“For me, the “Kinect required” Xbox 360 version of UFC: Personal Trainer is a dream come true!
Despite what the majority of fitness Games/DVDs may suggest, females aren’t the only ones who care about getting into shape. As a male who’s weight is steadily increasing while his fitness level declines, I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to release a fitness game targeted towards people like myself. For me, the “Kinect required” Xbox 360 version of UFC: Personal Trainer is a dream come true. I’m a slightly overweight UFC fan who clearly needs to workout more often, but does this THQ release do an adiquet job? Read on to find out…
One thing UFC: Personal Trainer is not short on is ambition. Its clear that a lot of time and effort was dedicated to ensure that this is the “Ultimate Fitness System” that the title proudly proclaims. The game features over 70 different exercises, guidence from three real life UFC trainers, completely customizable workout routines and for the super serious, both 30-day and 60-day programs are also availble.
The fact that Personal Trainer is officially sanctioned by NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine) some-what validates the effectiveness of the programs/exercises and the UFC license also carries a lot of weight. Speaking of which, there are bound to be several gamers who pick up this title solely based on the UFC logo which appears on the cover. If you’re expecting to square off with the likes of Cain Velasquez or BJ Penn with Kinect tracking your every move you’re going to be severly disappointed. UFC: Personal Trainer is fitness game, not a fighting game, If you’d rather break nose bones with elbows or suffocate other fighters until they tap-out then I suggest you wait for UFC: Undisputed 3 instead.
“ Sweat will be dripping out of pores that you never even knew existed!
What UFC: Personal Trainer does provide is one of the most intense and satisfying workout systems currently available for a home console. If you had a hard time performing yoga stretches on Wii Fit just wait until the likes of Greg Jackson is guiding you through his very own exercise routine. Sweat will be dripping out of pores that you never even knew existed! The ability to train with well-known fighters such as Rashad Evans and Sean Sherk is an excellent inclusion for fans and provides suffiencient motivation as you bust your ass in an attempt to eventually look as good as they do.
For the most part, Kinect enhances the experience and removes many of the barriers that can sometimes deter casual gamers. Although I’ve yet to play the PS3 or Wii version of the game I can’t imagine the Playstation Move or Wii Remote being as accurate as Microsoft’s motion camera is. With that said, the 360 release isn’t perfect as Kinect often fails to read your actions correctly, particularly during ground-based exercises. This issue can be virtually non-existent providing you have Kinect set up in the right place but finding that sweet spot for the camera can be pretty difficult. Additionally, being told that you’ve only done 6 push-ups when you’ve clearly performed double that amount can really discourage you from continuing.
Another issue I had with the game is the lack of constructive feedback from the professional trainers. It’s a little jarring to hear him compliment your performance even after your body has given up and you lay motionless on the ground, likewise being told to “do better” after you’ve proudly pushed yourself to breaking point is frustrating to say the least. If I earned a penny each time I screamed “f*** you trainer” at my TV I’d almost have enough money to buy a Big Mac and pile those calories right back on just out of spite! The trainers also have a knack for repeating certain phrases and remind you that you’re really just playing a game. As you can probably imagine its really annoying to hear the same sentences spouted 3 or 4 times over the course of a minute, yes I know this exercise is designed to get my heart pumping Mr. Trainer, you’ve said that twice already!
On a brighter, more sexier note the gorgeous Rachelle Leah acts as the games host and periodically brightens up the TV screen with various introductory videos. Unfortunately fellow ‘Octagon Girl’ Arianny Celeste is nowhere to be seen but that’s just the pervert in me talking.
Overall, UFC: Personal Trainer is absolutely one of the best and most rewarding fitness games I have ever played. The exercises can be truly intense and I’m confident that anyone who takes the programs seriously will see clear results in a matter of weeks. UFC fans will definitely get the most out of the title but knowledge of the sport or its stars is not vital, making this a game that any health conscious person can enjoy. It’s a shame that THQ didn’t gather more voice over’s from the trainers and the amount of space required in order for Kinect to function properly will present a challenge to many consumers.
While UFC: Personal Trainer may not be all you need to prepare yourself for epic brawls inside the octagon, with enough determination and perseverance you’ll be able to drop those unwanted pounds and have fun while doing so!