussions on your total. So if you're one of the rhythm-less types I mentioned earlier, you should at least try to get the movements right, but know that you won't score horribly if you're not particularly good at first.

World Party includes a number of modes for you to get fit with. World Tour takes you through multiple environments, tasking you with scoring at least three stars out of five to progress. Quick Play is your standard exhibition mode where you can take on one song at a time. Then there's Class Mode, which lets you engage in Zumba in a more structured manner like you would do if you were actually taking a class. You can choose between 20-minute, 45-minute, and 60-minute classes and get the workout you desire by creating playlists.

Past Zumba titles were known for their video gamey representations of professional dancers. With World Party, the series is getting a complete visual overhaul. Actual professional instructors appear on the screen, adding a hint of realism to the experience. Additionally, backgrounds sport a variety of styles from tropical beaches to city landscapes.

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There seven destinations in World Party including Brazil, Los Angeles, and Hawaii among others. A total of 40 songs are included for you to Zumba your ass off to (figuratively speaking, that is, and I suppose literally, too). The Xbox One version will be the most stacked of all content-wise, offering exclusive songs and videos.

Aside from the extra content, World Party on the Xbox One will also utilize the new Kinect system, which is said to be much more accurate. Meanwhile the Xbox 360 will continue to depend on its version of Kinect. As for the Wii U edition, the GamePad will be used for menu controls, to set goals for yourself, and to keep track of your progress (calories burned, number of sessions, and so on). If you stick with the Wii version, you'll receive a belt accessory that holds your Wii Remotes so you can also engage in a hands-free experience. Seriously, it's not technically Zumba if you're just sitting on your couch waving those Wii Remotes around.

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A different number of players can participate depending on your platform of choice. On the Wii U and Wii, up to four players can get together and enjoy their Zumba workouts. Strangely, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One editions only support two players. I suppose that's for the best — it would be a shame if someone who's pretty good at Zumba would miss out on points due to their less-than-stellar pals having absolutely no dance and movement skills whatsoever and confusing the hell out of the Kinect.

While the Xbox One version of World Party is set to release sometime around the console's launch window, the Xbox 360, Wii U, and Wii iterations will all be available beginning October 15.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

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David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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