Whilst motion control was not really grasped as much by the gaming community as the producers wanted, one genre excelled at getting us waving our arms around and jumping about, the exercise game. I was perfectly happy living a slovenly life but with so many of these games telling me all too quickly how overweight and unfit I am from playing too many computer games, its remedy, copy all of the on screen moves in some hope that moving your arm a certain way will drop a dress size or shrink that beer gut.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 keeps that tradition going, well timed or the Christmas pig out, quick to roll its eyes and tut at you as you tuck into another bowl of bread pudding rather than try out some of its exercise routines on offer. Just like the workout DVD's this apes there are plenty of relaxing and high octane workouts here, the main advantage over the DVD versions being that you are able to work on whatever part you like, with Your Shape being able to tailor to your own workout routines. Your Shape is one of those games where either someone brought it for you, trying to hint at something or you just can't be bothered with the gym and feel the comfort of your own home would be a more suitable place for a workout, either way, all of the exercises manage to break a sweat so they must be doing something right.
From the WiiU's GamePad you can easily navigate the Your Shape menus, initially inputting your weight, height, age and current health state and then move straight into the many exercises on offer. With over 200 moves available they have been grouped into easy to follow workouts, which are again grouped into easy to follow categories, letting you choose with the touch screen whatever you want depending on your mood or time available to workout.
Starting with the General Activities you are able to try out some basic Yoga techniques or even have a dance to a few tracks on the disc like Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' and NERD with 'She Wants to Move'. You then have a decent variety of Classes to participate in with the likes of Cardio Dancing and Power Training. Each of these Classes have plenty of varying degrees of difficulty, starting gently and then progressing through to the more strenuous workouts, leaving you with plenty to get on with and not too much repetition. The last group of categories are the Workouts; are you tired of your pigeon chest or sparrows kneecaps? Then try out these toning, shaping and eventually sculpting exercises for specific areas like arms, back, butt and legs. For someone who would like a more hands on experience in their general exercise routine there is also the Program, allowing you to input what you like and how often for a personally created experience every time you turn on.
No matter what the exercise, the selecting and actual participation is always the same and it's here that Your Shape stumbles a little. All of the menu activities are navigated via the GamePad but once you are satisfied with your selection you then need to pick up a Wii Remote (this is required to play) for the actual workout; with this constant changing becoming a bit tiresome after a while, it is a shame you cannot just bypass the GamePad altogether. Whilst you are carrying out your exercises the GamePad will display calories burnt and also how long left of the routine. Once on the actual workout screen you have the instructor in the middle, showing the proper movements as well as talking you through them and whilst they are not exactly motivational they are at least clear in the instructions. The actual moves you are performing appear on the left side of the screen, counting down to next move with a Guitar Hero style 'good' and 'OK' appearing if your Wii Remote moves in the correct manner. All moves are tracked with the Wii Remote which is not exactly ideal if you want to prefect those exercise moves, just remember to watch the instructor carefully otherwise you may do more damage than good.
To keep a competitive edge to the exercises you earn coins that can be used to purchase new instructors and also more music tracks and more technical workouts plus if connected online you are able to challenge your friends to beat each other's high scores.
Your Shape understands it is not just about what you do in front of the TV screen but also what you eat, with a mode called Fitness Pal acting as a cookbook full of recipes ideal for weight loss, building muscles, improving stamina or just some child friendly cooking. From the huge list of snacks, meals and desserts you are able to alter the selection to allow for specific dietary requirements like for vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or just cheap. The recipes are all easy to follow, each one with a full colour picture of the end result with instructions appearing on the GamePad allowing you to take it away to the kitchen.
With so many exercise games already out for the Wii, PS3 Move and Kinect, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 could have easily been passed by but with a great presentation and so much on offer this is one of the better exercise titles out there.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: Wii U)
- Plenty of exercises and workouts to try out.
- Challenge friends for high scores.
- An easy to follow healthy eating recipe book.
- Wii Remote is mandatory.
- Swapping controllers is a pain.
- Swapping controllers is a pain.