Fitness Evolved 2012 is perfect for people who don't quite buy the sincerity of an encouraging, pre-recorded voice. Sure, there is one - and she was very kind not to mention the similarity of our silhouette to that of a birthing heifer. But we know how our brain works. We want to see numbers, and we want to be distracted.
Your Shape hurls numbers and brilliantly meaningless visual rewards at you. Every other fitness game we've played involves mimicking an instructor. Here, you warm up by waving your arms around to create whirlwinds that move virtual balls. At the same time, you're maintaining your speed on a gauge at the top left, checking your calories burned on the right, and glancing desperately down to the countdown clock. It keeps you busy.
The distractions are constant, and they work: Wall Punching adds a touch of reaction gaming to aerobic swinging. Not only that, golden blocks sprout from the pond you're standing on, representing... well, who knows what they represent? Progress? Time passing? What matters is something's happening.
Run the World doesn't give you a chance to get bored, setting gates along a virtual jog through world locations. It'll swap between giving you local information and setting you challenges, such as maintaining a certain speed.
Fitness Evolved 2012 necessarily resorts to tricks - your running speed is measured by the height to which you lift your knees, and the calories burned counter can't be accurate, because that's tied to your weight, which Your Shape doesn't seem to care about. But it's numbers going up, and that's enough.
Even better, the navigation system works intelligently and simply. Instead of just holding your hand in place, you push the buttons forward. It's a clean and efficient system that makes it impossible to select the wrong button. It makes Kinect work as it should.
The DLC sits in the main menu, making the over-priced bundles overly-prominent and impossible to avoid from the outset. We understand. You're a company, and you like money. But this immediate nag is an off-putting bump in the overall experience, and entirely needless.
Fitness Evolved plugs into a certain kind of brain. From a personal point of view, in the gym we prefer to use the aerobic machines next to someone else, and engage them in a petty, secret competition. We like progress reports and more information than we even understand.
Your Shape provides decent replacements for both of these things, with all the arbitrary but absorbing nonsense of levelling up, medals and badges. This might be the first fitness game we'll use after reviewing it.
Good for people who need to be tricked
- Plenty of information
- Unlocks, medals, badges
- Good variety of activities
- Constantly pushing DLC...
- ...Which is inessential and overpriced