UFC Personal Trainer
When I think of UFC I picture in my head two men built of solid muscle kicking and punching the living daylights out of each other in a caged arena. I see the blood and sweat hitting the canvas until one man triumphs over the other. These are hard men. These are fit men. These men are not me. I am perhaps the polar opposite of them. I break out in a sweat when I have to get up from the couch to swap game disks after having enough Bad Company 2 for the day. But I do recognise that I really should be more active, and to be honest, if I could get my body shape even heading towards the chiseled muscle of those UFC fighters, I’d be happy.
So it was with a cold sweat forming on my forehead that I slipped UFC Personal Trainer into my Xbox and switched on the Kinect unit. Gone were my baggy jeans that usually adorn me when sitting in front of the box for some serious gaming and in their place was a pair of comfortable shorts. Pushed back was my comfortable gaming chair, and now all around my was only clear space.
It was time to work up a sweat.
As is usual with exercise ‘games’ they want to judge you first, by asking nasty questions about you weight and height. Then as if that’s not bad enough, they want to test you abilities with a basic workout to see what level you should start on.
With UFC this would involve situps, pushups and star jumps. The Kinect unit refused to recognise even one of my sit ups. Possibly because my sit-ups were me barley managing to raise my back off the floor. I did better with the pushups, but then you can’t really get worse than zero. Then it was star jumps, and after a few of them I relalised that I had to be more co-ordinated for them to count.
Then it was time to choose a trainer and a work out. The work out I chose was a short one, around 18 minutes. This comprised of about equal parts of warm up and warm down and exercises. The routine was surprisingly easy, but did build up a mild sweat.
The game is broke down into several aspects, first you get to choose a trainer and then pick from some pre-defined workouts, or build you own. Then there is the option of some more ‘gamey’ options, where you have to hit the mits, ranking up points as well as a sweat and giving the gamer in you instant gratification.
If you need to get motivated then you can undertake either a 30 or 60 day program, helping you keep track and stay on track.
There is enough variety to keep things interesting, and the work outs are varied, not only in what they get you to do, but in the amount of sweat they produce. With customisation options, UFC certainly has enough to keep you going and on track to whatever goals you may have.
The biggest downside to UFC unfortunately is the audio commentary from your coaches. They just don’t have enough variety in their scripted comments and will repeat themselves time an time again, or say supposedly encouraging things that are just out of place. It’s a shame because you really do want to get positive feedback and motivation from you couch, but with UFC it’s almost better to turn the volume down and just grit your teeth with determination.
The biggest factor however in a game like this, is how the software works with the Kinect unit and how good it is at tracking your movements. I have to say that UFC is up there with the best. It suffers occasionally – as do all fitness games that I’ve tried – from some of the ground based workouts, such as the aforementioned sit-ups. The Kinect unit occasionally has trouble picking you up when you’re so close to the floor. But it is mostly responsive and makes for a compelling workout game, possibly one of the more male-centric, but one that I will keep coming back to over the others I have in my collection.