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Weight loss has always seemed to be a Sisyphean task for me. We have a family history of obesity so darn genetics for giving me the fat gene. And having been obese in my younger years, my fat cells just want to swell up whenever I succeed in getting trim. My constant weight yoyo-ing isn’t good for my liver.

So I’m in my fat phase yet again and looking for ways to get back in shape. I’ve tried so many things but I just can’t quite stick to a routine that requires exercise. Running bores the heck out of me. Doing the same fitness videos over and over again can be monotonous. I tried boxing last year since our local village gym offered boxing but I eventually got tired of having to pack gear every day and paying a monthly fee.

The only thing that ever worked was dieting. Unfortunately, I only get to do it when I’m on hiatus. I can’t seem to think straight when cutting down on calories. I’m doing it slowly but surely this time so even if I only get to have a calorie deficit of just a couple hundred a day, I’d be fine in a year or so.

But I still needed some form of physical activity that I could stick to. Fortunately, the wife got a Nintendo Switch late last year. We just think it’s the best console for good old family fun, great for entertaining guests in our humble abode. The timing has been quite fortuitous since Fitness Boxing – the Switch’s first real exergaming title (unless you count Just Dance’s burn option) – came out shortly afterward and just in time for the resolution bug to kick in.

Since I’m on a huge gaming-based high recently, I decided why not try exergaming and see how things go. Here are my first impressions on the game.

What’s in it

What I appreciate with Fitness Boxing is that it’s designed to be a workout program. You enter data such as your height and weight (for BMI purposes) and your workout goals. You have choices for either strength, cardio, or some targeted workouts. I opted to do the whole shebang of strength + cardio for 45 minutes a day.

Each daily training session is a mix of various. You also have the option to do enable stretching which is done at the start and end of each session. The game randomizes through a series of instrumental pop song tracks to play over your training session.

Each segment is essentially basically a rhythm-based game where you have to execute moves and punches as the cues scroll up the screen. You hold a Joy-Con in each hand and the game detects when you throw a punch at the “right” time. You either register an “perfect,” “okay,” or “miss.”

Each segment start up with basic punches and builds up to do combos. The highest-intensity segment is where you have to string together punches and perform around a minute’s worth of combos on each side.

You switch stances from orthodox and southpaw so that what you do with your right side also gets done with the left. Your score depends on how many makes and misses you register and the number of combos were able to string together. You unlock more exercises, songs, and outfits for the trainers.

What I like

Waifu trainers. Probably the biggest selling point of this title for gamers – the waifu trainers. They are surely a lot nicer to look at than Coach Carlos at my local gym (sorry, kots!) Sure, they can be a bit Siri-esque with the instructions. Probably why I like Laura since she’s got the best voice and accent (IMHO) among the female trainers.

Rewards. And it’s just so gamer geek to have your progress rewarded with outfits for your waifu trainer? There’s also a bit of jiggle physics too so I guess the overly zealous SJWs haven’t gotten around bashing this title just yet. There are a couple of burly husbando options if that’s your thing.

Music tracks. The song selections are upbeat and familiar. There’s Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, and Pitbull.

Symmetry. I like how each exercise segment has you doing the same thing for each side of the body. One of the things I didn’t like with what Coach Carlos had me do is to stick to an orthodox stance. He insisted to always be in the proper fight stance for a right-handed fighter but I guess that’s just his fighter’s approach. I just felt that sticking to it strained one of my knees/legs more every session. Not an issue with the Fitness Boxing’s symmetrical approach.

What I don’t like

Intensity. I don’t find my heart pounding out of my chest even with the high intensity option. I actually find Just Dance routines more vigorous than. Then again, I only unlocked up to Level 3 of the routines/combos so the title might just have something more in store. I also have yet to try out measuring my heart rate to see if the game’s calorie burn estimate is close to accurate. My Polar H7‘s battery cap’s busted so I can’t change the battery. Still have to find time to drill it out.

Motion controls. Nintendo did a really great job with their Joy-Cons. They’re surely a lot more fun than the old Wii nunchucks. However, you have to try the moves out via training to get a sense of how the Joy-Con will register your movements. There’s plenty of times I registered misses just because I moved or punched too quickly.

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I’ve been at it for just a week now since I bought the North American/US release of the game. It’s been fun so far.

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