Gold's Gym Cardio Workout is primarily a boxing training game. There are some warmup workouts, but the game focuses on training to box. If you love boxing, then you'll be set. If you're not a fan of boxing, then it makes sense that this probably isn't the cardio system for you.
You really want to have two controllers to use this - not just a controller and a nunchuck. The controllers are what sense your hand motion, and there's a lot of activity that involves right jab, left hook, right uppercut, and so on. You want to be able to have both hands holding a controller to have those registering properly.
The game's graphics are not up to modern Wii standards, so that's something you'll have to be OK with. With this being a fitness game, I don't hold it to as high a standard as an immersive world-exploring RPG game. They do have a few places you can work out in, and I love the wood-floored dojo type area by a forest.
While the game says it uses a balance board, really that's just for a few exercises. So you use that for doing push-ups for example, and for doing leg lifts. It's absolutely fine not to have a balance board since all the boxing is done just standing on the floor.
This is definitely a good workout. You're moving back and forth constantly, "bouncing" on your feet, and your arms feel it after a short while of quick punching.
The voice of your trainer can be repetitive, and the "music" is all tinny electronic music, so neither of those are a win in my mind. With so many excellent games out there with motivational music and great voice acting, they didn't hit the mark here. It's one of those things where it might be fine for a week or two - but after months it can start to wear on you.
Of course, it's easy enough to hit MUTE and put on your own music on your iPod :).
I have probably every fitness game that's out on the Wii and absolutely I think the system is great for staying in shape. I love dancing with Just Dance 3, for example. So what it comes down to in the end is which game connects with activity YOU like to do. If you adore dancing and hate boxing, this probably isn't a good match. If you hate dancing and adore boxing, then this is probably just right! In my case I enjoy both, so I go back and forth depending on what mood I'm in. Both give me a workout that gets my heart pumping, and both engage me in different ways.
I'll give this 4/5 stars. I really think they could have done MUCH better on the visuals, the voices, and the music, especially given Ubisoft's team of programmers and resources. And I think they could have incorporated some matches and other functionality, vs having it just be training.
I purchased this game with my own funds in order to do this review.
Buy Gold's Gym Cardio Workout from Amazon.com