[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Ubisoft Montreal” publishers=”Ubisoft” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”November 8, 2011″]
Fitness games became popular with the Wii and of course with the release of the Kinect, we all had a slew of ports and less than well done originals come our way on the Xbox 360. The 2011 edition of Your Shape Fitness Evolved was one of the top fitness titles but lacked enough content to keep us all content. Ubisoft, not content with our lack of contentment or the lack of content, has published and developed an updated version of the game appropriately called Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. Does this years title bring the content or sow the fields with the seeds of our discontent?
Your Shape 2012 is loaded with content. The main menu is split into 4 sections based on the player’s profile and the 3 different types of content; Activities, Workouts, & Classes. Activities include one off things like mini games, running, warm ups, & jump rope. Workouts are sessions that target an area or concept like arms, abs, cardio, & toning. Classes are sessions that tend to follow movements based on the class types that range from Bollywood to Yoga to Cardio Kickboxing. Out of the box there are 8 classes, 9 workouts, and 6 activities. While this might not seem like a lot, inside each piece of content are various difficulties and varieties. There is also DLC and Bonus content available from various sources such as Ubisoft’s UPlay, Xbox Live Marketplace, and various advertising promotions. If a person does the normal 30-60 minutes 3-4 times a week program, there should be enough content to last them until the next game comes out.
In a fitness game, the motion control is important. Without good motion control, either the game is broken or an extremely expensive workout DVD instead of a game. Your Shape seems to pick up the player as long as the player is attempting what is on the screen. The game gives feedback such as lift your knees higher and whatnot to try and correct your movements to perform the exercise correctly. Unfortunately this feedback is not as frequent or accurate as one would like. The infrequency of feedback when doing exercises that require you to lay on your back parallel to the TV will lead the player to look at the TV and improperly do the exercises. Plus this causes one heck of a creak in one’s neck.
If you step out of view of the game, the omnipotent trainer’s voice almost seems to get bi-polar or manic depressive questioning why you left. Sometimes the game doesn’t notice when you step out of frame and just keeps going. Someone was laying on the couch behind me, and they were laying still but somehow burned 70+ calories while I was getting a drink. There is apparently even a boosting method for getting the 150,000 calorie achievement that lets you get away with having a flapping blanket. These inconsistencies in the motion tracking can lead to frustration in the user when they are trying to do the exercises and improper stats when they aren’t trying to do the exercises.
No matter how good a fitness game, DVD, or program is, unless you are motivated to do the work and be consistent then nothing will help get you in and keep you in shape. Your Shape 2012 tries to motivate the player in multiple ways to keep them coming back and losing pounds. The trainer voice says encouraging things which helps create an environment where you feel like you are accomplishing goals. Speaking of accomplishing goals, the game allows the player to set up an objective so there is a goal to be worked towards. The game asks first what your current fitness level ranging from Couch Potato to Olympian. The next thing the game asks is what you want to achieve ranging from build endurance to losing weight to relaxing. The next choice is essentially the degree of the goal you want….i.e. Do you want to lose a lot of weight or just maintain healthy weight? It then tracks your progress and suggests work outs and activities for you to do to meet your goal.
In a trend started with Bungie and the Halo series, every game seems to have some connection to a stats website nowadays. Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 is no different with a site called Your Shape Center. It keeps tracks of all the stats you would expect and allows you to see how your friends are doing in the game too. There are also events, challenges, and goals that can be set up online to further enhance the experience and the community that surrounds it.
Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 could be the best fitness game on the Xbox 360 and Kinect but the experience can be improved. Improved motion tracking and feedback would be huge steps to make this the perfect title.