Bathing Suit Season Is Coming: Get In Shape With Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012

February 25, 2012

12:00 pm

Who does not remember the video-fitness era from the 1980’s and 90’s? How does one forget Paula Abdul’s cardio mambo dances? I am not sure if they were effective, but they were hilarious.  Luckily – or sadly, not sure which – there has been an evolution and shift to the interactive era.  Now there are plenty of console-based fitness products such as Zumba fitness for Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s Playstation 3 or PC-Fit for Windows.  Overall, quality has not been the best, but they have caught on.

Ubisoft’s “Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012,” which uses Microsoft’s Kinect, is a good example of this evolution. If you are not familiar with Kinect’s technology, take a look at my previous post about it. After playing this game for few days, I am still not getting bored, and as I write this post, I am feeling sore. There is something special about this game – well, it is not really a game but an interactive fitness product, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s call it a game.

Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 provides a wide variety of activities to help you burn some calories. Some activities, such as running around New York, are very entertaining, and yes, you actually have to run. Other activities, such as Bollywood dancing, are quite embarrassing but hilarious. Others, such as hitting blocks, balancing some bouncing balls, shooting a soccer ball and jump rope are pretty fun.

This game also allows players to customize their workouts, track their own progress and share their results with friends. As a plus, this game shows a video-captured improved version of the player right in the screen; something similar to a distorting mirror in a carnival. I am still impressed about how fit I look in the game.

The main problem with this game is players’ expectations. Kinect technology is not perfect; there are accuracy problems, so feedback from the game is not always the best. This game is not a replacement for a personal instructor, nor is it a substitute for a gym even though you need about a 10-by-10 square foot space to work out in. However, compared to existing video fitness products, this game is great. It is also important to keep in mind that the main goal of this game is to provide a fitness program; it is not a party game such as Dance Central or Kinect Sports.

Is it worth buying? Well, that depends on your expectations. If you want something quick and entertaining at home, even though Paula Abdul is not the trainer, yes, it is.

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Salvador Garcia Martinez is currently collaborating as a researcher at the Technoculture, Art, and Games research centre; he is also a doctoral student in Educational Technology at Concordia University in Montreal. He has professional experience as a software developer, web designer, and instructional designer. You can connect with him on linkedIn or his personal website or follow him on Twitter @salgarciam.

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