UFC Fitness for Everyone
Playing UFC Personal Trainer is painful. If you are looking for a simple workout game that won’t push you very far, then you should stick to the mini-game mode on Wii Fit. Even on the “Beginner” setting, I found UFC Personal Trainer to be a very challenging exercise game. And that is one of its best qualities. UFC Personal Trainer makes no bones about the fact that getting in shape is tough business. But if you stick with it, you’ll certainly reap the rewards. Just be prepared for a little bit of pain in the meantime.
Though the game does take the form of a fighting-focused UFC exercise system, don’t expect to learn your favorite MMA fighters’ moves through the game. You’ll get a few fighting basics, but you won’t become the next Chuck Liddell after a few months. If you’re looking to learn advanced grappling moves or want to do more than learn the basics, then you’ll be better off with a real UFC personal trainer, as the virtual one just won’t get the job done. However, if your goal is to lose a few pounds in a fun way, this game will absolutely accomplish its purpose.
Once you’ve finished the preliminary setup, you can jump headlong into training. The game advises that you don’t play for too long, and I have to agree that between 30 minutes and an hour with UFC: Personal Trainer is probably a good time limit. So what will you do with your workout time? The good news is UFC Personal Trainer gives you plenty of options. The main mode is the workout mode, which allows you to select from a list of specially targeted workouts, or launch into a program for either 30 or 60 days to either build strength or cut weight.
Being the ambitious girl I am, I selected the 30 day workout routine and launched headlong into a series of both aerobic and fighting based exercises. Because I was on the beginner level, the intensity was low, and nothing got more intense than some alternating punches and simple exercises like mountain climbers and leg lifts.
However, even though the exercises were very simple, I found myself working extremely hard at them. The Kinect version of the game uses body tracking to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly, and definitely won’t let you slouch. For instance, while I was doing several reps of leg lifts, I started getting a little bit lazy and tried to lift them a bit lower than I had to and pull them down slowly. However, the game was wise to my slacking, and if I didn’t do the leg lift exactly as instructed, I wouldn’t get credit for the rep. Though we generally expect exercise games to be precise, I think we’ve all “cheated” at some point. However, UFC Personal Trainer doesn’t let you do that, which is definitely a good thing.
Another good thing about UFC Personal Trainer is that there is plenty of variety in the workout routines. There are over 70 different exercises in the Kinect version of the game (the other versions have less due to technical limitations) and even if you do a 60-day program, you’re unlikely to get bored with the variety of content in the game. And if you so desire, you can assemble as many exercises as you want into your own custom routine, so you don’t get bored with the game’s suggested exercise options.
Though the exercise calendar will probably be the game’s most popular and convenient mode for exercise enthusiasts, if you just want to get in and have a five or ten minute warm-up session, you can try out one of the game’s free-play activities. Activities in the game include free-striking, a speed-strike mode, and “Hit the Mitts,” which tests your strike speed and accuracy. These aren’t great for exercise purposes, but if you just want to hop on and blow off some steam, you’ll be able to do that.
Although the inclusion of UFC-style moves and exercises will certainly draw the attention of fitness buffs, there are a few key things that will excite UFC fans specifically. First off is the focus on delivering an experience with real UFC trainers. Players can select to work out with renowned UFC trainers Mark DellaGrotte, Greg Jackson, or Javier Mendez. Each trainer is fully-voiced and will instruct you in his own unique way.
But even more exciting than the trainers is the inclusion of several UFC fighters. Though they are not integrated deeply into the game, you can perform several fighting exercise routines against the game’s UFC fighter models. This is a pretty cool feature that’s likely to motivate more dedicated UFC fans into exercising. There are 16 available fighters to work with, including superstars like Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, and Cain Velasquez.
UFC Personal Fitness is a great workout game first, and a cool addition to the UFC universe second. The addition of UFC fighters, trainers, and UFC-inspired workouts will make this a great experience for fans, and I look at it as a new way to motivate people to work out. Though fitness games are traditionally marketed to women, UFC Personal Fitness takes a new, universal approach to getting fit, and the focus on building strength and learning basic fighting moves really works here. If you haven’t yet hopped on board the fitness game train, or have been looking for something a little different, UFC Personal Fitness measures up and manages to be quite fun as well. Just don’t expect to slack off.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
Fighter and trainer models look great and animations are smooth. 4.5 Control
Control is flawless with the Kinect peripheral and the game is incredibly responsive. 2.6 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Trainer voiceovers are inoffensive at first, but repetitive phrases can get annoying fast. 3.9 Play Value
With plenty of modes and some nifty customization options, this is a fitness game that it is easy to stick with. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best