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Exercise games

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E3: Wii Fit U and Holmes' best Lara Croft impression


Jun 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Rest assured, dear reader, that Lara Croft isn't the only one grunting and moaning at E3 this year. Jonathan Holmes got his hands (bum?) on Wii Fit U at the Nintendo booth and made a variety of interesting sounds as he worke...
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E3: Nintendo announces Wii Fit U


Jun 05
// Brett Zeidler
Reggie Fils-Aime announced Wii Fit U at Nintendo's E3 press conference today. The best part is he introduced it by acknowledging the classic Reggie meme saying, "Five years ago, my body was ready." Amazing. It wasn't clear if...
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E3: Nike + Kinect Training for great fitness


Jun 04
// Victoria Medina
Here's something new for all of you health-conscious Kinect owners. Coming this holiday season, Nike and Microsoft are teaming up to present Nike + Kinect Training. This new title will not just bring you an interactive and pe...
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Study: Wii doesn't make fat kids not fat


Feb 27
// Liam Fisher
Nintendo's Wii and the motion control trend that followed gave seemed like the game industry's answer to inactive youth. As games have grown in popularity, kids have spent less and less time outside and, logically, "active" g...
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Get hype: Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 out next week


Nov 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Are you ready to take your workout to a whole new level? Well then, stop going to that useless gym. Get off that bicycle, and for God's sake, quit walking that corgi. You've got videogames to play! And now the game you've be...
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Zumba Fitness 2: Get sweaty in front of your TV


Nov 02
// Fraser Brown
Today I have been reminded that some people actually go out of their way to move around, even when playing videogames. If that's your cup of tea, then perhaps Zumba Fitness 2 will be right up your street. Apparently Zumba is...

Working out with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012

Oct 01 // Lori Navarro
[embed]212379:41092[/embed] Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 (Xbox 360)Developer: UbisoftPublisher: Ubisoft MontrealRelease: November 2011  Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 is the second title in a series made especially for the Kinect. While I am not too familiar with genre of exercise games as a whole, this seems like a game to seriously consider if you wake up one day repulsed by your own body image. Of course, being a Kinect game, it is more attuned to your movements than the Wii ever was. It can even tell if you are not doing your sit-ups right. After all, why play an exercise game if you’re gonna be lazy. This is because it’s motion tracking technology is different this time around, said Nicola Godin, one of the game designers for Your Shape. He explains to us that instead of using skeletal tracking like in other games, it zeroes in on the user’s head in relation to the rest of his body. This enables the system to detect more precise movements even when you’re lying down. One thing I liked about it is the variety of options to choose from. There are the more conventional forms of exercise available. I was (reluctantly) able to try the jump rope simulation for a full two minutes. It requires you to time your pace and footwork as shown on the screen, moving at faster speeds or switching positions as necessary. Another mode that appealed to me is the bootcamp feature seemingly drawn from the weight loss format of The Biggest Loser. Your avatar is transported to a literal boot camp where your commanding officer shouts at you to work harder. While pushing yourself to your limit, you are bombarded by the sight of exploding barrels and even a helicopter landing on the screen -- as if your push-ups had somehow caused World War III. This over-the-topness shows that this an exercise game that doesn’t take itself or its theme too seriously. Aside from being able to choose your workout, you can also choose the level of difficulty for your workouts for the day -- whether at the moment you’re feeling like a couch-potato or if you want to go a bit more extreme. Similarly, you can choose whether you’re playing to lose weight, relax, do cardio, build your muscles, etc.   Finally, it introduces features to track your progress and keep you motivated to exercise. It has a “my objectives” section to review your exercise goals and a calendar to show your playing history. The point system in this game is basically the number of calories you lose while exercising. Accordingly, you can unlock achievements for losing calories, accessing content or spending time to work out.  Ultimately, Your Shape: Evolved 2012 seems to be a more intuitive exercise game that thinks forward in terms of design and how people can customize their workout.
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Exercise games tend to forget that they are supposed to be just that: Games. On the other hand, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 promises to strike the balance between burning calories and being entertaining at the same time.

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Get your dance on with these new Zumba Fitness 2 screens


Sep 16
// Harry Monogenis
Zumbu Fitness 2 has just had its official box cover revealed and released showing a woman facing the opposite direction from that of the first game. Also, more screenshots! Thankfully, these new Zumbu Fitness 2 scre...
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Zumba Fitness 2 screens contain bizarre looking hand


Aug 11
// Brett Zeidler
New screens for Zumba Fitness 2 were released today, and if the sales of the first game are any indication, there is a good chance that a few of you out there are clamoring to get your dance on again. Now, the screenshots the...
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THQ's newly announced game is not really a game


Jul 25
// Victoria Medina
THQ has announced that they have something new in the works, though there will be no crazy, silly, mayhem in Deepak Chopra's Leela which will release November 8. In fact, Leela (not the purple haired, one eyed, martial arts m...
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E3: Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 coming in 2011


Jun 06
// Jonathan Holmes
I'm currently watching the Ubisoft E3 press conference, and ever since Mr Caffine showed up, it's turned into some sort of mind bending, nightmarish twilight zone. I'm not sure where I am or what I'm doing. That's why I can't...

Hands-on: UFC Personal Trainer for Kinect

May 02 // Tara Long
UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System (Xbox Kinect [Previewed], PlayStation Move, Wii)Developer: Heavy Iron StudiosPublisher: THQTo Be Released: June 2011 Fitness-oriented games have pretty much dominated the Kinect console since its release last year, but the majority seem to have placed more emphasis on entertainment value than actual fitness. THQ’s previous weight loss title, The Biggest Loser, received generally positive reviews but was noted for containing a lot of “fluff” that tied into the television show. UFC Personal Trainer aims to rise above the rest and ultimately become Kinect's most hardcore fitness game. UFC just happens to be a great medium through which to provide this experience, since UFC fighters partake in one of the most rigorous training regimens out there. Although Heavy Iron developed the game, all of the exercises and routines were designed by The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in conjunction with Greg Jackson, Mark DellaGrotte, and Javier Mendez, three leading MMA experts. The workouts in the game were designed to closely mimic those used by actual MMA athletes, so players can expect to do exercises from a wide variety of disciplines including boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and wrestling, to name a few.One aspect that sets this apart from other fitness games is the ability to create a customized workout routine. The developers wanted players of any skill level to be able to play, so in addition to three difficulty settings, you can also adjust your workout time (routines range from about 15 - 45 minutes) and create specific fitness objectives for yourself. Based on your objectives, the game will choose up to 12 from a pool of 71 MMA and NASM-approved exercises to determine which ones are best suited for your goals. If you’re looking for even more of a challenge, the game also supports the use of free weights and weighted wristpads or anklepads. Fans of UFC will undoubtedly recognize several of the faces in this game, as it features appearances from 15 famous UFC fighters. Players choose one of three trainers (Jackson, DellaGrotte, or Mendez) whose job it is to show you how to perform the exercises correctly, encourage and motivate you while you’re doing them, and alert you if you’re doing them incorrectly by showing you the proper method. The game also moves at your pace, so if you find yourself needing to rest mid-exercise, the trainer will temporarily stop until you’re ready to resume, all the while encouraging you to continue. MMA trainer Greg Jackson, who is one of the three trainers you can pick from, actually demoed the game for me. I’ll admit it was somewhat surreal watching the real Greg Jackson receive orders from a 2-dimensional version of himself. I can now safely mark that down as something I never thought I’d see in my life.Anyway, just about everyone who’s tried to lose weight knows that one of the hardest parts is maintaining a regular exercise routine. UFC Personal Trainer knows this, too, so for players who have a hard time keeping up with long-term fitness goals, the game offers a calendar to track your workouts and provide recommendations based on your progress. The game also has a leaderboard, which seems silly but could actually be useful if you have a support group or a friend who is also trying to get in shape. THQ will also be releasing this title for the PlayStation Move and Nintendo Wii, but Kinect users will get a few perks. For one, UFC Personal Trainer will be one of the first Kinect titles to incorporate voice recognition, so players won’t have to mess with annoying Kinect menu navigation. The Kinect version will also boast nine exclusive exercises and appearances from four extra UFC fighters. All in all, I really think the training program in UFC Personal Trainer would be a success for anyone who manages to keep up with it. I’d also encourage women not to shy away based on the name alone, since the exercises are suited for everybody, not just men. My only recommendation would be to use a padded mat - at the very least, a yoga mat - if you’re doing exercises on the floor. Trust me on that one.
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I’m not even going to pretend like I watch UFC. There’s just something about the act of punching a guy’s teeth in and then kneeing him in the face until he chokes on his own blood that leaves me feeling a ...

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After the Kinect came out, I never thought I'd go back to the Wii for my exercise needs until I tried out ExerBeat. The Wii exclusive is fun and the onscreen prompts showing you exactly how to do the moves you need to do are...

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Think Brain Age made for the Kinect when looking at Body and Brain Connection for the Xbox. It's a fair comparison seeing as how Dr. Kawashima is behind this title. The game involves you using both your mind and body in order...

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3DS rewards exercise with Game Coins


Jan 10
// Jim Sterling
If you're a fatty-boom-boom like me, you'll always be looking for things that are almost exercise, but aren't really, so you can pretend you're doing something about your problem while eating another wedding cake ga...
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Your Shape: Fitness Evolved gets new downloadable content


Jan 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
I'm all about exercising and staying healthy. I kind of slacked off in 2010 but was going to make up for it starting this year. The first three days of my training was going great. That is until I hurt my knee running the ot...
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Your Shape Fitness Evolved getting downloadable workouts


Nov 24
// Nick Chester
Kinect might be the hottest thing this holiday when it comes to new ways to get folks into shape, and Ubisoft got on the train early with its launch title, Your Shape Fitness Evolved. Now it has announced that it will be rele...
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Your Shape: Fitness Evolved has cool online features


Oct 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ubisoft sent over this video showing online features in the upcoming Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, one of the more interesting titles coming for Microsoft's Kinect motion control system. The game will have a website that trac...
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Ubisoft holding a Your Shape: Fitness Evolved contest


Oct 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Ubisoft is holding a Your Shape: Fitness Evolved competition where a few lucky folks will get to win a trip to San Francisco and workout for two days straight! Wait, what?! Don't dismiss the idea of this contest right away a...
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Mel B will always be Scary to me, watch her PS Move game


Sep 28
// Conrad Zimmerman
Best known as the aggressive, in-your-face Scary Spice of The Spice Girls, Mel B has a new fitness game coming to the PlayStation Move. In the above trailer, you can see some of the title's features which include puttin...
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Billy's Boot Camp: Wii de Enjoy Diet! will work your ass


Sep 21
// Jonathan Holmes
Billy Blanks is getting a fitness game in Japan. Believe it or not, this makes sense. Just like my old friend and fellow gigantic African American man Bob Sapp, Billy Blanks is hugely popular in Japan. For a country with a r...
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Ubisoft partners with health mags for Kinect Your Shape


Sep 13
// Nick Chester
As if there was any doubt that Ubisoft's Your Shape: Fitness Evolved was going to take your health to the next level, the publisher has announced a partnership with Men's Health and Women's Health for the title. Both of those...
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Spice Girl Mel B wants to get you fit with PS Move


Sep 10
// Nick Chester
Have you guys seen how fit Spice Girl Mel B is? She is like, really, really fit. Someone who isn't fit can't do a kick like that; trust me, I tried to make Jim do one and he fell right on his ass. But Mel B wants to share her...
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DanceDanceRevolution to make PlayStation 3 debut


Aug 12
// Nick Chester
Limber up, dancers -- Konami has announced today that DanceDanceRevolution is finally making its debut on the PlayStation 3 this fall. Surely you’ll want to be stomping around on the classic DDR mat, and you can do that...
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Jillian Michaels' next Fitness Ultimatum has a story


Aug 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
I thought that the whole point of an ultimatum was to make a final decision one way or another. It isn't the sort of thing you should have to do several times. And yet, Jillian Michaels is going to repeat this behavior for a ...

Kinect is your personal trainer in EA Sports Active 2

Jul 26 // Samit Sarkar
EA Sports Active 2 (PlayStation 3, Kinect for Xbox 360 [previewed], Wii, iPhone/iPod Touch) Developer: EA Canada Publisher: EA Sports To be released: November 16, 2010 On both PS3 and 360, Active 2 will provide a hands-free experience -- the game will ship with a heart rate monitor that you strap to your left forearm, and that’s it. Why is this significant? It’s a much less clumsy setup: there’s no need to hold the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in your hands or place them in a leg strap. Your movement is much freer, and what’s more, new types of exercises are now available: for example, you can use your own dumbbells, whether they’re five pounds or 25 pounds. Where Kinect’s uniqueness comes in is with its “Total Body Tracking” system: because the camera has the ability to follow your skeleton, it can analyze your exercises and provide feedback. I watched Recio do a few half-hearted leg lifts, and the game quickly pointed out that he need to lift his leg higher if he wanted to get credit for a rep. Lazy folks might have been able to “cheat” the original EA Sports Active on the Wii, but that’s going to be much more difficult when the all-seeing eyes of Kinect are watching your every move. More instant feedback comes from the heart rate monitor; the game displays your pulse on the screen during exercises. But it doesn’t stop there. Active 2 is a data-gathering machine, and it does a wonderful job of analyzing all that information and presenting it to you in an easy-to-understand manner so you can literally track your body’s increasing level of fitness. This is all done on an interactive Web-based hub to which your platform (whether 360, PS3, Wii, or iPhone/iPod Touch) connects seamlessly. Recio completed an exercise, and then moved over to a PC where he had loaded up his Active 2 profile. He refreshed the page, and I noticed that it had been updated to include the 61 calories that he had burned only a minute before on his 360. The hub, I think, is the true brilliance of Active 2. The data provided by the heart rate monitor allows the site to measure your heart rate recovery time, so if you follow your fitness regimen, you’ll see that your heart is getting stronger and more fit -- which will let you move on to longer, higher-intensity exercises. The hub’s social features are another major part of helping you to get fit. You can create “workout groups” and invite your friends into them, because as we all know, there’s nothing that will motivate you more than seeing that a buddy has lost ten pounds in a month while you’ve only managed to drop five. And if you’re a more kind-hearted person, you can send him a friendly message to congratulate him on his achievement, while vowing to match him next month. I saw one potential inadequacy of Kinect: the area of exercises that are performed lying down. Recio got on the floor to do some push-ups, and the in-game model that represented him couldn’t quite decide if he was kneeling or in the proper “up” position to start a push-up. He was eventually able to get the software to recognize his push-ups, and he chalked up the issues to the work-in-progress build of the game. Kinect may or may not be able to handle people sitting down, but since it only has to track movement on a single plane for a push-up -- in which your head, shoulders, arms, and hands are at roughly the same distance from the sensor -- I think the final software will be fine. Active 2 is easily the most high-tech fitness-related concept I’ve ever seen. The exercises are only part of the equation; the software’s data-tracking features are what drive you to stay with your regimen, and that’s vital. Everybody wants quick results; I think people often stop working out because they don’t notice a physical difference when they look in the mirror. But when your regimen is supported by the backbone of data that Active 2 tracks, and you can follow your fitness online so you know that you’re getting healthier (even if you don’t necessarily look better), it seems that it would be much more likely to succeed.
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EA Sports sure lucked out with Microsoft’s rebranding of Project Natal as “Kinect.” It’s a name that aptly describes what EA Sports Active 2, the sequel to EA’s best-selling Wii title, does: it g...

E3 10: First look at EA Sports Active 2

Jun 17 // Dale North
Active 2's biggest advancement is the incision of a wireless sensor system. You'll attach these to your arms and legs, and then equip a heart rate monitor before you begin the exercise program. If you've never tried the Wii version, know that the biggest advantage with this new tech is freedom of movement. Holding a Wii Remote and Nunchuck made large movements cumbersome, and when combined with the elastic stretch bands, things sometimes became quite frustrating. Now, with these band-style sensors, you're free to move and hold weights, with nothing holding you back, or slapping you in the face. These sensors track your movements in exercise, much like the Wii Remote and Nunchuck did in the original games. But the new heart rate monitor is actually doing the most important work, which is checking the effectiveness of the exercises you're doing, and then giving you accurate feedback on how your body is benefiting from them.  A new online fitness tracking hub takes your workout data and stores it "in the cloud," giving you access from a log in, letting you get fit wherever you happen to be. The PS3's online connectivity also adds the ability to download newly added exercise programs, giving you much more usability for your original software cost.  I let the fit people test the game as I watched on and spoke with EA reps. In comparison with my experiences with the Wii games, it looked like the exercises were more responsive. Some of the over 60 exercises I saw also looked to be bit more challenging, though I'm told that there are several difficulty levels as well as programs that will let you target specific body zones and fitness goals.  Ripped Guy was breaking a serious sweat doing curls with real weights, which reminded me of complaints I heard on the first two Wii games. Those that were already physically fit had little interest in holding Wiimotes and stretching elastic bands. Now, with EA Sports Active 2's improvements, they can look at the software as a real fitness tool that can give them structured workouts and useful feedback. I feel like Active 2 is closer to a gym away from the gym than anything else I've seen. EA Sports Active 2 will be released this fall on the PS3 and the Wii, and will also come to the iPhone/iPod in some form. 
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You may have written off EA Sports Active as that Wii game that makes you move your body when you don't want to. It was that, and it still is, but now the series has branched off onto the PS3, and it's bringing along some new...

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E3 10: Majesco's Zumba Fitness is out of control exercise


Jun 15
// Ben Perlee
You know, I'll admit it: some of the most (drunken) fun I have had playing games with friends was with Ubisoft's Just Dance. And after last night, I would have to say that Harmonix's Dance Central for Kinect, after my hands-o...
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E3 10: Lose big (weight) with The Biggest Loser on Kinect


Jun 14
// Josh Tolentino
Hey! You know Kinect for the Xbox 360? That body-waggle thing? It'll launch with something on the order of a bajillion exercise games, and THQ's The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout is one of them. According to the marketing co...
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E3 10: EA Sports Active 2 announced for Kinect, out 11/16


Jun 14
// Samit Sarkar
Ubisoft demoed a Kinect-exclusive exercise game at Microsoft's E3 press briefing, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, earlier today. Not to be outdone, EA Sports has revealed that a Kinect version of EA Sports Active 2, which was pr...

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