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Kinect fitness reviews are rolling in

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout for Xbox 360 Kinect

Now that Kinect fitness launch games Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, EA Sports Active 2, Zumba Fitness and Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout have been out for awhile, and people have had a chance to actually crack them open for Resolution Month, there are some reviews and comparisons coming in.

I like to look to the “real people” reviews on Amazon to get an idea of what games are like in the real world, and so far it looks as if Your Shape is the biggest winner.  I’ve only tried the demo included with Kinect Adventures, in which you punch and kick flying cubes, but it seems to work well and I can see myself working out with this game.  There are some complaints about lack of variety, but downloadable workouts are offered.  Your Shape is also on sale for $34, making it the best buy of the bunch at the moment.

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout is getting rather mixed reviews.  I guess you have to be a fan of the show to “enjoy” it as it were, but I rented the Wii version and wasn’t all that excited about it.  TBL tries to be a “total package” with recipes and motivation in addition to workouts, which may appeal to beginners looking for a fitness launching pad.  They also offer online play with 2 additional players (Kinect only allows 2 simultaneous players in person).

It looks as if the biggest losers are Zumba Fitness and EA Sports Active 2.  They’re both getting lots of complaints about unresponsive controls and general bugginess (game stalling or shutting down).  EASA2 is now reduced to $60, which isn’t making the people who shelled out $100 happy campers.

Game Informer, on New Years Day yet, posted a comparison of all but Biggest Loser.  It may have been written before EASA2’s bugs came to the forefront, but it’s a good rundown of the different features of each game.

Fit in Six: upcoming workout game for PS3 and Wii

ESRB "Everyone" rating symbol, displ...

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Joystiq reports that the ESRB (the ratings board for video games) has a description up for a game called Fit in Six.  The description goes:

This is a fitness game in which players create and perform personalized workout routines from a collection of yoga, Pilates, cardio, dance, and kickboxing exercises. Players can also monitor their progress over time and customize workouts to focus on specific muscle groups.

Joystiq says the game is coming from Ubisoft, who’s well on its way to ruling the fitness/dance game genre.  They put out the Kinect fitness game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, as well as the Just Dance and Gold’s Gym series for Wii, all highly-acclaimed.  And I am totally loving their Michael Jackson The Experience game.

Your Shape demo video of its online support community

Ubisoft has posted a video demonstrating the online support component of the upcoming Your Shape: Fitness Evolved for Xbox360.  It will let you access your stats from a computer (a guy is shown using an Ipad), post them on Twitter or Facebook, and view real-time stats for other players while you’re working out.

This looks like exactly what fitness video games have been missing all along.  Yes, you can burn calories and feel good working out in your basement, but it’s difficult to meet your fitness goals in a vacuum, without support and a little friendly butt-kicking from others.

Your Shape is on Xbox360 only, but EA Sports Active 2 (on all platforms) and EA’s NFL Training Camp (Wii) will also offer online support.

Your Shape for Kinect now has Men’s Health/Women’s Health tie-in

And in other breaking box art news, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved for Kinect now has a blurb that says “Featuring Workouts Created By Men’s Health and Women’s Health”.  I can’t find any other details, but that’s great news, certainly better than their former alliance with Jenny McCarthy.

The fitness magazines Men’s Health and Women’s Health promote whole-body exercising that focuses on your movements rather than separate muscles.  They’ve come out with two “Big Book of Exercises” volumes, one for men and one for women, but with very little difference between the two outside of marketing and photos.  I got the Women’s Health Big Book out of the library, and it’s now on my wish list to own.  Despite the title, it’s a relatively compact paperback book that’s crammed with exercises plus numerous programs for using them, whether you work out at home or in the gym.

WH also greatly emphasizes the benefits of heavy weights for women; no more pink 1-pound dumbbells, unless you do YTWLs or shadow boxing with them.  One of the advantages of Kinect over Wii is that you can hold weights without having a handheld controller get in the way.  So I hope that some of the WH or MH workouts on Your Shape include heavy weights.  If there’s a virtual kettlebell trainer on board, or a virtual deadlifting coach, I am so there.

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