UFC Personal Trainer has arrived, does it work or does it just push you too far?
When THQ first announced UFC Personal Trainer I have to say that I wasn’t particularly enthused by the idea of another fitness game hitting the market. With the introduction of motion sensor gaming with the Wii there seems to have been an influx of fitness games. But since seeing gameplay footage and people actually playing the game I have steadily become more interested in the game until I was actually excited for it’s release.
When you first load up the game you are asked for your height, weight and age. After this you do a minute of sit ups, then a minute of press ups and then a minute of star jumps. You are then asked to take your heart rate. This allows the game to choose how fit you are and tailor the upcoming exercises to your fitness level. It’s a very thorough system and teaches you how to each individual exercise which is extremely useful as I actually found I had been doing some exercises wrong.
You have a wide range of exercises to choose from, from quick fifteen minute work outs to thirty and sixty day full work outs. All help out in the long term but I found the longer ones get you to keep with the work outs over a long time because you want to complete the work out 100%.
As the Xbox 360 version uses the Kinect camera to keep track of what you doing, the game can tell you if you are in the wrong position and if you are actually doing the exercises rather than just pretending. One problem I did find with using the Kinect camera is that it kept losing track of where I was. It asks you to lie down in front of the camera for certain exercises, like sit ups or press ups, and because of the sensors angling it won’t quite pick you up. It’s a small annoyance but it happens quite a lot so it adds up pretty quickly. As a general rule though the Kinect works really well, although I cannot speak for the Wii or PlayStation Move version.
Now whenever I exercise I feel like I need someone there helping me along to push me through the harder parts of a work out, though this may be just me. The game does really well at helping you through the more difficult work outs by telling you everything you need to know about the work out and encourages you by telling how well you are doing. I can’t tell if these are random or actually because you are doing well. Either way it’s very helpful and makes you feel like you are making a difference to your body.
Talking about making a difference to your body, it does exactly that. After each and every work out you need a rest because the game works you out so much. Once you sit down after a work out and your muscles begin to ache you feel as if you are going to be stronger and fitter once you’re heart rate is back to normal. This is obviously a great advantage to a fitness game, imagine if you played a fitness game that didn’t make you fitter.
Even though it doesn’t matter so much because this is a fitness game I thought I would mention it as every game’s merits seem to be based partially on the graphics of said game. The graphics are quite good, they are adequate for there purpose but definitely don’t push any boundaries. That being said the animations are fluid and there are no breaks in these animations between exercises.
The game also has some social networking connectivity, which I’m not sure about to be honest. You can upload your personal scores and stats onto Facebook and Twitter, it’s a cool feature but I question the thought behind it. Do your friends on Facebook and Twitter want to know how well you did in your recent work out? Maybe your partner or family, but distant friends? I think not. If someone else has the game then it might be useful in that respect but this connectivity is more to show off to the general public I think.
UFC Personal Trainer is a well made fitness game that should actually be taken seriously. It has some problems in terms on checking track of the player’s movements, but they can easily be over looked. It’s a heavy work out so it’s not for people who want a casual work out, for that it’s probably worth trying out other fitness games. But for people who want to improve their fitness, rather than keeping it steady, should give UFC Personal Trainer a go.