Review by CheradenineZKL

"Move it on up!"

The makers of The Fight: Lights Out return with another fitness gem utilizing the ps3 Move controls.

About me: I have been practicing martial arts for over 10 years now. In addition to my 3 days of 90 minute training sessions I have a set of free weights which I work with. I have created my own programs over the years and recently been following the 5x5 strong lifts program. I have completed p90x, and dabbled in Shaun T's Insanity (the plyo workouts were a staple weekly event for me). I make my own fighters hiit routines and incorporate kettlebell training as well.

So why Move Fitness? I'm a fan of technology and I like to change my routine up. I treated The Fight more as a game but ended up also using it as a warmup for my compound exercises. Maybe I just like flailing blue and purple coloured controllers around my living room.
I had a lot of faith in Coldwood after The Fight and keen for a new approach to busting my lungs rather than clobbering miscreants. I also have a newborn son which means I can't always workout in the garage - I need to stay in the lounge to keep an eye on him. I don't expect to be packing on slabs of muscle from a game that does not utilize any kind of weights - more cardio and endurance. To this degree Move Fitness delivers.

Gameplay:

Before I start it's worth noting the game requires 2 Move controllers. Also, the calibration is quick and simple and does not utilize head tracking. This speeds things up when starting a routine and removes all issues with head tracking that The Fight had. You will need 3 or 4 meters side to side for sprinting. If you really were pushed for room, you could stick to the exercises which didn't require this kind of movement.

Being a Fitness application, everything is open to you from day 1. There's no unlocking new challenges or customization, it's all available upon unboxing. Personally I enjoy unlocking new events in games based on performance, but it's no biggie.

You can choose to take on one exercise at a time, or give the predefined workout routines a go. These range anywhere from leg focused routines, punch orientated, ball games, or overall mix up. These are great and can be previewed before playing, edited, and even change the length of time it takes to complete. Organizing your own routine is a fantastic idea. After playing through each game I put together a high impact interval training (hiit) workout which I also added 2 minute rests into, so that I could do 'out of game' kettlebell exercises as well.

A brief look at some of the fitness games:

Boxing: A number of the activities are boxing / punch related. You can choose from punching a dummy, a heavy bag, a bag on rails, even sparring. Note that the sparring is not an all out brawl; you can expect to hit 2 targets, then dodge an incoming attach, rinse and repeat. Actually pretty fun to play and speeds up when you hit overdrive.

Legs: Jumping squats, star jumps, lunges etc

Ball games: Basketball (for some reason I never seem to do well at this, my throwing is hampered by the fact that the camera drops one of my controllers based on where I have my eyetoy), dodge ball, catching balls, dodging only - some of these are great for promoting lateral side sprints left and right as you rush to avoid or pick up / throw balls.

Swords: There is only 1 katana game here which has you chopping plates as they fly towards you. I seem to have a problem with depth perception on this one and often miss it.

Other exercises: shoulder press (fast reps with the move controllers up and down), arm circles, punching up to floating targets, toro twists... there really is a good variation here.

Each game records points earned. Points appear on the screen with every target touched, punch landed or ball thrown. These are a great progress tracker against friends and placings on the leaderboards. Put in enough work and you will be rewarded with overdrive, a multiplier that lasts 30 seconds or so in which you dig as hard as you can to get that score rocketing. I've found this really useful and an added motivation to bust your gut. You can also earn time bonuses which can act as a blessing for points - or curse if you are already gassed!!!

The online functionality is neat, whereby not only can you compare your scores and calories to the rest of the online community, but you also get a real time update on where you are in relation to other scores from your friends list. When you see the clock ticking down yet so so close to beating a friends score its amazing how hard you will push yourself. Watch them calories burn too as it tracks your progress there as well.

You also get alerts on your homepage when a friend has beaten one of your scores, and you have the option to 'challenge' them. I've not used this but gather that it takes you straight into the game they have bettered you in.

The games are as tough as you want them to be. Punches seem to react to velocity so the harder or faster you swing, the bigger the points. Sprinting left and right through your lounge while you dodge balls really gets your sweat on. I have been lung busted in this game from my own routines.

Presentation:

Almost cartoon-esque, bright, colorful and pleasant. Nice effects and glowing trails behind your actions. You pick a personal trainer (4 to choose from) as your guide. They are an easy going bunch who help you along your way.. but don't expect any bootcamp abuse here. The game also supports custom soundtracks which is a massive bonus. Load time and calibration are quick - really helps the flow of your routine. Your progress is also tracked and graphed up.

So not a lot of negatives here. However, a couple of the games I have had issues with since day 1 - the katana, basketball and dodgeball. Maybe it's my set up - maybe I just need to spend more time with them; I have seen them working on youtube clips from other users. There seems to be the same slight lag as in The Fight, but it's really not noticeable and I'd be inclined to put it down to hardware more than the game.

A massive plus is that Move Fitness was half the price (both instore and on psn) of other current block buster releases. The game delivers on exactly what it promises - you will move and you will get fit. There are a number of 'nice to haves' that I won't get into as it doesn't detract from the review. Certain games can be taken advantage of using the move controllers to tally up unrealistic scores. Apart from getting the trophy for topping a scoreboard I honestly don't see the point of cheating.

ColdWood released several patches and DLC options for The Fight; I hope we can expect the same here. The game is easy to pick up, fun, and gets the lungs going. For a fitness game that's really what I'm looking for.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/09/11

Game Release: Move Fitness (AU, 11/24/11)


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