The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout Xbox 360 Review
Publisher – THQ – Developer – Blitz Games Studios – Genre – Fitness – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A
As your body is the controller, Kinect certainly has many advantages over its rivals when it comes to exercise games. In fact, there are so many fitness games available that possessing a gym membership is almost pointless if you have an Xbox 360 and Kinect. Disadvantages obviously come in the form of the amount of space that is required to give your body that full fat burning workout.
THQ’s The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout is based on a TV program and certainly has all the tools to help you lose weight. In the fitness programme (there’s also a structure-free quick play option, if you’re wondering) you’ll begin the game by attempting a fitness test, and when you’re done it will then recommend the level of exercise that it thinks you are capable of, from light right up to intense workout regimes. Then it’s time for a full body scan, which measures everything from your neck to your shoulders and height, although if any of the data comes up erroneous, you can change it yourself. The program can be set up to last as long as you want it to, from four weeks to three months, and you can decide the areas you want the exercises to focus on and how intense and long each workout session will be. There’s even some pre-set fitness programs, if you’re not wanting to go down the entire custom route.
Although we’re not talking Sonic Free Riders here, I’ve got to say that the menu navigation is trickier than it should be, with the on-screen pointer sometimes jumping around. It was never bad enough for me to be unable to get into a game, but I still found it to be slightly annoying.
Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels will be there as your virtual fitness instructors, talking you through each exercise and letting you know how you are doing. With Kinect’s ability to understand your voice, it’s also possible for you to let them know how you are faring yourself – a list of commands appear on the screen, allowing you to continue with your workout or to drop out for a break.
There are around 120 exercises in all and the smart thing is that you can tell the game which area of the body that you’d like your workout to focus on. Exercises range from Yoga, circuit training, boxing and more, and there’s certainly a good variety of them. You’ll definitely work up a sweat, perhaps, like in my case, sweating like you’ve never sweated before.
A virtual you doesn’t appear on the screen next to the fitness instructors, instead you’ll see yourself at the bottom of the screen and the idea is to follow the movements of the trainers and keep your body shape in the green by doing what you are supposed to do. I do feel that it perhaps could have been easier at times if you had a larger avatar up in the centre of the screen that copies your movements, although it still works well enough and can hardly be called a real complaint.
A bigger problem is the amount of space that it requires, although if you buy a game with Ultimate Workout in the title it’s by and large going to need the space in order for Kinect to see your whole body. Again, it’s not a real complaint; this is just a warning to those who may be using their Kinect in a smaller room.
But Kinect as a fitness tool could be hugely beneficial for many, and with quality exercise games such as THQ’s The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout already released for it, certain people will already be feeling the burn and appreciating the level of attention that has been put into the game to make sure that it does the job for them. Just be prepared to put in plenty of time and dedication in order for satisfying results when you next step on the bathroom scales.