Of all the companies developing for the Kinect, Ubisoft seems to be taking the early lead in terms of inventiveness. At first glance, Your Shape might seem like a clone of Wii Fit — and in business terms it was almost certainly pitched that way — but it does something that Wii Fit can only imitate, and never truly pull off: It can expand your personal skill set.
Calling Your Shape a game is almost a misnomer. There is a requisite game style series of workouts, but it is a tool more than a game. In many ways, it would be the same as calling a workout DVD a movie because you watch it on a DVD player; it just isn’t correct. Your Fit can actually benefit a person in a very real and literal way by teaching you the correct form of several beneficial movements, including Tai-Chi, yoga, and Pilates.
But don’t go quitting your gym just yet. Despite the possibilities inherent in the “game,” Your Shape is not the best tool when it comes to actually tracking your fitness regime. It might be able to teach you the proper movements for yoga, but the calorie burn counter is based on a fairly arbitrary set of values that are determined by your height, age and weight. Combined with the occasional inconsistencies and lag in the Kinect, you might receive a few flawed recommendations while working out which will throw you off a bit. So while Your Shape might be remarkable in some ways, it is also flawed in others. These gripes can be overlooked though, as the more you use it, the more it will find the right routines for you.
This is an interesting glimpse at the possible future of the Kinect, and it is one of the few launch titles that actually manages to surprise you with what it offers. So the next time you hear someone criticize video games as a mindless form of entertainment, show them this game. They might actually learn something.
Score: 8 out of 10
If you’re interested in the Kinect system then check out our Microsoft Kinect review.
(This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360 on a copy provided by Ubisoft)