Review: Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Considering who Microsoft seems to be targeting Kinect with (see spots on Ellen and Oprah, for example), the idea of a fitness game on the platform sounds like an assured success. Ubisoft is one of the first to the market out of the game, with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and it proves one thing: Kinect could probably be successful just as a fitness program peripheral. 

With well-rounded regiments for both male and females, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is not only a nice supplement to your current exercise program, but a great motivator as well. 

Considering who Microsoft seems to be targeting Kinect with (see spots on Ellen and Oprah, for example), the idea of a fitness game on the platform sounds like an assured success. Ubisoft is one of the first to the market out of the game, with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and it proves one thing: Kinect could probably be successful just as a fitness program peripheral. 

With well-rounded regiments for both male and females, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is not only a nice supplement to your current exercise program, but a great motivator as well. {{page_break}}

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release: November 4, 2010
Price: $49.99

While you need a “game console” to use Your Shape, it’s not a game in the traditional sense, and therefore can’t really be judged as such. Sure, the routines on the disc are fun (I particularly enjoyed the cardio-boxing programs) and there are a number of rather enjoyable workout mini-games available, you shouldn’t be buying this to have a good time. You should be buying it to help kick your ass into shape, and if used properly (and aggressively), Ubisoft should have you on the right track to losing a few pound and toning up in no time. 

Depending on your needs, Your Shape has a relatively wide range fitness modes, classes, and programs. They range from cardio to toning, an “arms busting” workout aimed at the fellas, and more. Designed and branded by the folks at Men’s Health and Women’s Health, Your Shape doesn’t break new ground or introduce any exercises you couldn’t get from browsing a magazine or even doing a web search.

What it does do it use the Kinect camera to follow your movements, track your pace, and give you real-time feedback. Because the Kinect camera can take note of your whole body (including both your leg and arm positions), working with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved feels better and more precise than any other fitness “game” I’ve played. 

Ubisoft has also done an incredible job creating a beautiful, polished title that’s easy on the eyes. With bright colors and an simple to navigate menu, you might get tired working out, but you won’t be exhausted keeping up with the on-screen action. 

It should be noted that, even more than something like Wii Fit, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved requires at the very least six feet. While this is the standard for almost all things Kinect, it’s also truly and completely the minimum — you’re really pushing it by just having six feet to work with. Other games are a bit more forgiving, but I found that Your Shape demanded more than other titles. There are a number of exercises and mini-games that straight up require quite a bit of space both in front and behind you. The “Light Pace” mini-game, which has you stepping on floor lights in all directions, comes to mind; I had to adjust my entire playing area just to participate in some of the more difficult levels. 

If you have the space and the inclination for getting a decent workout in your living room, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved delivers. With calorie counting and progress tracking tied to the online “Your Shape Center” (and even social networks like Facebook), it’s also a good motivator. It’s not likely that Your Shape will or should replace an actual in-the-gym routine, but it’s a great supplement and a step in the right direction for the more sedentary gamers among us.

Score: 8 

Nick Chester