UK REVIEW--If you have ever doubted that video games could offer a proper physical workout, then 10 minutes on UFC Personal Trainer is all you need to be convinced. Its physically demanding exercises require dedication, and those who manage to complete its 30-day prescribed programmes should enjoy noticeable improvements at the end. However, while it certainly tests your body, the game also tests your patience in rather unwelcome ways, thanks to heavily repeated dialogue, lengthy stretching periods, crashes, and other bugs. If you're looking to drop weight or tone up, then it can definitely help, but only if you put up with plenty of annoyances along the way.
Hitting the mits is one of the most fun activities in the game, especially when you challenge friends.
UFC Personal Trainer is hard and unforgiving right from the start. It starts with an excruciating fitness test, and then awards you a ranking based on your performance. Even at the lowest level, though, the game issues highly challenging routines and then pushes you to go beyond the target and do more reps. The exercises themselves involve aerobics, such as mountain climbers and bear walks, and strength exercises, such as upright rows and Arnold presses. Many of these exercises are well established in personal training, but the UFC connection is established through real-life trainers' trademark moves, such as the Javier Mendez uppercut cross hook combo.
The meat of the game is the programmes, which focus on dropping weight or toning your body and last 30 or 60 days depending on your level of dedication. Here, the game presents you with a calendar of workout days, with the length and type of workout varied throughout. For example, on the weight-loss plan, you may be doing aerobic exercises for 30 minutes one day and an hour's worth of strength and endurance exercises the next. Thankfully, the game also schedules rest days into the plan, and if you happen to miss a day or two, it will adapt the schedule to get you back on track.
UFC trainers: big yoga fans.
You can also supplement your programme by completing short exercise routines with UFC trainers Mark DellaGrotte, Greg Jackson, and Javier Mendez. And if you don't like what the game has prescribed for you, you can design your own workout by selecting individual routines from a list. There's also a shorter game called Hit the Mitts, where you have to punch, knee, and kick when the game tells you, and this can be fun to play with friends.
If you're motivated and not afraid of hard work, then UFC Personal Trainer is capable of delivering great results. The increasingly challenging workouts make you sweat, and offer you new challenges as you progress. The trainers also really push you to go further, encouraging you to do around 30 percent more reps than initially prescribed. You can also introduce weights into your workout, and the game adjusts your calorie loss stats accordingly. The Kinect tracking is also good, especially when you're side-on to the camera--you really have to make large arcs during the lying leg wiper moves, for example. Like in many Kinect games, it's possible to cheat when face-on to the sensor, such as going on your knees during press-ups.