Your Shape Fitness is not a cheap attempt to use motion gaming to trick people into thinking they can get into shape. It is the real deal in my honest opinion. The game doesn’t offer a lot in terms of party gaming where you can play with friends and family, but if you are looking to break a sweat and exercise your body without having to leave your home you need to look no further than this $50 title.
The game is very simple to get a grasp on. You answer a bunch of questions about yourself like age and weight then you do preliminary tests like cardio so the game can get a read on the shape you are in. After that you choose what you would like to gain from the workouts like building muscle, toning, losing weight, et cetera and they give you workouts according to that.
Then the rest of the game you are given a very brief tutorial of the workout moves you will be doing and then you will do a full workout with various manuevars while you follow your own trainer who gives you tips and scores based on how well you performed and what you are doing wrong.
I would like to say that I am in pretty good shape. I stay active, I am 20 years old, and I am 6ft and 180 lbs. Yet I felt like death after the workouts. I mean I was dripping with sweat and could already feel my muscles getting sore. I was craving my couch after awhile so I can just sit down and play some Halo but I felt like I really achieved something from playing.
There was one problem I kept having though and that was with a lunge workout where I placed my hands on my hips and then with my legs separated I needed to push my weight to one knee and bend it down. I could not get the game to register me as doing it correctly over 80% of the time. There were times where I had the workout and I was trying to do it and my best attempts to do all of them correctly would only result in a 57% at the highest. It could have been that my Kinect is placed about 8 to 10 inches above my television and it couldn’t pick up my legs correctly but I can’t say for certain.
You can see in the video below what I am talking about around the 1 minute mark and you can also me doing a handful of workouts. Also completely non-game related you also get to see my freshly shaved mohawk.
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Now the game is not all exercising, pain, and sweat. You have to remember the Kinect is supposed to appeal to gamers and party gaming so Ubisoft added in a mode that allows up to 4 players to enjoy Your Shape’s gameplay into fun party games. Now the quantity isn’t very large but like I said this is not supposed to be a typical Kinect party game. It is meant to be an alternative to the gym that you can really enjoy. These games are more of a bonus then anything and other than one of the games that I played all of them work just as good as the workouts themselves.
You do exactly what you think you should do. You start whipping your waist around in a clockwise or counter clockwise rotation (whatever you prefer). Then you can raise your arms when prompted and throw another hoop around your waist. Offering you more points but forcing you to spin faster and faster. At the hardest difficulty you can even be asked to put small hoops around your arms and spin them also like you are a one man Cirque Du Soleil.
The game works perfectly and it was a little creepy how well the rotation of the hoop matches the location of your body. Don’t take my word for it though you can see it in action here. My girlfriend kicked ass in this game and got me a high score achievement but unfortunately she is not dressed hotter so I am sorry you have to watch her in pajama pants and an ugly tye-dye shirt.
This game is pretty fun but I wish there was more to it. You have 6 clear blocks in front of you that change a color when you have to hit them. To hit them you must use the opposite limb its in front of. So when a block turns green in front of your right arm you need to do a cross punch with your left arm and vice versa. The same goes for two blocks they place at your knees where you must do a crossing knee hit into it.
On the hardest difficulty you also must duck under a swinging pendulum from time to time but it is not as intense as you would think and I think they could have afforded to make it a little harder.
This game seemed simple enough a ring is placed around your feet that is broken into segments that light up and then you step on them. As I said about the lunge workouts earlier where it might have been screwing up because of my Kinect placement I also had a lot of problems with this game. It wasn’t placing the circle correctly under me which is easier to show then explain hence the video below. So because of the placement when the floor in front of me lit up I had a hard time hitting it and I would end up hitting the floor behind me like crazy when I was resetting my feet. Now this video is of my girlfriend again and you can tell that it is responding quite well for her but you can see slight problems with stepping forward and backwards.
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For her they seemed to be very little but when I tried I was swinging my leg forward and picking it up to try and get it to register. I am working with about 8 1/2 feet from my TV and the camera is higher so I think the angle down on the floor may have affected it negatively because you can tell that side to side it was picking it up perfect.
This was my favorite game probably because after all that working out this was the least exhausting and it was a fun use of the Kinect technology. The camera attaches a long board to your hands and you have to catch a variety of blocks and balance them as high as you can before dumping them into an open floor panel on the left or right (whichever is open). You can raise or lower it to make the blocks come faster or slower and on harder difficulties some blocks come down on fire forcing you to lift your knee up to have fire extinguisher take care of the flames. I found it funny because it had a strange relation of a dog lifting its leg to pee…because I am mature.
This is the most responsive and smooth interface I have tried on the Kinect without a doubt. Also it is easily the most precise with the game showing off how they track one million points on your body rather than the typical 16-joint tracking like other Kinect games. This is pretty obvious judging on the videos, seeing as I am in the game rather than a character and although not in the videos I found it remarkable how well it kept you on camera. At one point I was exaggerating how tired I was and hit the ground and just laid there dead with no movement and it had me perfectly rendered on the floor with my dog licking my face.
The design is peaceful and smooth and I didn’t struggle like I did with other games to move my hand over a button to get to another part of the game. That is how smooth it works and I hope other developers working hard on Kinect titles, take notes from this game to keep perfecting the flow of Kinect menu browsing.
Like I just said the game tracks you rather than an avatar or character so there is no graphic work there. The way it generated you allowed you to change the color of your body shape to a variety but I went with having it generate me in real color and I was impressed with what I seen.
Other than that the graphics are fine you won’t hate them or get mad because it looks like the developer cut corners it is just very basic yet pretty game to look at and play.
Ubisoft put a little more focus on music in this game by making the workouts go with a beat that you could also help to follow along with the trainer seeing as that was part of doing the workout correctly also. I can’t really describe how it sounded but it was like peaceful ambient noises with bass and I felt that it did help at times.
You also received helpful tips when you were doing something incorrect or when you could be doing it better. I appreciated this because it wasn’t done like other games where they jump on the first mistake and keep repeating but rather it would tell me it after I was doing it wrong 3-4 times and still wasn’t improving it which was nicer than you would imagine.
Realistically for people who buy this game to exercise they have almost infinite replay value. I did three full workouts and played easy, medium, and hard mode of every mini-game. Burning off a total of 387 calories and then I found out that there is an achievement for hitting career marks of calories burnt. The highest being 10,000 and I just laughed and cried a little knowing that I will not do that unless I know a zombie apocalypse is coming and I need to be in top shape to survive.
You can also sign up on YourShapeCenter.com and connect your account and track your progress and stats. Plus they randomize every workout for you so they will never be exactly the same.
Now to end this review of the game and exactly how I ended my workout I did it with a mode they called Zen. In the end I learned something very important about this game and that is I would be awesome at Yoga.