The sequel to Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is here. That was a great title; 2012 is even better. While traditional games are still floundering around trying to think of a good way to use the Kinect, fitness ‘games’ like this one have taken full advantage of its features.
If you played the original Your Shape: FE, 2012 still has plenty to offer you. If you haven’t played the original, you’re not missing out on much by going straight to this one. While it is technically a sequel, 2012 features many of the exercises and activities from its predecessor. Don’t let that deter you, however, as 2012 includes many, many new activities. The game interface itself has also been vastly improved, letting you see at a glance just what exercises are available. In fact, the menus are now a dream to navigate, with improved Kinect controls.
The game tracks all your progress (and calories burned) and awards badges and medals for completing various milestones. If you would like a bit more direction, you can set an objective for yourself and the game will, based on your fitness level (e.g. couch potato), recommend what exercises you should do to achieve these goals, as well as a recommended schedule. For example, it might recommend 30 minute sessions, 3 times a week over 4 weeks. All you have to do is choose from the recommended activities and it will keep track of all your progress. You can also do other activities, they just won’t count towards your current goal.
The game features a number of different modes. There are activities, which are kind of mini-games that come in increasing levels of difficulty and test things like balance or speed. This can be anything from smashing blocks on the screen to jumping rope. Some of these mini-games can be played by up to 4 people, and the game will keep track of each of their scores, announcing a winner at the end. Note only one person plays a time, probably to stop you from injuring your friends. There are also warm up activities to get you started, as well as the Run the World set of activities, in which you jog through a virtual representation of a real-world city, and the game points out various landmarks to distract you from the BURNING PAIN.
Next up are the body focus workouts. These workouts, as the name suggests, are broken up into the different areas of the body, from arms to abs, to cardio and legs. Whatever you want to work on, there is a workout for you. They all start out basic and get tougher from there, and many even have short ‘introductory’ sessions for you to learn the moves. An exciting new feature (that the game box is quick to point out) is the ability for the game to pick up your movements on the floor. That opens up a whole range of floor based exercises, including push ups and sit ups. And the game does do a pretty darn good job of picking up your ridiculous flailing and telling you how well you’re doing.
Finally, there are the fitness classes. These also span a range of different activities, from African dance and Latin dance, to cardio boxing and yoga. Again, these come in introductory flavours all the way up to fully fledged dance/boxing/yoga sessions. The Zen sessions are a nice way to cool down after an intensive workout and the dance classes let you learn a number of different dance styles, making getting fit more enjoyable. The boot camp instructor is quite frankly terrifying, as are the explosions that seem to be happening in the camp!
Another nice feature is the Your Shape website, where you can link up your Xbox Live account and track your progress with friends, as well as pick up your progress if you played the previous game, increasing your total calories burned and so on. There are also a few uPlay rewards already available, including a few extra classes to add to your game.
Of course, merely buying the game does not guarantee fitness or weight loss (neither does signing up at the gym), but like the gym contract, if you actually make use of the facilities available to you in this game, you will start to feel the difference. Certainly, if you are anything like me, you will feel the difference the very next day after your first session – when you are too stiff to actually get out of bed.
This game makes excellent use of the Kinect, tracking your body extremely accurately. There may be occasions where you feel a bit frustrated because you’re sure you’re doing the moves correctly and it’s just not picking you up, but overall it does a very good job.
Design and Presentation: 8/10
An attractive game with clean graphics. These vary according to the environment and activity you are doing, as does the music. A soothing Zen garden for your yoga, and a savannah for your African Rhythm dance class. It all looks and sounds very nice, although you might find some of the white backgrounds a bit plain.
It’s cheaper than the gym or a personal trainer, and there are plenty of exercises to choose from (not to mention uPlay rewards and the inevitable DLC). It will be a long time before you get bored!
A great fitness title with plenty of improvements over its predecessor, and lots to offer us couch potatoes who want to get a little more active.
Last Updated: December 14, 2011