Nathan Weller On January 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 Run the World ScreenshotSo, the holidays are winding down, and you’ve got a few gift cards burning holes in your pockets. New Year’s is around the corner, and that means making a few resolutions you hope to keep for longer than a week, this time. Care to kill two birds with one stone? How about a fitness game? Get fit, with a game? Maybe. If you have Kinect, which you may have also picked up during the holidays.

When the Kinect first launched, Ubisoft’s Your Shape was a decent game in the launch lineup, going up against the likes of Wii Fit on the Wii and the EA Fitness title across all platforms. In 2011, Ubisoft has updated their fitness game, and Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 is the next iteration in this Kinect-only title.

As this game goes online, it can check if any of your friends are also playing, and pull in some of their stats which will flash up here and there on the menu screens. Global stats across all players are also mixed in. These social aspects of the game are a nice touch and serve to show how others are faring in the game, and can help foster a competitive atmosphere that may help you keep with the game longer.

With medals and badges to collect along the way, there are a decent number of things to do offline, but the game expands when you take it online. With the Your Shape Center, you do need to have an Ubisoft Uplay account, but you may already have one from another Ubisoft game. Once you have one, you can get points in the game that can be used to unlock different downloadable content in the game, or a handful of other Ubi games. Once in the Your Shape Center, you can monitor your progress, check on friends, and join challenge events, set goals, or join current ongoing events. Touches like this help keep the game fresh by giving you new objectives and can keep your inner statistician satisfied. It’s a bit klunky to need multiple logins, but obviously Ubisoft wants more control over their content than the Xbox Live login allows. With Uplay, they can offer other content for points that are separate from Xbox Marketplace points you may already have on your account.

Your Shape exists on an amorphous plane where objects and sets spring up around your virtual self on screen. Not just you, but a shiny version of you, as the game likes to filter the Kinect input to make it look a little better than the grainy video. Since it’s an exercise game, there’s a good deal of freedom for the game design, however the game needs to stay interesting enough to keep you coming back. While some levels are more abstract than others, there’s a nice aesthetic to the whole game of a nice, brightly lit, fun space. The jogging portion has a cool idea of showing you parts of cities around the world, so as you jog, you can see a stylized version of the city and it’ll throw some facts your way as you run. Somewhat like running through a Google map in 3D.

Aside from setting up Uplay, Your Shape is completely Kinect-driven. Punching (or Shoryuken-ing) to the left or the right lets you easily choose between options to your left and right, while scrolling left and right is easily done with hand motions. Selecting a menu item is done by virtually pressing forward towards it. This works well for the most part, but your mileage may vary depending on your Kinect setup.

There is a wide range of activity to be had in Your Shape. You can start out with a few warmup exercises, then move on to other workouts and classes. The user interface is nice in that you can see at a glance what the activity is going to focus on, and its duration. There are many short 2-3 minute exercises, then a few that can be over half an hour log for a good burn. The classes offer a good variety of Zen, Cardio Boxing, Yoga, and other upbeat options. As you progress, additional moves are added and your virtual trainer will be there alongside you to help. The moves are broken down into subsections that you have a chance to master, so as you’re doing your workout, you can try to string together a combo of nailing every part of your routine. Similar to the rush in a rhythm dancing or music game, Your Shape will award you for proper form and being able to keep with the groove.

Hopefully, this game isn’t the only part of your workout regimen. Usually, these workout and exercise games are sure to warn you up front that they are only part of your routine and not to be taken as medical advice. Sue-happy individuals have made sure that there are plenty of warning screens in the manual and on screen to make sure that it’s not Ubisoft’s fault if anyone gets hurt flailing about their rooms. Healthy gaming is a positive category that obviously doesn’t get much attention these days as it doesn’t draw enough attention as the violent games being played by children.

Whether you’re a recent Kinect owner, or looking to round out your exercise routine, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 brings a good amount of activity to your appropriately-sized living space. Along with the online features, it may help you get – and stay – in shape.


A good selection and variety of activities, and room to grow if you want to pay for the DLC, or work for the Uplay points.


Clean, fresh style combined with plasti-you via Kinect.


Ambient and upbeat music where necessary, nothing too annoying.


A strong followup to the original, with added social aspects.

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