August 11, 2019 at 2:40 PM #1438
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
Get fit while earning achievements. What could be better?
Nintendo got the "exercise game" genre off the ground with the original Wii Fit. Wii Fit spawned numerous clones from various companies, though the exercise genre migrated to Xbox 360 and the announcement of Kinect. Xbox Fitness isn’t just the latest exercise game on the market, however. It is heads and shoulders above the competition and one of the best games currently available on any eighth gen system.
For the first year, Xbox Fitness is a free download for those with Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. Subscribers have a huge library of fitness videos to choose from, with a nice variety of workout styles available. Brand name workout programs such as P90X and Insanity both have exercises in Xbox Fitness as well.
Xbox One’s Kinect peripheral is vastly improved over the 360’s Kinect, and Xbox Fitness is probably the best example of that. Kinect works like a dream here, immediately deciphering the person that is playing the game and picking up on all movements perfectly.
A 3D image of yourself is shown on the screen in a small box at all times during exercises. As you work the different muscles in your body, this image will highlight the areas that are being worked on by making them red in color. Keeping an eye on this is how to make sure you’re doing the exercises properly by working the body part that is intended.
The game keeps track of your form and how hard you’re working at the exercise, and awards points based on performance. Players are scored based on how well they complete the exercises, which leads to achievements and other content being unlocked. "Gameifying" exercise makes exercise much more appealing for a game-obsessed nerd like me. Now not only can I get my workouts in for the day, but I can do so while also improving my Gamerscore.
Xbox Fitness could use a couple of improvements here and there. All the straight exercise routines are fantastic, and the library of exercises in the game is quite vast. However, I wish there were mini-games or something along those lines like we see in Wii Fit, especially with Kinect being so underutilized in virtually every other Xbox One game currently on the market. Another complaint I have is a minor one, but it’s not always clear which exercises require extra equipment (such as dumbbells) and which don’t.
Xbox Fitness is, at the time of this writing, the best exercise game ever made. The deal is made even sweeter when you consider that all of these different workout routines are made available at absolutely no charge to the consumer. For gamers, there really isn’t a better way to stay healthy.
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