The appeal of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is hard for exercise buffs to deny. While other fitness games allow you plenty of room to cheat your way out of a good workout, the Kinect hardware tracks your whole body. You see a representation of your entire form right there on the screen, and the game tracks your every motion, telling you when you need to squat lower or when to raise your arms higher. It knows things, and that kind of omniscience means Your Shape should, in theory, be a terrific step in meeting your specific health needs or at maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the comfort of your (ideally spacious) living room. It could have been the ultimate fitness product, if only it always functioned properly and all of its features had worked at launch. Your Shape doesn't do a consistent job of rewarding you for performing proper movements, particularly if you aren't wearing skin-tight clothing. The game isn't all it could have been, but it's still a fascinating and flexible workout tool that reminds you of its worth whenever you wake with sore quads and triceps the morning after.
6283627Let the energy flow.None
The most striking aspect of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is the way it renders your body onscreen in menus and during workouts. By default, your shimmering onscreen shape glows with a particular color, but you can change to a remarkably realistic representation if you prefer. You see yourself alongside your virtual trainer, making it easy to compare your movements to his (or hers, if you choose a female trainer). It's not a camera-perfect image, but the game makes use of stylized visual touches to make your slightly fuzzy form feel like a natural fit on the screen. During tai chi and yoga exercises, flower petals float from your limbs, as if to represent the stress and calories dissolving away. During the hula-hoop fitness game, bouncy balls gather up around you into a tornado of primary color. Tranquil music and floating water lilies accompany your Zen exercises, while other workouts might occur on a rooftop, with a sterile cityscape as your backdrop. The menus are on the fiddly side, but the interface is pleasantly slick, emitting soft blips when you hover your hands over various buttons or step on them. Your Shape isn't a beauty or a charmer, but it provides a serene, avant-garde context to your squats and leaps.
One of the first things you will want to do is select a regimen based on your needs. Whether you're looking to shed pounds or get in some postpartum exercise, there's probably a regimen that's effective for you, though you can select individual exercises if you prefer. (Surprisingly, there is no way to completely customize your own routine.) After you plug in information about your age and weight, the game guides you through a tutorial workout and then sets you on your way, adding new exercises as the minutes, hours, and days pass. Toning, sculpting, and performing cardio exercises are all on tap, involving various squats, lunges, kicks, and so forth. The cardio boxing workouts are especially fun and interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the kicks and punches start at a reasonably mild pace but gradually get faster and more complicated, doubling the pace and adding jump rope, guards, uppercuts, and so on. Secondly, the game generally does a good job of reading your motions during these exercises. It feels good to get credit for hooks and jabs when you perform well, and a single session typically has a lot of variety. As a result, cardio boxing does a great job of both keeping you entertained and making you feel immediately rewarded for a hard workout.
Your quadriceps are gonna hurt after this one!