The line-up for the Xbox 360 Kinect‘s November 10th launch just keeps expanding. I was invited to London’s Soho Hotel this week to try out Ubisoft’s new lifestyle Kinect game, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.
First impression: The Kinect camera clearly has some sort of terrible convex mirror effect.
Nope. The camera is fine, more’s the pity. On with the game!
Fitness Evolved has a number of modes as follows:
- A series of traditional personal trainer workouts tailored to the areas you want to work
- Mini games like target practice and overhead balancing boards
- Fitness classes, including Tai Chi-like movement exercises and boxing.
I tried out all three modes and let me tell you, this game really works the muscles. Over the past year I’ve tried Wii Fit and EA Sports Fitness a number of times, but the Kinect’s movement detection is a far superior experience.
Where the Wiimote relies on acceleration, I found that it would often miss certain positions if I moved too early or too slowly, whereas Fitness Evolved uses the Kinect camera to track the angle of your joints; having a real-time avatar on the screen gives you perfect feedback and the game will tell you when you’re in the correct position.
It’s polite, too – if you step too far forwards you’ll be prompted to move back. Taking a step backwards will reward you with a “Thank-you” speech bubble. Such a simple idea makes your workout experience far more pleasant.
The mini games are entertaining enough that you’re not thinking about exercise. That’s exactly what I look for in a fitness game. One of the best mini games involved holding a virtual board above your head and using it catch blocks as they fell. Stacking the blocks highs wins you more points and in the excitement of trying not to lose your blocks, it’s easy to forget how hard you’re working those deltoids.
Most amusingly, there’s an option to skin your avatar using the Kinect camera input – your little exercising model will have your hair and dress like you. No word on whether this feature will be in the final game, but it’s another nice touch to personalise the experience.
I really enjoyed Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. For anyone battling with the idea that the Kinect motion controller might be frivolous, this title could be the thing that makes it an acceptable family purchase, highly recommended for anyone interested in exercising from the comfort of their living room.
For more information on the Xbox 360 motion controller, be sure to check out our previous Xbox Kinect Preview. Are you looking forward to the release of Kinect? Would you rather get this over a this Christmas?