Has made typing this heading a painful ordeal
“Consult a ‘Doctor’ before starting any new exercise programme? Pah! I have conquered pathetic video game training regimes before, I’ll be draining calories from this in no time!” Foolhardy inner monologue from the ‘Villain’ side of my brain, as 20 minutes later I’m laying on the floor, joints like sandpaper and beads of sweat corroding through tears and burning my eyeballs. This is the UFC Personal Trainer, and it’s getting you fit whether you like it or not.
UFC Personal Trainer is an exercise videogame which doesn’t focus on you becoming the next greatest MMA fighter. It’s an exercise programme that’s determined to make you reach the peak of your physical fitness. As soon as you jump in, your forced into testing your own endurance to help the game tailor make a suitable training programme difficulty to suit you, but whether you start off at a beginner or advanced pace, there a ton to workouts to pick from. Players can choose from a massive number of regular workouts, all designed to kind of make you wish you hadn’t bought it in the first place at times.
The cramp inducing activities are enough to make you crumble into the sofa and scoff a whole wedding cake in rebellion, UFC Personal Trainer has wily ways of keeping you coming back for more muscle expanding self-harm. Though there are copious amounts of workouts to sift through, those who wish for a more structured regime can pick from a detailed 30 or 60 day programme to achieve certain goals. Training programmes are streamlined so that you can focus on losing weight, building strength or improving endurance, and all three hone in on said attributes very well. Offering a training calender and detailed training regimes for the future, it’s a great addition for those who need a form of focus.
You can certainly feel the effects of its burdens after a few days
Although I strongly feel the success of this depends on whether fitness fanatics want a training regime that’s clearly so rigorous, it’s the little touches which other fitness games could really learn from. Graphs don’t just show alterations in weight and calories burnt during workouts, it also shows how much you’ve focused on each muscle group and what could do with more work, and if that’s not enough, you can even track your own progress through using the Kinect’s camera and taking photos. You’re encouraged to use equipment whilst training, and you can choose whether to use dumbbells or resistance bands and tailor them to your workout to give you tougher regimes. All activities are also timed and a scoring system relies on how vigilant you are with reps, awarding medals at the end of exercises to help you keep track of what you need to do in order to better yourself.
What I find most impressive with its vast amount of contents is that UFC Personal Trainer is incredibly keen to get you in shape. The constant recording of progress and demand to improve upon both the amount of reps you do and the time you do it in means that, so long as you’re determined to better yourself, the motivation is always there. You’re constantly rewarded with training videos as you play so that you can learn more about what you need to focus on and various aspects of training that will help you out in the future. It feels as if your personal trainer never leaves you even outside of the workouts, and that’s something other fitness games have failed to replicate.
Tracking with the Kinect isn’t entirely smooth, however, given the sheer amount of room needed to play. People have had no problem being detected in the adequate play space that is my bedroom in other Kinect titles, yet UFC Personal Trainer practically wants the whole room to itself with some exercises, and some just don’t seem entirely well thought out. Press-ups are an incredible pain to perform, seeing as you have to lie towards the sensor, and as such it has constantly missed me and thought I’d buggered off every time I lowered my self to the floor. Set the sensor lower to detect this, and it’ll cut off your head for the next standing activity. It’s a bugger to work through, and makes you wonder why such exercises couldn’t have been conducted from a side view like other activities like sit-ups have done.
Otherwise, we’ve got a very clear cut and no thrills looking and sounding experience here. Menus are clear cut, with use of the Kinect’s voice recognition system meaning you can easily cycle through options and skip tutorials simply by shouting at the screen. May not sound much, but when your lying on the floor in agony, it’s quite handy that you can shout pause on occasions and take a break. Clear tutorials from your trainer allow you to see how to do exercises before taking them on in a more rigorous chain, and allow you to try them out before taking it on for real, and a simple yet massive green arrow dictates where you should be moving and along with a loud ‘BA-DING’ sound, allows you to control your rhythm throughout.
Though suitably tough and enduring at heart, UFC Personal Trainer may be intimidating but it’s not alienating. Its rigorous training exercises tear through you from the get-go, and though I can’t thoroughly endorse it with a ‘Get a six-pack in mere minutes’ stamp of approval, you can certainly feel the effects of its burdens after a few days. Those who want to get fit in an effective yet relaxed fashion should probably stick with their standard fitness titles like Your Shape, but for those with a competitive spirit who want to better themselves and kick their workouts up a notch should definitely invest in this. Just make sure you have an actual Octagon arena to play it in before the purchase, you’re going to need the room…and a shower.
The Bad: Kinect tracking isn’t as smooth as it could be, Certainly not a fitness game aimed for everyone
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