(Kinect) Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
aka The one without Jenny McCarthy
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
Your Shape: Fitness Evolution was – at least to me - the one of the most appealing of the fitness titles available for Microsoft’s new platform when it launched earlier this month. Not that I have something against Zoomba Fitness or The Biggest Loser, but since it was one of few fitness franchises that actually “worked” on the Wii aside of EA Sports Active, it had my attention upfront. So what’s the final call on this Kinect launch “game”?
Okay, I did call Your Shape: Fitness Evolved a game but is it really? I see it more as an interactive fitness program, where players are offered different exercise routines and tasked to improve their lifestyles, no matter if they are incredibly active or barely get off the couch. Thing is, even though Your Shape FE collects additional personal information (age, weight, etc) and uses the Kinect sensor to accurately measure your height and limbs length, the game never gauges your fitness/body flexibility level. There’s a quiz that evaluates your fitness goals and interests and a fitness test that will assess your cardio and muscular endurance to suggest an exercise level...but that’s about it. In fact, the body measurements are needed to calibrate the body-enabled menu and to set up the visual blob-like avatar, which can also be replaced by a more human version of you. That same avatar will be your reference point towards the virtual trainers who will show you how each exercise (found beneath the Fitness mode) needs to be done.
Speaking of the Fitness Mode, that’s where the magic happens. There are three choices: Personal Training, Fitness Classes and Gym Games. Personal Training is made of different exercise routines where players can work along their virtual trainer. Once a routine is selected, stay in the green zone assigned by Kinect and keep your moves in rhythm with the trainer to be successful. Fitness Classes work the same as in Personal Training with the only difference being that the routines are more class-oriented. Zen has Yoga, Tai-Chi and Pilates activities while Cardio Boxing is pretty much self explanatory. Speaking from a coaches’ perspective, I was surprised to see the Zen exercises having their own mode instead of being merged on the Personal Training mode. It is always recommended that light exercises are executed at the end of each high-paced training session for stretching/recuperation purposes. Your Shape doesn’t know anything about this important fitness rule so make sure you do to avoid unpleasant body pains.
The third mode, Gym Games, is comprised of four mini-games that can be played either alone or up to four players. Whether you’ll be stacking up shapes on a human teeter-totter, punching bricks, doing the hula-hoop or matching foot movements, you can forget about the trainers and have fun while burning calories. Games are enjoyable and responsive compared to the exercises in the other modes, but still quickly forgettable.
While the body detection technology presented in Your Shape: FE is one of the best I’ve seen from the launch line-up, it isn’t flawless. The Gym Games and Fitness Classes modes aren’t much affected by the Kinect lag, but it seems to take a hit when spending time in the Personal Training section, which is the main attraction of the experience. I’ve made sure that my Kinect calibration was as perfect as possible and that I always wore the best training outfit (for the review, I’ve used simple basketball shorts and a sleeveless shirt) and there were some exercises that couldn’t be triggered perfectly, especially the high-paced ones sponsored by the Men/Women Health, despite my ability to perform them as indicated. Your Shape: FE makes sure you’re always aware of the number of calories burned while you’re playing and marks which part of the exercise isn’t being performed correctly on the top right corner, but there’s no visual indication on the avatar itself letting you know what needs to be fixed, much like the red body indicators on the Dance Central dancers. Mind you, the body detection failures may sound important but in fact, they’re rather minimal, at least they were for me. And for a Kinect launch title, trust me I’ve definitely seen worse sensor detection from other software. The most disappointing things about Your Shape: FE is the failed online connectivity with the website and the little emphasis on recuperative/stretching exercises. Aside from it, the final product is very interesting.
Plus, it delivers a great number of entertaining and challenging fitness exercises for half the price of what EA Sports Active 2.0 asks for. We’ve just received our review unit and we’ll bring you our thoughts on it soon. However, I’m seeing these two as two different fitness experiences and no matter what Active 2.0 offers, I think there’s room on your gaming shelf for this one.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved won’t replace your professional fitness membership. However, as a well-thought out complement to your sedentary gaming habits, what Ubisoft offers is worth the detour.
+ Graceful presentation
+ Solid body detection technology...
- Online features are broken
- No emphasis on recuperative/stretching exercises
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Release Date : 2010/11/04
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Montreal
Category : Sports
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10