They say the camera adds 10 pounds, and Kinect has two cameras. So when Ubisoft’s upcoming Kinect title Your Shape: Fitness Evolved put a somewhat stout-looking projection of me on the screen, I shouldn’t have been surprised—especially given that the game’s success depends on players wanting to melt away those love handles. Nicola Godin, the Your Shape designer guiding me through the demo at Tokyo Game Show, was charmingly diplomatic. He noted that they were still refining the code that displays the Kinect’s image of the player on screen. In other words, why no, this game doesn’t make you look fat at all.
Much like the original Your Shape on the Wii, Fitness Evolved is designed to simulate short exercise classes, taught in 5- or 15-minute chunks depending on user preference. In the hopes of achieving that personal-trainer feel, Fitness Evolved adjusts each routine’s difficulty in response to how well players are handling what they’ve learned so far.
Godin said that because the Kinect can detect a player’s body position with such accuracy, Fitness Evolved would be able to correct mistakes and ensure that you’re working out safely. After all, doing 20 reps of an exercise the wrong way can be more harmful than doing nothing at all.
Indeed, as Godin was demoing the calisthenics routine, the on-screen trainer recommended subtle adjustments to his form. Moreover, because Fitness Evolved projects your image into the game, when you make an error, it’s easy to see how you need to reposition your body—there’s no wondering whether you’re really doing it wrong or if it’s just some Wiimote voodoo that you’re failing to perceive.
Aside from the training sessions, Fitness Evolved includes the usual complement of mini-games, which appear to meet the Wii Fit level of adequacy. Fitness Evolved calls them “Gym Games,” and I saw one that had me punching on-screen boxes in a set pattern, and another where the player has to stack falling boxes on a virtual table to dump them into a pit and score points. Apparently, if you want to wage war on boxes, this is the game for you.
Ubisoft says they’ll have Fitness Evolved ready for the Kinect launch in November. Until then, savor your blissful, sedentary lifestyle.