[GAMES 10] Your Shape Hands-On Impressions

By on September 22, 2010

We break a sweat with Kinect!

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First Impressions
My reaction is

If you thought that Kinect was only for dancing games, think again. Among the games on show design for Kinect was Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, a title being developed by Ubisoft. Before you roll your eyes at yet another fitness game, this one is about as close as you can get to having your own personal trainer.

Thanks to the controller-free technology of Kinect, Your Shape:Fitness Evolved doesn’t need any strap-on accessories or items to get you into your workout (however this may change once the product is retail-ready). You simply stand in front of your Xbox, and Kinect does the rest – it begins by scanning your body to determine things such as your height, arm length, inner thigh length etc. While the scan may appear to just be a visual gimmick, the game uses the scanned measurements to customize the menu layouts and individual workouts, so that you can comfortable select items and exercises without stretching too far. Rather than try to depict you with an avatar or near-pixel perfection, your body appears on screen as a shaded transparent orange figure, which is mapped one to one with your body movements. This is actually a sensible thing to do, as often you don’t need to care how you’re represented in the game – you just want to have a good workout.

The game is divided into three essential zones: the first one is for working out with an on-screen coach, the second zone is for learning yoga, tai-chi and other relaxing exercises, and third zone features activities that are represented by games, but are actually hidden workouts. The demo was had at GAMES10 only had one playable game from the third zone, which was a brick-breaking game. It was a simple game where bricks would appear on screen, and you had to punch them all out in order to progress through and get a high score. The system instructed me to punch the bricks using my opposite arms, and it was intelligent enough to detect when I was punching with the wrong fist and warn me to switch. While the concept of the game looked like a prehistoric version of Tetris, it was actually based on an actual workout that you would perform with a punching bag or a sparring partner. Even though I wasn’t physically connecting with anything, the game still got my pulse going, and if I had played a few more rounds I would have certainly started to break into a sweat.

Video courtesy @FaisalKhatib

Even though it is too early to properly evaluate Your Shape:Fitness Evolved, from this simple demo it’s clear that the game has been designed to get rid of most of the gimmicks sported by the current line of fitness games. It may be good if the game included an accessory to monitor heart rate, but we only have to wait a few more months to see what, if anything, is going to be bundled with the game. As it stands, Your Shape:Fitness Evolved looks to be a promising title that sets to make the ‘at-home’ workout a more realistic experience.


About

A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

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