We’re living in a world that is trying to improve its collective waistline as obesity rates continue to grow as a result of convenience and a lack of physical activity. At the same time, the video game industry is trying to target those who normally wouldn’t bother to pick up a controller or engage in interactive activities via their television sets. Thanks to updated technological ventures like Microsoft’s Kinect, Sony’s PlayStation Move and Nintendo’s motion-sensing WiiMote, that idealistic combination has resulted in a notable amount of dance and exercise video games, which are tailored more towards casual folks than us hardcore button pressers.
One of the most recent experiences to be released under the latter category is Ubisoft’s workout title, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013. An annual follow-up to previously released iterations, it became the athlete’s choice when Nintendo announced its official Wii U launch line-up. As the only list item that helps to shed calories, the game has received that title by default, but that’s not to say that the made-up award isn’t deserved. Although it may not appeal to the large majority of gamers, the truth is that the motion-controlled exercise experience is a high quality one that body improvement hopefuls should not pass on.
When you think of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013, imagine an interactive gym. Not a normal one, however, because this one happens to moonlight as a Zen temple, where getting in tune with one’s self is taken as seriously as losing weight is. The partnership makes sense, and works really well, but those who don’t believe in soul searching methods need not worry about being forced to engage in related activities. Those modes are available for interested parties, but they’re not crammed down the player’s throat. You see this is a high-definition gym that lets you run the show.
Once they’ve provided their personal information, and have successfully created an in-game profile, players are presented with lots of choice. To start, there’s an activities option, which combines licensed songs with specialized dance moves akin to Just Dance 4. There’s nothing overly special about this particular game mode, but it works relatively well, and will have interested parties moving their bodies. Unsurprisingly, however, the majority of the game’s tracks must be unlocked through the use of progression-based coins. The same is true of unique trainers and other exercise classes.
As one would expect, the core of this experience focuses on fitness training. As such, there are, in fact, two different menu screens that happen to be filled with workout options. If you’d like to take a class on power punching, back workouts, Zen searching or pretty much anything related to physical improvement, you can. Additionally, lengthier workout scenarios can also be played. Regardless of which open you pick, you can expect to be sweating buckets. It’s obvious that the development team took things seriously, which is a good thing, because it has resulted in an intense and well-made exercise game.
On top of the aforementioned modes, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 allows folks to create individualized training routines. It’s something that regular users will want to take advantage of, especially considering that created routine data ties into the game’s final noteworthy inclusion: healthy eating recipes. Acting as the kitchen sink in this scenario, though not in a bad way, the food-based directions are there to complement players’ workouts by providing tailored food types.
Since the Wii U’s GamePad controller isn’t built for wrist flicks and those sort of things, workout fans will need to make sure that they have a WiiMote close-by. Most of the in-game exercises require one’s use for tracking means, awarding scores based on positive terms, though some of the less active modes do use the GamePad’s back camera. Is the WiiMote tracking perfect? No. However, it works relatively well. Granted, since this is an experience that is all about moving one’s body to mimic showcased positions, with a main goal of physical health, setting high scores isn’t a priority. Sure, those who do well will be able to unlock advanced classes, new trainer appearances and other things, but those who invest a lot of time into the game will eventually earn the same rewards.
Now, you may be worried about the social aspects of the experience, given that workouts with friends are more popular than solo conquests. If so, you’ll be happy to hear that Fitness Evolved 2013 allows several players to exercise together. Not only that, but it keeps track of lost calories, and allows friends to challenge each other and/or cheer each other on. Granted, the latter two mechanics require an Internet connection.
Appealing to both genders and all ages, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 for Wii U is a great game to buy for your favourite health aficionado. You can’t go wrong with an interactive exercise experience that offers so much quality content, and is as visually and audibly impressive as this one is.
This review is based on a Wii U copy of the game that was provided to us.