Once you purchase a XaviX Console, you need to buy games for it. The first game I tried out was Jackie Chan Studio Fitness: J-Mat. This one really seemed to have the potential for high intensity exercise. It was a lot of fun. I was able to get my heart rate high enough for it to be high intensity exercise. The J-Mat consists of a wired mat that connects to the Xavix console, handweights and a game cartridge. The J-Mat is wide, white and has four spots to step. The cost is $89.99 at the XaviX Webstore.
The cool things about the J-Mat:
You can set the intensity: The exercise program has enough intensity for it to be a high intensity workout, but can be reduced for beginners. I checked my heart rate monitor in the middle of things and it was well above the 128 bpm I need to get me into the high intensity range.
Hand weights: The game comes with hand weights to work your arms. I tried to do the hand movements to follow along with what Jackie was doing, but that was really hard for me. Iâ€™m sure I would be able to do it with some practice, but for now, that was more coordination than I have.
The Jackie Chan Action Game is fun: You run down the street, dodge things in your way and jump over barriers. Ninjas come at you and you need to step on them to get them to disappear. Itâ€™s not very realistic because the Jackie doesnâ€™t run faster when you jump faster on the mat, but it got my heart rate higher than when I was playing in the Fitness Mode. I really wanted to beat up those ninjas.
- It can be played by different people: You can log in yourself, input your weight, sex and other important information. It will track your exercise and calorie expenditure separately from anyone else who logs in. The Xavix that they had on display had profiles for over five people, so your entire family can track their progress and high scores.
The limitations of the J-Mat:
No stretching to prevent soreness: Just like DDR, the primary exercise is stepping, which works your calf muscles intensely, but the cool down doesnâ€™t stretch that muscle, it just has you stepping a little slower to cool down. Unless you stretch your calf muscles on your own, youâ€™ll end up really sore.
You have to play barefoot: To prevent the mat from breaking, you really should play it without shoes, but that can be hard on your feet.
Wide stance: The shape of the J-Mat has you stretching your legs out to reach the two furthest pads. Iâ€™m pretty short, so reaching that far was a little difficult for me. I think it would be just as hard for kids to reach. Without a wide stance, some of the moves are a little difficult.
The J-Mat is white and will get grimy after a while: These mats were all still very clean after two days of continuous play, but if they are anything like my DDR dance pads, they will get grimy very quickly.
On the whole, the J-Mat seemed like a lot of fun. I was able to get my heart range high enough for it to be a workout and I enjoyed playing the game. There was enough variation that it would take a while to get bored of the game. I especially liked fighting the ninjas.