Game Review: Nike+ Kinect Training
OverviewGenre: Fitness, Sport
Pros:Cheaper than a gym subscription, customisable and more intense workouts than other fitness games.
Cons:Lots of space required, not a game so much as a program.
Granted, Nike+ Fitness Training isn’t exactly a game, but it just might get a lot of gamers up and active.
It’s hard to review a fitness game as a game. It’s a general issue, but they can’t really be compared to simulations, shooters, platformers or even dance games in a fair light. There’s no traditional sense of progression, wonder, excitement or love, and when it comes to compiling yearly best-ofs, it’s probably fair to say fitness games don’t even get considered for inclusion. As an accessory, however, Nike+ Fitness Training is as good as you’re going to get from the genre.
You’ll need a lot of space for Nike+ to operate comfortably and effectively, as the game will have you hopping about like an energizer bunny on a pogo stick. As soon as you’ve completed the first sets of challenges and exercises, the game is relentless in increasing its difficulty and intensity. There’s definitely a more tangible feeling of exercise than in other fitness games, though the layout, organisation, and graphics don’t really differentiate it from similar titles.
You get rewarded for crunches, lunges, Yoga-ish poses, sweating a bit and burning approximate calories. The game’s regular 4-week progress review will successfully guilt most players into doing better than they have been, although the feature for allowing you to work out with your friends on Xbox Live is unlikely to take off quite so well. A nice feature of the game is that it was created in conjunction with real trainers like Alex Molden (former NFL pro) and Marie Purvis, giving Nike+ a respectable level of authenticity and professionalism, rather than just using the licensed animated image of a famous athlete.
The best part of Nike+ is undoubtedly in its goal customisation, where you can select what you want your body to look like, and its exercises genuinely feel focused on getting you into your preferred shape while keeping in mind your ability and your overall health. Also, if you play any other fitness titles, your calories burned will be continuously counted in here while you play them, which is a great feature for those who like to shake things up from time to time.
Fitness games are the product of a new gameplay structures facilitated by Nintendo with Wii Fit and Microsoft’s Kinect control giving a greater level of simulation, technique assessment and efficiency. It remains to be seen what can be done with them in regard to actually making them into a real ‘game’ experience; something that is at once rewarding and addictive. Nike+ won’t fill the void in someone looking for a new challenge while waiting for the next Mega Man or Grand Theft Auto, but it does at least offer a change from regular gaming perceptions, and may even get a lot of gamers up and active.