Review: 'Nike+ Kinect,' 'Your Shape' sweat it out

Jan 03, 2013 by Derrik J. Lang
This undated publicity photo provided by Microsoft Corp. shows a scene from the fitness video game, "Dance Central 3," for Microsoft Xbox 360. The third iteration of the popular Kinect choreography series features a revamped fitness mode that can stealthily track calories burned as players shake what their mama gave 'em to hit songs. (AP Photo/Microsoft Corp.)

It's that time of the year when the line for an elliptical machine at your local gym stretches a bit longer thanks to freshly motivated folks who've resolved to start 2013 by shedding pounds and shaping up. Why wait to work out—or even leave your living room—when you can get your heart rate up at home with these recently released fitness games?

— "Nike+ Kinect Training" (Microsoft, for , $49.99) is probably the closest you can get to a coming over to your place without added expense or intimidation. Brought to you by the swooshy shoemaker, "Nike+ Kinect Training" is essentially a four-week centered on three goals: get lean, get strong or get toned.

The camera-based Kinect system does an impressive job detecting motion in personalized cardio drills. The graphics and interface are slick, and the virtual trainers are actually helpful, though their repetitive prerecorded motivation will eventually become as tiresome as that grunting meathead at your gym's free weights. Three-and-a-half stars out of four.

This undated publicity photo provided by Microsoft Corp. shows the fitness video game, "Nike + Kinect Training," for Microsoft Xbox 360. Brought to you by the swooshy shoemaker, "Nike+ Kinect Training" is essentially a four-week exercise program centered on three goals: get lean, get strong or get toned. (AP Photo/Microsoft Corp.)

— "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013" (, for Wii U, $49.99) is the only fitness title out for the Wii U since Nintendo has yet to unleash a "" for the new console. While this edition of "Your Shape" smartly utilizes the GamePad for navigation, it unfortunately requires a Wiimote to track movements, and there are no Wii features.

The Zen-heavy routines in "Your Shape" feel less intense but more diverse than the "Nike+ Kinect" workouts, and the game awards currency for exercising, which can be used to buy stuff like new songs and virtual gear. It's clever inspiration. However, holding a remote while working out feels like a big lunge backward for the genre. Three stars.

— "Dance Central 3" (Microsoft, for Xbox 360, $49.99) isn't technically a fitness title—and that's exactly why it just might be the best one out there. The third iteration of the popular Kinect choreography series features a revamped fitness mode that can stealthily track calories burned as players shake what their mama gave 'em to hit songs.

This undated publicity photo provided by Ubisoft Entertainment shows the fitness video game, "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013," for Ubisoft Wii U. (AP Photo/Ubisoft Entertainment)

The new fitness feature also allows wannabe Ushers to set weekly goals and program playlists of varying styles and lengths. (I preferred getting funky with the "cardio groove" list.) "Dance Central" isn't as comprehensive as "Nike+ Kinect Training" or "Your Shape," but it's a fun diversion when those games' virtual trainers boil your blood. Four stars.

— "Zumba Fitness Core" (Majesco, for Xbox 360 and , $49.99) is the latest entry in the cha-cha-sweat empire's interactive catalog, combining several different dance styles into ab-busting workout classes set in ridiculously silly locales, like next to a waterfall or aboard a yacht. The Kinect version isn't as polished as "Dance Central," although it's more extreme.

This undated publicity photo provided by Majesco Entertainment shows the fitness video game, "Zumba Fitness Core," Majesco for Xbox360 and Wii. (AP Photo/Majesco Entertainment)

You'll feel the burn to the game's wild soundtrack. Unlike the expected hip-hop-and-pop flavor of "Dance Central," the kooky tunes in "Zumba Fitness Core" range from Latin cheesiness (Enrique Iglesias' "Bailamos") to refreshingly eclectic (Grace Potter and The Nocturnals' "Paris"). It's a must-buy for fans of the gyrating franchise who own a Kinect. Three stars.

Explore further: Fujitsu develops technology to quickly detect latent malware activity in internal networks

More information: www.xbox.com/nike
yourshapegame.ubi.com
www.dancecentral.com
www.zumbafitnessgame.com

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Action-based videogames get players on their feet

Jun 07, 2012

New videogames mixing music with real-world action promise to get players off the couch, turning basketball dribblers into "true ballers" and helping new moms tighten their tummies.

Michael Jackson fantasies play out on Xbox - PS3

Apr 11, 2011

Michael Jackson fans will get to show off how well they sing and dance like the King of Pop in videogames crafted by Ubisoft for play on Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles.

Microsoft Kinect makes moves on computers

Jun 17, 2011

Microsoft on Thursday began letting software developers imbue computers with voice and motion-sensing technology from its Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 videogame console.

Recommended for you

Enabling dynamic prioritization of data in the cloud

Apr 14, 2014

IBM inventors have patented a cloud computing invention that can improve quality of service for clients by enabling data to be dynamically modified, prioritized and shared across a cloud environment.

Uber meets local lookalikes in Asia taxi-app wars

Apr 14, 2014

Riding on its startup success and flush with fresh capital, taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia. There's a twist, though: Instead of being the game-changing phenomena it was in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

(Phys.org) —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...