UFC is a game which very much lacks what most games take for granted ie story and gameplay and takes the role of a tool more than anything else. UFC takes the abilities of motion gaming to a where everything you do feels much more like an achievement as you take part in the different activities. It feels good because you have to put so much more into everything that you do. It utilises the Kinect to read your movements in comparison to the directions you are given by your trainer on screen.
The graphics for the game are a pretty high standard with the likenesses of all the trainers and a handful of UFC fighters; all of which look pretty accurate and the movements are fluid and look realistic enough for it to be easy to copy during the exercises. The environments themselves are all darkened gym rooms with light only on your trainer and the surrounding area.
The game begins with a quick Fitness Test of the game to your “skill” level; what it actually means is how easily is the game going to break you. It is three simple tests and one quick grilling of your personal data. You enter your height, weight and age, then you can move on to the harder stuff; the physical exercise. The three simple tests measure how many sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks you can do in a minute with the last getting you to record your heartbeat directly afterwards.
Afterwards you are able to freely pick from the various Activities, Personal Workout Sessions and Quick Workouts as well as the stat tracking and options menus. Activities are the closest thing to mini-games you will find with Hit the Mitts, Freestyle Punch Bag, Speed Bag and Tyre Lift. Aside from practising on the punch bag or doing a Hit the Mitts exercise you won’t be coming back very often if at all.
The Quick Workouts are 10-17 minute work outs which are quick warm ups with and warm downs with one of the three trainers in the game; each teaching you some fighting techniques on the punch bag or mitts. The exercises do differ with the trainers fighting styles and some of the warm ups are different but on the whole you will be doing the same exercises over and over again. There is quite a large selection of workouts to go through but should you wish to do specific exercises then you can make some workouts for yourself to use at a later date.
The Personal Workout Sessions are part of a routine you can choose with one of three goals with a choice of a 30 day or 60 day routine. You can choose to build strength, stamina or work on weight loss. Each session lasts up to around half an hour and is much more exercise based with sit-ups push ups stretches and many variations on standard exercises.
There is a personal tracker which you can use to track your progress through all of the workouts and activities; showing all sorts of statistics as well as letting you update height, weight and letting you retake the Fitness Test from the beginning in order to increase your difficulty. It also will give you a rundown of your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) as well as give you the rundown on how many calories you should take in a day.
There are many videos which give tips about everything from exercises to injuries and all of them are hosted by one of the three trainers or the host of the game. They are all very good with a few videos coming off as unnecessary due to it being a different face for the same speech.
The audio is also very good with all the voices being clear and extremely motivational but eventually you will get tired of all the repetitiveness of all the spoken lines. Also sometimes the trainer will speak what you will think is a verbal queue to move on but sometimes it’s just not in at the right time making it very awkward to get in line while you are doing an exercise that you can’t look at the screen for.
Presentation and Audio
The graphic themselves are generally very good and the likenesses are high quality. The sound however features well recorded voices for all the actual people starring in the game but repetitive dialogue can really get grating and the lack of direction is a little irritating when you are looking away from the screen.
You are either going to love playing the game or hate it; while it does lack any game like features the hit the mitts mode is as close as you’ll get and it is very enjoyable. It is more of a tool than a game but the workouts and workout schedules make keeping track and not overdoing things easy. It is easily the best exercise game for Kinect at this moment in time.
Whether you’re going for achievements or to actually work your body into better shape the game will last you at least a month as that’s the minimum you can spend completing a training course. After that it’s only how much more you can physical exercise (or torture) you can withstand or how much more guidance you need depending on your point of view.
This is easily the best fitness offering on the Kinect and it does so while making sure that it only uses Kinect for what it needs rather than adding any gimmicks or trying to be overly precise. Regardless of whether you are fit and capable of breezing through the exercises and workouts or if you find it a challenge to finish each individual exercise the feeling of completing a session is well worth all the effort put in. The main factor here is also the motivation; the trainers will make you feel more inclined to push yourself or just meet the targets as they throw praise at you but if you fail them then you will be utterly mortified while they say they are disappointed while a chorus of boo’s go off in the background.
I came at this game as a beginner and though I still am exactly that I really have no regrets playing this. It simply blew my expectations for itself out of the water with how in-depth and motivational it can be also the added depth from all the statistics mean that you can use this for much more than just a workout. It does the job of making you more ready for exercise but also never tricks you into thinking just the game will help you. It constantly reminds you that diet is key and it will always show you in the right direction if you spend a little time with the extra features. I really can’t recommend this enough to anyone who wants to try their hand at getting some of exercise with some guidance; it may not be a miracle worker but it is a sturdy tool that will definitely help you improve in the areas you wish to.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.