The Ultimate Fighting Championship represents the pinnacle of man to man combat.It’s gladiatorial combat for the 21st Century, with most of the fighters sporting nicely sculpted physiques (apart from the super heavyweights). Now it’s your opportunity to use their workout routines to train like a champion so that you can look like a champion – even if you still fight like a sissy.
UFC Personal Trainer from THQ and Heavy Iron Studios, is a Move-enabled game which means, obviously, that you use the Move motion controller and the PS3 Eye camera to perform your workouts. Also included in this game is a pretty nice leg strap for you to place the controller in. This is first and foremost a fitness title and is geared to those that want to get fit while using their consoles, which is great if you don’t want to go to the gym or train with a group of people around. This is the ideal game for people that want the comfort of familiar surroundings.
Once you’ve start the game and calibrated the Move controller against the camera you will then be asked to set up your profile so that the game can accurately calculate the calories burned during training sessions. You will also need to input your gender, height, age, and weight. After this you are in the main game and need to complete a fitness test to determine your initial level of fitness. You need to do push-ups then sit-ups and finally jumping jacks (all during a set period of time). The game will record the amount of repetitions that are performed for each given activity and then analyze this against the different fitness levels. It will then assign you a training level it thinks will be a comfortable starting point. I, for example, was intermediate. From here, you may begin a routine and, based on what you need, you can either improve your fitness or enter a fat burning program. You can choose your trainer as well from the official UFC trainers: Mark DellaGrotte, Greg Jackson or Javier Mendez.
Once you begin a program, you start with warm up exercises that don’t need the Move controller before progressing on to the real workout. The movements you are expected to perform with the Move controller are fine, but I find that if you’re not dead-on with them the game will fail to recognise you movements. This is both a good and bad thing, as while it helps drill into you the need to maintain perfect form in order to get maximum benefit from the exercises, it’s also infuriating when your tired to watch the game refusing to register your efforts. I will admit, though, that you will sweat. UFC Personal Trainer is great for cardio and getting a good solid core workout. The exercises are very in-depth and there’s an impressive range, even for experienced gym members.
The graphics in UFC Personal Trainer are fine. They are not spectacular, but, as this is not a FPS or RPG, it’s OK not to have the most detailed environments and atmosphere. UFC Personal Trainer does what it is meant to, which is giving you a great workout. The sound is very nice and the real voices of the UFC trainers and the UFC fighters, who you can spar and train with, really help add to the atmosphere.
As well as the standard workouts, UFC Personal Trainer also includes a range of alternative activities and mini-games to keep you entertained (and sweating). You can, for example, have a punch bag session with Rashad Evans or Forrest Griffin then work on the speed bag. The game even features a fun multiplayer component where you try to out rep your opponents and get higher points, while trophies and achievements are awarded for your feats of fitness.
Overall, UFC Personal Trainer does exactly what is says on the box. It trains you and if you can keep up and ignore the controller issues then you’re going to lose weight and gain body tone. Trust me on this, it’s very good and there is a lot to do thanks to the inclusion of the multiplayer and mini-games. The game does suffer from some weird movement recognition issues, which is a shame since this is a Move-enabled gamed and the focus is on trying to compete with the controller-free XBox 360 Kinect version. Of the two, I believe the Kinect version is the better and suffers from much fewer issues. Nevertheless, for the PS3, this is the best fitness game out now.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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