Would you like some punch to drink? If you’ve been holding out for some sort of Wii Fit arrangement on the Switch then Fitness Boxing delivers a reason to be cheerful.
Best of all, there’s no battery-guzzling Balance Board, wires or array of plastic click-on thingummies to mess about with it. Just two JoyCon controllers (or four if you play with a friend).
More a lifestyle accompaniment than a gaming experience, the intention is clear from the title – this one’s to help you tone up and keep some semblance of fitness. These goals can be accomplished in several ways, from a daily workout that tracks your data (just enter height and weight and your Switch does the BMI thing) to just diving in and selecting from a variety of options.
It all happens – not surprisingly – via the punching and the jabbing and the n’hey. Left and/or right indicators scroll up a bar in rhythm game style, you you punch the air and Fitness Boxing registers either ‘Perfect’, ‘OK’ or ‘Miss’. We did find the rare occasion where we’d have called for an adjudicator if there was one, as hits completely failed to register. The things we do for wireless connectivity.
Want to zero in on your biceps, chest, core, legs, calves or just tune up everything? There are options for those – although we’re not sure how much sway we’d put in them. Then again, it’s probably no less accurate than some of those cowboy and cowgirl trainer types out there who rob the gullible blind (uh, we’re not saying all PTs are bad, just some of them, OK?)
Have a fitness buddy? No problem, as long as you have a second set of JoyCons. You can do the same workouts together, combine to get combo chains or hit up a very simple Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots-styled ring biffo affair (pictured above). This is as close as you get to any sort of game-type mechanic here, unless you count the ability to not only customise your trainer from any of six choices, but also unlock a variety of clothing items for them the further you progress.
Speaking of the trainers, they often tend to be rather robotic and uninspiring. We flipped the audio to Japanese and it was a lot more fun, as you still get English instructions onscreen.
It all takes place to beat-infused accompaniment, with muzak takes on tracks from the likes of Lady Gaga, Carly Rae, Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, One Direction and 5SOS. For those who have no idea who we just mentioned, there are also a handful of throwbacks such as The Buggles, Lipps Inc, T-Rex and, we’re not kidding, The Nolans.
With a minimum of fuss, Fitness Boxing manages to accomplish its aim in an engaging way. As we lean far more towards gaming than gymming, however, we can’t help but wish that Nintendo had popped some form of Punch-Out!! in there somewhere.
Fitness Boxing is available now for Nintendo Switch.