|System: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii|
|Dev: Heavy Iron|
|Release: June 28, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Violent References|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Playing UFC Personal Trainer is painful. If you are looking for a simple workout game that won't push you very far, then you should stick to the mini-game mode on Wii Fit. Even on the "Beginner" setting, I found UFC Personal Trainer to be a very challenging exercise game. And that is one of its best qualities. UFC Personal Trainer makes no bones about the fact that getting in shape is tough business. But if you stick with it, you'll certainly reap the rewards. Just be prepared for a little bit of pain in the meantime.
Though the game does take the form of a fighting-focused UFC exercise system, don't expect to learn your favorite MMA fighters' moves through the game. You'll get a few fighting basics, but you won't become the next Chuck Liddell after a few months. If you're looking to learn advanced grappling moves or want to do more than learn the basics, then you'll be better off with a real UFC personal trainer, as the virtual one just won't get the job done. However, if your goal is to lose a few pounds in a fun way, this game will absolutely accomplish its purpose.
Once you've finished the preliminary setup, you can jump headlong into training. The game advises that you don't play for too long, and I have to agree that between 30 minutes and an hour with UFC: Personal Trainer is probably a good time limit. So what will you do with your workout time? The good news is UFC Personal Trainer gives you plenty of options. The main mode is the workout mode, which allows you to select from a list of specially targeted workouts, or launch into a program for either 30 or 60 days to either build strength or cut weight.
Being the ambitious girl I am, I selected the 30 day workout routine and launched headlong into a series of both aerobic and fighting based exercises. Because I was on the beginner level, the intensity was low, and nothing got more intense than some alternating punches and simple exercises like mountain climbers and leg lifts.
However, even though the exercises were very simple, I found myself working extremely hard at them. The Kinect version of the game uses body tracking to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly, and definitely won't let you slouch. For instance, while I was doing several reps of leg lifts, I started getting a little bit lazy and tried to lift them a bit lower than I had to and pull them down slowly. However, the game was wise to my slacking, and if I didn't do the leg lift exactly as instructed, I wouldn't get credit for the rep. Though we generally expect exercise games to be precise, I think we've all "cheated" at some point. However, UFC Personal Trainer doesn't let you do that, which is definitely a good thing.
Another good thing about UFC Personal Trainer is that there is plenty of variety in the workout routines. There are over 70 different exercises in the Kinect version of the game (the other versions have less due to technical limitations) and even if you do a 60-day program, you're unlikely to get bored with the variety of content in the game. And if you so desire, you can assemble as many exercises as you want into your own custom routine, so you don't get bored with the game's suggested exercise options.