Every exercise game has its target audience, most don't exclude half of the population like Ubisoft's Your Shape Featuring Jenny McCarthy does by featuring nothing but aerobics exercise programs for women. It's going to be hard to get too many guys into firming themselves up for bikini season, and gals will have some issues staying interested as well. The bland workout routines here offer nothing but straight-up aerobics with none of the frills common to other personal-trainer-in-a-box games, and it's awfully hard to feel the burn when you're yawning.
Do you look as good as this model? If not, chances are good that you won't much like watching yourself work out in Your Shape.
The tiny webcam included with all copies of Your Shape is actually what most stands out about the game. Instead of swinging around the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and dealing with those cumbersome resistance bands and leg straps as in rivals like the Wii Fit and the EA Sports Active franchises, you do your thing solo in the middle of your living room floor and let the USB camera track your movements. It's easy to set up. The camera comes with a base that allows it to easily be attached to the top of a TV, or even to your Wii sensor bar, so you can get set to sweat in a few minutes. You do need a fair bit of room to use it, however, because the camera needs to be able to see your entire body to properly track if you're lifting your legs and reaching for the sky correctly. If you don't have a good 10 feet or more to work with in front of your TV, you're going to have to consider relocating your Wii to more spacious quarters or switching to another workout game. Still, if you've got the room, the camera works great. It does an excellent job of tracking your movements when it can see your entire body. And there is really something to be said for being able to ditch the controllers and the beyond-annoying leg strap. The only problem with the camera is that it shows you on the screen as you're working out, which can be off-putting.
Additionally, you have to sacrifice a lot for the freedom of movement that the camera provides. Not being tied down to a remote, resistance bands, and the like restricts your options and essentially prevents the game from simulating weight lifting, boxing, and many other entertaining activities in the rival Wii fitness games. So the exercises here are almost entirely aerobics-based. You're stuck with standard aerobics moves involving high steps, jumping jacks, lunges, and so forth, along with walking, running, and swimming motions. It gets old fast. If you love aerobics, you've done this stuff a million times before in classes and with various DVDs and videos going back to the days when Jane Fonda donned her leg warmers. The only way to rev the game up is by including exercise equipment of your own, since the game supports free weights, balance balls, and steps. Throw some of that gear into the mix, and you are rewarded with a more wide-ranging and fulfilling workout, although doing so kind of puts paid to the notion that you're getting a full exercise program in a box here.