A new year, a new You. Let’s get fit with the Wii U.
As the least physically active person I know, of course it makes sense that I would always be the one having to review the physical videogames. If there is a game that makes you get up from the couch and move around, you can guarantee that I have played it. If I was so inclined, I would say it was a conspiracy. But hey, let’s stop fueling my paranoia and focus on the job at hand – Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 on Wii U. Where did I put my sweatbands…
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 is the latest in a series of “get fit” games from Ubisoft and is currently enjoying being the only game of its type on the new Nintendo Wii U console. This can only be an advantage as Wii U owners look towards their shiny new consoles for help with getting fit whilst having fun. As far as comparing with other versions of the title goes, the game makes use of the Wii U GamePad only for preparing for the actual activities, monitoring progress and as a reference tool. The actual acts that will get you moving make use of the Wiimote. Whilst this works well enough and makes the activities easier than those found in the Kinect version of the title, the downside is the inability to actually monitor the users movements accurately. It is like the difference between Just Dance on Wii and Dance Central on Xbox360 – without the camera to actually check what you are doing, it is possible to do things wrong (risking injury in the case of exercise), or even cheat.
The game acts as your very own personal trainer, albeit without the overwhelming confidence, and offers a huge variety of different ways to work up a sweat and generally improve your life. The player creates a profile and can easily monitor their progress over the weeks and months that they keep playing the game.
The key mode for anyone taking this seriously is Program mode. It is here that the player can create a fitness plan in which they set how often they want to exercise and for how long, what type of exercise they want to include and what their goal is. From there on, the player will be reminded when a routine is due and then simply have to get on with the business of getting sweaty, making it very easy to follow. Those who are serious about using Your Shape to supplement their healthy lifestyle will find that setting a program and following it will fit well with their life.
But not everyone wants to commit to a program, for some it is more about finding something to fit their mood. This is where the Workout and Classes modes come in. The Workout mode contains nearly 50 exercise routines that target different areas and last up to 15 minutes each. There really is a lot to choose from here and no matter what your goal is, there is something to suit.
The Classes mode contain just over 50 routines and aims to teach the player different disciplines, such as Yoga or Pilates. They are more general in their targets, last up to 25 minutes, and are ideal for someone looking at joining a new class or wanting to try something new. Again, there really is a lot to choose from.
Finally, adding some fun to the exercise, is the Activities mode. It is here that the player can break loose a little with some dance routines, featuring only five songs to dance to, or pull some poses with Zen Flow, which makes use of the Wii U GamePad’s Gyro sensor as the player tries to balance and achieve calm. They both make a change from the rest of the exercise routines included, and are a lot of fun if a little limited. Mind you, it is not like there isn’t plenty of other things to do in Your Shape, and they do make a welcome change.
For those who are inclined, Your Shape really goes out of its way to integrate itself into your everyday life. Coins can be earned though completing daily challenges, allowing the player to unlock new routines and such. Online interaction allows the player to compare with others progress, compete in challenges or even work towards community goals. Then there is the Fitness Pal which manages to pack in an impressive 150 recipes in different categories to help with the overall fitness. There is not a lot missing from this package.
It is all quite impressive. The only real problem comes from the way everything is laid out. Given that the game is targeted at people who may not be that familiar with videogames, the menu system itself can be a little confusing, and certainly overwhelming. Also, getting the most out of Your Shape on the Wii U will involve setting it up with both Uplay and the Your Shape website, which may well prove far too much for the technophobe fitness fans out there.
But once you get past that, it really is a content-filled package. It may well be that Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013 is the only real exercise game on the Wii U at the moment, but that doesn’t make it a default choice. The title is fully featured and more than a worthy purchase for any Wii U owners who want to use their new console to get fit.