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Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012

Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012

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Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012
Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012

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Published by: Junior Campos Mastrantonio on Jan 04, 2012
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01/04/2012

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Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 The original Your Shape:Fitness Evolved provided an excellent showcase of what the Kinect was capable of inregards to fitness and exercise. Its motion detection was revolutionary in terms of how wellit detected how well you were performing exercises, and the mini-games it included wereboth tons of fun and moderately good exercise.I'm happy to say that Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012 does push the platform forward, inan evolutionary if not a revolutionary way. Still, it is by far the best "pure workout" gamethat you can get on the Kinect.When you start out the game, you see a blue screen which adjusts the sensor and detectswho you are. You're then brought to a home screen, where you see a stylized cartoon imageof yourself. That's right, there's no need to create an avatar, because you ARE the avatar.This little change was a huge improvement over the first version, where you played as abrightly colored silhouette. It makes a world of difference, because now you can see yourlimbs and your body position much clearer than before and match them against the on-screen trainer. More on that below.The home screen shows a number of different counters: medals won, badges won, andpercent of content you've played through. On the right you can see the total number of calories you've burned playing the game. I do like the fact that there are clear milestonesand targets to aim for, which will keep you coming back to the game. (One question a lot of people have is--did Ubisoft fix the annoying bug from the first version where it'd lose trackof which sessions you've finished in a given routine. The happy answer is yes--now, nomatter what order you do the exercises in the system will keep accurate track of which onesyou've completed).At the main menu, you have a variety of choices which are color-coded into categories. Theblue icons represent your tools. You can keep track of your overall progress, set objectivesand take a fitness quiz so the system can recommend specific workouts for you, or goonline to share your progress with the community. I do like that they made the fitness testoptional in this version, so those who want to can just jump into the exercises.There are three remaining categories: Yellow icons represent "Activities", which are mini-games. Red icons represent "Workouts" which are traditional generic calisthenics andstrength building exercises of the kind you might find at a gym. Finally, purple iconsrepresent "Classes", which are essentially themed Workouts.Under the yellow "Activities", you have the following mini-games:
 
1) Wallbreaker: This is essentially the same game as "Virtual Smash" in last year's version.In it, you have to punch across your body to hit blue blocks that appear next to your virtualcharacter's body. The more blocks you punch accurately and quickly, the higher yourmultiplier will go up and the more a grid behind you will fill up--fill it up completely and it'llcollapse. As you get to higher levels you'll have to kick blocks as well and avoid red blocksand giant anvils swinging at you. Even though this is basically a rehash of last year'sversion, it's still immensely fun, and the fact that you're controlling "you" and not just asilhouette of you adds a certain dimension to the game. I'd rate this one a 4 of 5 forworkout intensity and a 5 of 5 for fun.2) Stack 'Em Up: This one is essentially the same game as the game from last year'sversion called..."Stack 'Em Up". This is the one where you're holding a plank and trying tocatch and balance blocks that are falling from the sky. There are some new twists this year--to make your bar longer you have to raise a leg in the air. Also, the blocks come indifferent sizes, and they can even turn into ice or catch on fire (you need to kick a giantwater drop to make it rain). Interestingly, I found the graphics of last year's version muchclearer than this year's, especially when it tells you where to drop your blocks. This one getsa 3 of 5 for workout intensity and a 5 of 5 for fun.3) Run the World: Ah, finally something brand new. This is an activity where you "run inplace". But there's a twist. You can choose either New York or London and basically "runthrough" the city from landmark to landmark. When I first heard about this one, I wasexcited--I thought it might be a virtual reality experience where you could literally runthrough actual streets (if this sounds outlandish, remember that the technology is alreadythere with Google Maps and Bing Maps, not to mention driving games that have mapped outthose cities' streets). But in reality, the experience was much less impressive than that. Youbasically just run in place on a blank white screen following a line of stylized "yellow dots"on the road. As you run, you do see buildings to your left and right, but they're just genericgrey outlines. As you "approach" a famous landmark you'll see that building's distinctiveoutline, see a tiny photo of the building, and read some trivia about it. Note also that thedistances you run are not literal--I'm quite familiar with downtown New York, and there's noway you can run from 40 Wall Street to the Woolworth Building to City Hall in 5 minutes.Still, I did like how the system was able to detect how fast I was "running" and how at leastcaptured the feeling of running through a city. Overall, this activity definitely made whatwas otherwise a tedious activity pretty interesting. Workout intensity of this one was a 5 of 5, but for fun I give it a 3 of 5.4) Jump Rope: This is another new activity, and it's a winner. It's a twist on jump rope. Youstart out by holding your hand as if you're holding a jump rope, and an energetic beat willstart playing. You'll see icons of two feet under you, and need to jump to the beat whilematching the pattern of feet (either two close together, two far apart, or just the left or theright). Even on Easy mode I was wiped out after this one, but I found it immensely fun. 5 of 5 for workout intensity, 5 of 5 for fun.5) Stomp It: This game is very similar to "Light Race" from last year's version, where youstand in the middle of something similar to a "Simon" game and move your feet to correctly
 
hit the colored panels under your feet. This year, they've improved it by matching thecolored lights to a beat and give you a visual cue of which panel will light up next, so it'smore like a step aerobics exercise (versus last year's version where you were just randomlystomping). You still need a ton of room for this one, and if your Kinect doesn't have a clearview of your feet at all times it's not going to be fun for you at all. This one was a 4 of 5 forintensity, and a 4 of 5 for fun."Workouts", represented by the red icons, are basically traditional calisthenics, cardio, andstrength building types of activities that a trainer would do with you at a gym. The workoutsare categorized by the part of the body or the exercise goal you want to focus on. Theyinclude the following (the number of exercise routines under each is in parentheses):1) Arms (12)2) Abs (13)3) Cardio (10)4) Toning (9)5) Back (12)6) Sports Preparation (8)7) Glutes (12)8) Health (3)9) Legs (12)They've got all the basic exercises covered pretty well. For example, when I selected thefirst workout under "Arms", the exercises were knee push-ups and slow mountain climbs. Atypical exercise under "Abs" will have you doing all kinds of crunches, from basic crunches,to V knees to the chest, to up and down planks.As in the first version, to the left of the screen you'll observe your virtual trainer doing theexercise, using the proper technique. You'll see an image of yourself to the right of thetrainer. I really liked how the cartoon trainer and the cartoony you looked very similar, bothin terms of size and visual style. As I said, new to this version is the ability to see your armsand legs clearly, so you can work on matching the trainer's body position and movesprecisely. There are also visual cues that'll show you exactly where your head should be andwhere your feet should be. Finally, there's music so that you can time your reps to the beatperfectly (you'd be surprised at how many workout games just play random music and don'tbother to match it to your reps).A woman's voice will talk your through all the exercises, calling out instructions andencouragement. Regarding the latter, I found that she tended to err a little on the "overlyencouraging" side--even when I wasn't doing the exercises right, she'd be shouting outcompliments and encouragement. Happily, the motion detection is definitely spot-on--afterthe workout you'll see precisely what percentage of the workout you nailed, and I found itto be remarkably accurate."Classes", represented by the purple icons, are very similar to workouts. You go through aseries of set exercises, you have a virtual cartoon trainer who will demonstrate the proper

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