|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 6, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Regardless of which workout you opt for, there's usually a tutorial you can click on, which will explain exactly how to perform whatever exercise Maya is working on with you. However, tutorials weren't consistently offered throughout workouts, and often I had to perfect many of the moves on my own mid-workout. The good news is, Maya talks to you the entire time, both encouraging you and offering instruction of her own. She'll even inquire about how you felt about the last few exercises you did, and if you had trouble keeping up, she'll lighten the load in that area during your next workout. When your workout is over, she tallies up an estimate of the calories you lost.
Production-wise, MFC is pretty barebones. Maya is the only personality in the title, but her character model does look pretty good. Since it's an exercise program, it's important that the animations come off as convincing, and for the most part, Maya moves pretty gracefully. However, the environments are generally low poly, and there's constant screen tearing. The uniform design of each background is attractive, but there are only eight backgrounds to choose from. Of course, visuals aren't usually a make-it or break-it issue when the main goal is to get a workout, and MFC does "good enough."
MFC's audio is about on par with the product's visuals. Music is all MIDI, and it's similar to what you'd hear in an elevator or department store. You can select from types such as Hip-Hop, Eighties, or Latin before each workout, but that's about the extent of customization. The music is all very generic, but it, too, works fine alongside your workout. As mentioned, Maya talks to you the entire time, and it really is a noticeable help. However, her voice will occasionally come through muddled and boxy when explaining how certain exercises are performed.
Overall, My Fitness Coach does what it says it does. It's a virtual fitness coach priced comparably to your average fitness DVD/video. Of course, you get the added benefit of customizing your fitness program each leg of the way, and it's easy to get lulled into the feeling that Maya is working exclusively for you. That said, the product is fairly shallow (unless you have additional equipment, but then, why would you need this software?), and it, in no way, offers even an approximation of what WiiFit does. However, folks serious about sticking to a workout regimen can certainly benefit from what's offered here.
CCC Freelance Writer