Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
Swimsuit Season is Coming...Are You Ready?
What It Is
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is a video game (sort of) that turns your Xbox 360 into a home workout system. The disc is loaded with exercises created by the Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines that provide workouts that focus on Cardio, Stamina or a combination of both. All the exercising is done by following the on-screen trainer as if it were a real person leading a class at your health club. The Kinect motion-capture camera system puts your image on the screen with the trainer and allows the trainer to offer targeted advice and guidance.
Your Shape could have you selling all your Tai Bo DVDs at your next garage sale because unlike a DVD, Your Shape can tell if you are performing the workout properly or not and will let you know where you need improvement. All of this is accomplished without the need for you to hold onto a controller because Your Shape uses the Kinect motion-capture and sensing camera system.
Why It’s Fun
It isn’t fair to judge Your Shape on how much fun it is because it isn’t supposed to be fun in the way other video games are intended to be. My main criteria for judging Your Shape is effectiveness and to do that, I put the game through a month-long test in which I used Your Shape four days a week for at least 30 minutes each session. I weighed myself weekly to keep on track and in that month, I lost seven pounds without doing any other form of exercise. I was a relatively healthy eater—no fast food, no processed food, avoid anything with too many chemical ingredients—before starting my Kinect program but during the month of my test I stepped it up a notch by avoiding some of my regular bad habits, namely pizza, soda and beer.
Any video game that gets you moving and sweating can help you lose weight if you do it on a regular basis but even a game as fun as Dance Central can get dull if you do it every day. Your Shape succeeded in making me want to use it every day by featuring a huge assortment of exercises and physically demanding games that kept my workout sessions from getting boring. The handful of weekdays that I didn’t use the game was because my schedule didn’t allow it and not because I didn’t want to.
Who’s Going To Love It
Anyone looking for good home-based cardio workout will love Your Shape.
What To Be Aware Of
As much as I enjoyed Your Shape, it does have some issues that need to be mentioned. One of my biggest complaints is the menu and navigation system, which is unorganized and confusing. There are too many sub menus within sub menus and no clear menu tree. In my first two weeks of using Your Shape, I was never able to find my main workout program on the first attempt and usually ended up doing something different every day. While that was nice for variety’s sake, I intentionally selected a set number of workout sessions that I wanted to complete before trying something else.
The daily progress section needs a lot more information. It states the calories you burned for the previous five days but I would like to see how much time I spent each day and what exercises I did. Speaking of the calories burned, I’m not sure how accurate that number is because there were occasional issues that caused my calorie number to be lower than what it actually was. For example, in the beginning of the month, I wore sweat pants for my sessions until I figured out the reason my personal trainer kept telling me I was out of rhythm was because my baggy pants were throwing off the Kinect camera.
Take time to stretch before starting a workout because the sessions don’t include a pre-stretch.
All of these issues are relatively minor and I’m looking forward to the next Your Shape game for Kinect in the hopes that these issues will be resolved.
In addition to the cardio and stamina workouts there are also Gym Classes and multi-player games. The gym classes include a Zen (Tai Chi) series and Cardio Kick-Boxing classes that you can do every day as part of your workout. The games area allows up to four players to try to best each other’s scores in physically demanding games such as a hula-hoop challenge, which had me ready to pass out after playing.
3 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
Rated: E for Everyone
System: Xbox 360 with Kinect
Players: 1 (with limited four-player area)
Launch Date: November 4, 2010
Date of Review: April 6, 2011