Title : Dance Aerobics
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Human Entertainment
Genre : Music and Fitness
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1989
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $6-$10
Before there was Dance Dance Revolution.....before there was Pump it Up....before Nintendo decided that developing Wii Fit was a good idea and throwing people on to giant plastic boards in an attempt to get them to move around while playing games....there was...
DANCE AEROBICS ON THE NINTENDO POWER PAD!
Oh boy - check out that 80s box art. I wouldn't even know what to think if I found myself walking down a video game aisle at a toy store and seeing this game hanging up there on the shelf. I'd probably think that someone mistakenly put a workout VHS on the wall. But then I'd see the powerpad logo and I would end up just shaking my head in disbelief.
I was never a fan of the powerpad. It seemed gimmicky, and it never worked. Probably because you most likely broke it after the first time you used it by stamping on those circles as hard as you can. Not to mention the flimsy plastic that ripped apart at the edges, exposing all the delicate inner circuitry of this massive, plastic, beast. Hell, you couldn't even fold it up without potentially damaging what was inside. The one I have in my house right now is an absolute disaster, and I'm surprised it registers any commands at all. Still, for some reason, it ends up being a blast to play it. ONLY....AND ONLY when you play with friends.
Because staying at home, alone, playing with a powerpad is just depressing.
DDR however...OH OH OH..I was a pro at that game. Let's just say I dominated the local mall arcade. Paranoia on Expert level? Am I right!? AM I RIGHT!? Hell yeah....good 'ol days. MAX 300! Woooooooooooot! Seriously though, I lost like 15 lbs in high school just by playing DDR. Can't say the same for these powerpad games. But let's see what it has to offer, shall we?
Oooooh! Digital voices and a creepy aerobics instructor to start things off! This is going well already! The game offers three different modes to choose from: Dance Aerobics, Pad Antics, and Aerobic Studios.
Dance Aerobics, is pretty much your normal mode and all you'll be doing is mimicking whatever the Dance instructor is doing on the screen. She apparently bought her own powerpad and brought it to the dance studio so its GAME ON. It's a basic exercise program, where she'll start off the levels by doing easy steps, and stretches where you'll just have to match your feet where she is on the powerpad. Music will play, and she'll start shaking her stuff on the screen and doing all sorts of bizarre digital stretches.
Your powerpad will recognize where you step, so be careful not to step in the wrong spot or you'll make a dreaded mistake. After ten mistakes, the aerobics instructor will say you're a out of shape, and then kick you out her class claiming that she doesn't want to be held liable for your pitiful body to have a heart attack during her lessons.
No really, that happens, so you better work your arse off. Because if you do, you'll be rewarded with even more difficult routines that require you to even use your damn hands! This has turned into a 8-bit twister!
Now we move on to Pad Antics, which is just more of an excuse to find useless things to do with your Powerpad. In "Tune Up" mode, the powerpad (except for the two middle buttons so you can stand on 'em) turns into the piano from the movie BIG, and you can just make up your own music as you smash your hands and feet on the pad. Sounds like fun, right? Well, it's not because the music is horrendous. I think I managed to play a little bit of the Entertainer.
We move on to Mat Melodies which is the closest thing to DDR you can find on the NES. You'll be forced to step in rhythm to the beats of a very simple song. Shameful...I couldn't even beat Mary Had a Little Lamb. I'M A PARANOIA EXPERT, DAMMIT!
Then we have Ditto, which is basically Twister. It forces you to match your hands and feet to the given symbols, and well contort your bodies you never knew possible!
Finally.....we move on to the grand dance class. AEROBIC STUDIOS. This is probably the most legitimate thing to a work out you are going to get on the NES. It's basically set in stages of five, ten, and twenty minute classes that force you to work out until you pass out from exhaustion. I'm a gamer....I'm not paid to work out. How dare you take advantage of the fact that I sit down 90% of the day! I'M NOT AN ATHLETE!
I cant deny it. I enjoyed this game. Maybe it was because it effecitvely used the powerpad in a way it was meant to be used, and it actually felt like the modern fitness games of this day and age. Hell, this game is over 20 years old, and it made me break a sweat! That deserves some sort of credit!
Sure, the Powerpad can be a pain in the arse to use sometimes, especially when the buttons degrade and it wont recognize the fact that you are stomping as hard as you can on one particular button, only to realize that the sensor was knocked out of whack because you were too rough with it. That's right, I'm very destructive when it comes to Powerpads.
And yes, the Aerobics instructor disturbed the hell out of me, but for 1989, these were DAMN good digital voices. She pushed me to the damn limits with phrases like "COME ON", "LETS GO", "FOLLOW ME", and "MY MOTHER CAN DO A BETTER JOB THAN YOU, FAT ARSE!"
In all seriousness, whip out your powerpad, and get your dance on. You may even lose a pound or two in the process.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!