|System: X360 (KINECT)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Andrew Groen
I had to take a shower before I sat down to start writing this review. All of the praise in the world â and there will be plenty of it in this review â can't overshadow that one most important complement. Your Shape Fitness Evolved will rock your body...but only if you want it to.
Kinect was seemingly built from the ground up to succeed in a few very select genres. Dancing games have recently become a focal point of the industry since the success of Just Dance on the Wii, and family party games have also been something Kinect has focused on. But the one genre that will make or break Kinect is the workout game. If Kinect can become a hub for great workout experiences, then it will be a huge success and will become a system quite unlike anything we've ever seen in this business. Your Shape Fitness Evolved is a great first step towards that future, and we should all â hardcore and casual gamers alike â be very happy about that fact.
Your Shape isn't perfect by any means, and it has some glaring flaws that we hope future games will correct. But despite its imperfections, it's a fantastic proof-of-concept that reinforces my faith in both Kinect and workout video games at the same time. Many gamers might have passed on the class of workout games available on Wii (mostly because many of them were poorly made) but games like Your Shape on Kinect could very well introduce workout gaming to a whole new group of people.
Your Shape's success begins with its great aesthetic. The whole game takes place on a nearly pure white background with objects and surfaces thrown in where necessary. It's simple, but it's never boring. For instance, during the Zen lessons there are Japanese watercolor paintings in the background and flower petals float from your limbs as you move. In the lessons there is also a decently-rendered trainer character that will guide you through each exercise, and the player's body is also represented on screen. You're not shown in true color though, which many people will appreciate. Instead you're represented by a silhouette of yourself in neon. It almost looks as though you're carved out of jello. This gives you just the right amount of information during your workout. You can see what you're doing without having to stare at yourself and all the reasons you started working out. It can be switched to a true color image of yourself if you want to change it.
The workouts themselves are said to have been developed by several marquis brands in the fitness industry such as Men's Fitness. Whether or not that's actually the case or if it's just brand advertising, I'm not sure. However, the exercises all feel like they were put together professionally. They have that authentic feel your body gets when you're working out with somebody who knows what they're doing. You feel it immediately as you realize one small motion has been specifically designed to engage many different muscles simultaneously.
One of the best aspects of Your Shape â and indeed the reason it's called Your Shape â is the customization that goes into crafting your workout. Just as if you'd just met with your personal trainer for the first time, Your Shape starts you out with some basic exercises. It then rates you based on your first performances. This not only gives the game a feel for your fitness level, but it lets them know how good you are at the game so it can plan accordingly. You'll also be asked about your personal goals (read: why you bought this game). Do you want to shed pounds? Tone your muscles? Or perhaps just feel better and have more energy? Each path has workouts that build towards your personal goal.