Monday, January 03, 2011

Review - Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Never has a game left me in so much pain. Quite whether you can call Fitness Evolved a game is perhaps a little debatable - but it certainly achieves exactly what it promises on the box. This is one of the better launch titles for Microsoft's Kinect peripheral and truly showcases the potential of the motion capture device. There's very little lag, extremely accurate movement detection and plenty of options, games and exercises to keep you coming back for more.

If you hadn't guessed by now, Fitness Evolved brings exercise to your living room in the form of your very own personal trainer. Boot it up and the camera scrutinizes your body, noting every measurement from your inside leg to your chest size. The back of the box claims to scan and track over 50,000 points on your body... it's a remarkable sight, watching as the virtual you mimics every move and motion. Once the simple calibration is out of the way, it gets far tougher! You can choose between a workout with your personal trainer, gym classes to tone or improve cardio, or a series of mini games.

Whatever you opt for, a calorie counter at the side of the screen constantly reminds you of all your hard work - and it is HARD work. Even the initial fitness test at the start had me aching.
The mini games are a little more light hearted with hula hooping, balancing blocks, toe-tapping and punching multicoloured boxes - but they all prove equally exhausting.

The presentation is spot on; graphics are clear and crisp with calming melodies playing in the background as you imitate your onscreen tutor. Fail to bend your legs correctly or keep your back straight result in a dressing down and you're quickly told to adjust your stance and shape up. Home fitness has come a long way since the days of DVDs starring so-called celebrities.

This is a truly interactive experience that should definitely help you stick to your New Year's resolution of keeping trim or improving your overall fitness. There are already numerous DLC add-ons available through Live, including boxing and toning sessions - and even Bollywood dancing! These can bump up the cost of the package somewhat but what better way to justify the outlay than buying them for the good of your health!?!

Ubisoft has even launched a website where you can monitor your performance and the exertions of your friends. In-game achievements are awarded for completing various tasks in the mini games and for reaching calorie milestones... although I reckon my muscles or heart will give way before I hear that 10,000 calorie achievement pop up on my screen... and all for a measly 50GS! But that's not what Fitness Evolved is about. Never again can critics accuse the gaming fraternity of being a bunch of unhealthy couch potatoes!