Review

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved Review (Xbox360)

There's no denying that in our time with Kinect over the last few weeks, we've been experiencing more of a workout than our bodies are used to. Dance Central has had us throwing our arms and legs all over the place, while Kinect Sports has definitely kept us moving, albeit always on the spot. Hence, we were intrigued to try out a dedicated fitness game for Kinect and see whether the Xbox can claim the Get Fit crown.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved immediately has the advantage over every past fitness game thanks to the hardware - everything from the interface to the workouts feels far more technically advanced than any Wii offering to date. Yet while Your Shape could easily be used as a complimentary workout to your usual routine, it doesn't feel focussed enough or provide that feeling of accomplishment that most users will be craving.

Following the trainer is so easy thanks to your mirror image displayed on screen

The first thirty minutes with Your Shape are the most impressive. The interface is one of the best we've seen so far for Kinect, displaying a real-time mirror image of yourself stood on a mat. The game proceeds to calculate your height, your arm length, where each specific part of your body is and your reach, and creates a menu system based around your shape. Menu buttons are perfectly positioned so that when you stretch your arm out fully, your hand will be directly in the centre of the button.

It's all very clever indeed, and continues to impress during workouts too. The entire game is based around this menu system, and whenever you enter workouts, the game will simply shift to new locations, but keep the basic layout and interface the same. Everything looks great and so easily to understand, from the calories bar in the bottom corner to your current workout at the top.

Your Shape focuses on three main areas - Personal Training, Fitness Classes and Gym Games. Personal Training is your basic workout, first giving you a trial run to determine what type of routine your should be following, before throwing you into a programme and requiring you take part each day until it is finished. Fitness Classes throw yoga and the likes in for those who are so inclined, while Gym Games provides some silly games that are meant to keep you active while having fun.

During workouts, your mirror image is displayed next to the training, and you are asked to simply copy exactly what the trainer does. This layout is so much better than your usual fitness game, as you can actually see whether you are performing the move correctly or not, and adjust yourself accordingly. It's incredibly satisfying to watch your mirror image sticking to the routine, and actually makes you feel as if you're doing real workout moves, rather than standing in your front room feeling a bit silly.

The way Your Shapes takes measurements is impressive

The game comes with dozens of official workouts provided by real professionals in the field, including routines designed by magazines Men's Health and Women's Health, and the body care franchise Nivea. Once your answered some questions and shown the programme your limitations, it will display every routine available, with 'RECOMMENDED' tags next to each one that it believes would be beneficial for you. For example, we told the programme that we wanted to work on our arm muscles, hence it recommend a three week arm workout.

While the number of options and workouts available is really great, there isn't much in the way of records to show how far you've come. Other than saving how many calories you've burnt all together and averages for how well you've completed each workout, the game doesn't provide detailed analysis of your efforts - hence, after three weeks of working our arms, we were simply told to choose a new routine, and barely given any end results.

Being able to see how far you've come is a huge pull with these sorts of fitness titles, and so to remove that element and simply ask you to work out over and over again without reward really puts a downer on the experience. Since there is nothing to work towards, it's too easy to stop caring and not use the programme anymore.

While the hardware is used to a satisfying level, a number of technical glitches still pop up from time to time. The game is happy to let you know when you're performing a move perfectly, but move just a little off and you'll simply be told that you're not doing it right, with absolutely no indication of how to fix the issue. This will result in your score decreasing - however, if you simply don't care about score (as it actually means nothing at all, and doesn't go towards anything) and continue as you are, you can still get the most out of the programme.

While workouts feel great, the lack of feedback is unfortunate

The problem of lag also occurs now and again, usually on the faster workouts. The game keeps track of whether you are following a routine well via rhythm - you're always asks to move to a beat. During quick movements - for example, punching left and right - your mirror image will be a good half-a-second behind you, and won't be moving properly to the beat, which can be hopelessly confusing, and inevitably put you off. Learning to focus on the music rather than your image can be difficult.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is a great start for Kinect fitness titles and demonstrates that, with just a little more focus and direction, the Xbox will soon be providing the perfect way to get fit in the comfort of your home. Until a more precise programme comes along, Your Shape will do a great job of keeping you active with minimal fuss.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is available now for Xbox 360. You'll need the Kinect hardware to use it.

Top Game Moment: Feeling like it's really making a different after a week or two.

Game advertisements by <a href="http://www.game-advertising-online.com" target="_blank">Game Advertising Online</a> require iframes.

Videos

Comments