Fitness Boxing 2 Review
Continuing Nintendo’s new apparent annual tradition, whereby we see a new exercise focussed game released in the holiday season, Fitness Boxing 2 comes to Nintendo Switch to help fight our inevitable overindulgences.
Similar to its predecessor, Fitness Boxing 2 combines the daily exercise routine of Wii Fit with the action and music of a rhythm game. It’s a simple enough program for anyone to pick up, all the while utilising the Joy Con like an old school Wii game. For the purposes of this review, the game will be reviewed for those unfamiliar with the first game, as this is essentially a carbon copy with basic updates and differences.
As a fitness program, Fitness Boxing 2 never claims to be a sole way to manage health and lose weight, instead acting like a supplementary program intended to run alongside proper diet and other exercise programs. What it does do well though, is cater to a wide range of ability levels, meaning beginners can get just as much out of the program as exercise aficionados.
After strapping the Joy Cons to your wrists (or not, but things get slippery fast), you hold them in a vertical manner where the thumbs are on the L and R buttons. The on-screen instructor then shows you how to stand when punching, gives you the tempo of the song your boxing and dodging to, and then helps you keep the rhythm and offers encouragement throughout the song.
The whole thing is as simple as it sounds. All the variety of straights, hooks and uppercut movements are easily picked up by the Switch. Even fast-paced combos involving different punches are picked up without fail, it is a true testament to the Joy Con’s gyro and accelerometer controls.
Users are encouraged to take on the daily exercise routine to start their day. It’s optional, of course, but it’s fully customisable to accommodate all styles of exercise. There are three levels of routines, ranging from beginner to expert. Then you can choose how long the routine will go for, then there is a choice of what part of the body you need to focus on. Ultimately, if you want to go for leg day, you can choose a 40-minute expert routine that focusses on the legs, if that’s your desire.
Beyond the daily routine, there are free exercises that can be done. Pick a style of boxing, pick a song and away you go. The song list is a who’s who of cheesy hits from the 80’s up to the 2010’s, with the likes of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ and ‘It’s My Life’ by Bon Jovi. All tracks are tinny-sounding MIDI versions, just like the ones you would find on a karaoke disc. It’s a little disappointing, but as your trainer is yelling over the top of the song throughout your workout, it probably makes sense that there’s no vocals on the tracks.
The trainers themselves have a wider variety than in the first. There are nine trainers to choose from, each with their own voice and personality. The initial choice, Janice, feels way too loud and overenthusiastic for an early morning workout. Thankfully, the personalities and voices are varied enough that there should be someone for everyone. You are able to turn the trainers’ voices off and just do the routines yourself, but then you’ve just got the MIDI tracks to listen to.
If the trainer’s clothing is not doing it for you, you are able to play dressups with them, utilising tickets earned through the game’s achievement system. As you progress through the game, completing daily routines and songs, the more clothing options become available. It’s a small addition, but when you’ve got to spend the whole game staring at your chosen trainer, you might as well dress them up to your liking.
Other options include bringing in a second player to box alongside you in Free Training, though we couldn’t try this for the review. As everything else works the same as the first game, I suspect the multiplayer functionality works exactly the same as the first title.
Fitness Boxing 2 is largely the same as the first title. The only real difference is that there are more trainers to choose from and the soundtrack is different. For owners of the first game, this may not be enough, but the option to transfer your exercise and user data from the first game is available nonetheless. For extended workouts, get a pair of gloves as those Joy-Cons will get super sweaty. It is a hugely accessible title that sets out to fill the Wii Fit void and acts as a nice complement to proper diet and exercise routine.
+ Great exercise routines
+ Provides motivation to exercise daily
+ Exercise your whole body
- Music is just plain MIDI tracks
- Not a lot of variety in exercises