Xbox

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved Review

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved LogoYour Shape: Fitness Evolved is a competent fitness title that provides a glimpse at the future of exercise-based gaming and a large amount of varied content. However, this personal trainer software is dragged down somewhat by a substandard presentation and some frustrating motion detection issues.

When starting Your Shape: Fitness Evolved for the first time, the software will ask you to stand on a virtual workout mat so it can begin measuring your body. It calculates your height, the length of your arms and legs, the width of your shoulders and more in order to calibrate the system. Read More…

The software also tailors the menu system to the size of your body, which adjusts dynamically should you move around, or even if you sit down to take a break. The calibration system is futuristic and impressive, though users must enter information such as their sex and weight using a menu system rather than the voice capabilities of the Kinect sensor.

Once you have calibrated the system and created a profile, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved presents you with your workout options. Gym Classes like Virtual Smash and Stack ‘em Up are minigame-style activities that test your reflexes, agility and balance.

Fitness Classes offer both high intensity Cardio Boxing sessions and a relaxing tai chi-Yoga hybrid simply called Zen. Completing classes will unlock higher difficulty levels and longer workout sessions.

The bulk of the content in Your Shape: Fitness Evolved comes by way of the Personal Training menu. After completing a quiz and an initial fitness evaluation, the software will recommend content tailored to the user, including content produced in association with Men‘s Health and Women‘s Health magazines. 

The Calibration Process is Pretty Cool

Users can select from 15 different multi-session programs and the software will highlight which ones are recommended and how long a session will take. Most of the content here is geared towards women, including the Skinny Jeans Workout and a program called Perfect Legs and Butt.

Male-specific content includes the Sleeve Busting Arms workout and the Men’s Health Fat Loss workout. Of course, there are generic unisex programs like sculpting, toning and cardio as well. The software recommends using dumbbells to get the most out of your workouts, an option afforded by Kinect‘s controller-free interface.

In the Personal Training programs you are asked to make your on screen avatar follow along in rhythm with your virtual trainer and are scored on both your timing and movement accuracy.

Though Your Shape: Fitness Evolved tracks your actions consistently and accurately most of the time, in my experience it had trouble detecting me while performing lunges regardless of how well I was doing them or what distance I was standing from my Kinect sensor. In my case as far back as nine feet.

This misdetection can be extremely frustrating during a workout and tough nothing prevented me from completing the exercise, I noticed the software’s calorie counter would slow down and thus not provide a truly accurate statistic.

Attempting to switch users was also an annoyance due to a cumbersome sign-in process, but for the most part I was satisfied with the full-body tracking implemented in Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and it is particularly impressive during Zen classes.

The software has a pleasant, futuristic aesthetic that includes some nice particle effects and touches like flower petals flowing in a breeze, however these flourishes come at the cost of performance. Even at the menu screen, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved struggles to reach 30 fps and slows to a crawl during activities like Virtual Smash.

Stay in Rhythm with the Personal Trainer

The visual fidelity is low as well and there are jagged lines to be found everywhere, despite a lack of detail in character models and workout environments. In short, Your Shape: Fitness EvolvedYour Shape looks and runs like the Wii version of from which it was derived.

Another issue I have with the visual presentation of your shape fitness evolved is the onscreen menu system. The buttons are too small and too close together and scrolling menus are hyper-sensitive.  Almost every time I use the software I inadvertently make a frustrating mis-selection.  It should also be noted that the menus require use of both arms to navigate.

The audio presentation is rather barren aside from the narration of your virtual trainer that guides exercises and workout rhythm. I did not find any subtitle options anywhere, so users who are deaf or hard of hearing may have difficulty using Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.

Users with a UPlay account can track their workout progress or compare stats and issue challenges to friends on the web at Your Shape Center and Ubisoft has promised both iPhone and iPad apps in the future so you can track your progress on the go.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is certainly a passable product and offers a good amount of content, particularly for female users. However, its technical shortcomings and minor, but frustrating motion detection problems prevent it from being a true evolution in exercise-based gaming.

Positives:

+ Lots of content that can be tailored to the user
+ Controller-Free Exercise Allows for Use of Dumbbells


Negatives:

- Frustrating Motion Detection Issues
- Substandard Presentation and Performance
- Menu System is Cumbersome


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Game Forward Score: 3/5

Brian J. Papineau > Game Forward

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Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Kinect for Xbox 360) Quick Facts:

Genre: Health and Fitness
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: November 4, 2010
Price: $49.99
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)