- Kinect Required
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- ESRB Rating: “E" for Everyone
- Genre: Exercise
- Pros: Fantastic presentation and menus; lots of varied workouts; it works!
- Cons: Doesn't work well with loose clothing; doesn't always track you 100%; poor motivator
The first thing you notice with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is how great the menus and overall presentation are. The game world is very clean and pleasant and inviting. When you first start the game, it measures your body, as well as your reach, and asks you your age, weight, and activity level so it can form a workout routine just for you. Measuring your reach is important because it customizes the menus and in-game activities to actually fit you, which is pretty huge.
The main focus point onscreen is a digital version of you. You can customize it to be as realistic looking or as unrecognizable if you want, but that tall / short / fat / skinny / lanky / stubby character onscreen is you either way. As you move around, your onscreen model accurately moves just like you do. It is very, very cool. Menu options are laid out around your body, and to select them you reach out and "touch" them, and then slightly lower your hand to confirm it. Some menu options even require you to step on them on the floor, which is very neat. It works well overall, and stands alongside Dance Central as the best menu systems on Kinect so far.
There are a few issues, though. First, it doesn't like loose clothing. A t-shirt is fine on top, but shorts are recommended for your legs. Wearing pants results in the game not really registering your legs correctly. Secondly, once you are wearing the right attire, the game doesn't always track you 100% correctly. You'll think you're keeping perfectly in step and in rhythm with your trainer on the screen, but the game disagrees. The fact that the game tries to give you a rating after each exercise seems kind of like a bad idea. People will get discouraged when their rating isn't very good, even if it might be the game's fault for not working correctly. You still get a good workout, even if the game thinks you're doing it wrong, but YSFE is pretty awful at keeping you motivated. My advice - ignore the ratings and just have fun.
The presentation is very good all around. The interface is very clean and bright and inviting, and the menus are easy to use. It is very soothing. The sound is also very subdued, with only light music and occasional words from your trainers.
In the end, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is flawed, but still worth checking out if you hope to use Kinect to help whip you into shape. When it works, it can be phenomenal, but it doesn't always work and track you 100%, which is why you need to ignore the ratings it tries to give you and just focus on having fun instead. And, I have to say, the workouts and activities in the game generally are very fun to do and there is enough variety that it should hold your interest for the long term. Buy it if you're looking for a new videogame workout. Make sure you focus on fun and your own personal goals, and you'll have a good time.