Fitness Evolved is by no means perfect, and just like with any game that has come out on new hardware it has some serious issues to overcome. It uses the motion capture of the Kinect very cleverly; you see a representation of yourself on screen that is surprisingly accurate, no giant headed gimmicks or cartoons are used. The game measures the individual parts of your body, and then tests you on toning and cardio to see your level of fitness. Once the tests are over you pick a female or male personal trainer, and then select a fitness routine to follow; all of the routines are tailored to fit with your level of ability, you are rewarded throughout to help you progress.
The fitness routines are fairly varied and well developed, and they genuinely will leave you feeling hot, sweaty and get your heart beat racing. The routines work with you following the actions of your personal trainer on screen; the names of the exercises are shown in the top right corner and make it very easy to follow. Additional challenges are added to each exercise for the more experienced player, to increase the level of difficulty. There are three modes to choose from, including a gym exercise mini-game type section and personal workouts; each mode has a unique set of tasks, the most fun being the gym workouts, which include boxing your way through some floating coloured blocks, and stamping on colours as they light up. The workouts do get harder as you improve, adding in extra elements to make your heart beat faster; more floating blocks or the occasional need for the use of another limb.
The game has a calorie counter included at the front of the screen, always monitoring what you are doing; the achievements work on a calorie beating basis, once you hit a certain amount you unlock higher levels. There is a test at the beginning of the game that rates your fitness level, once found, it does a good job of dealing out workouts that are suitable to where you are at. The beginner levels are sometimes a little too slow, teaching you step-by-step, even on the really simple workouts. On top of this, the sensor sometimes fails to pick up your exact movements; it’s far too harsh on you when you fall out of rhythm slightly, meaning you lose points which can become quite frustrating. The yoga modes are very useful and relaxing, they act as a fantastic way to cool down, though just like the rest of the game it’s sometimes inaccurate when monitoring your movements, and this can be quite annoying, the opposite effect that Yoga is supposed to have. At the end of each challenge your stats are neatly laid out, and you are given a good indication of your progress.
Evolved asks you to use weights to assist in the workouts, saying that it will be beneficial to use them during the workouts. However, the game doesn’t give you an option to take them in to account, meaning it marks your progress exactly the same with weights or without; this brings into question my belief that its monitoring of your health is accurate at all. The game does a good job of focusing on legs, arms and shoulders; it genuinely gets you motivated to exercise every day. Fitness Evolved has left out a couple of the essential workouts, including the complete lack of any push-ups or sit-ups, something that seems a little strange for a fitness game. The visuals are surprisingly good, although the repetitive white rooms do get a little boring after a while; an obvious attempt at getting you to look at the trainer more than the room, so why did they include the weird little details like electricity boxes and lamp shades? The music is mostly forgettable and sometimes a bit of a distraction, as you’ll sometimes following the rhythm of the music actually gets you out of synch with your trainer, something that, if you let it, will start to get on your nerves.
If you manage to get past a few of the games faults, Fitness Evolved can genuinely help you and your family get fit, in an exciting and entertaining manner. If you don’t have the time to get out for a run or to get down to the gym every day, then this game could be exactly what you need. Watch your diet and follow the exercise plans, and Fitness Evolved will start to show some amazing benefits. Fitness Evolved does a good job of showing what can be applied to fitness games in the future, the display is very neat and it’s all incredibly easy to use; it should be a hit amongst the fitness video fans, who like their feedback a bit more
Platform: Xbox360 w/Kinect
Fitness First Edward Lewis