If my brief time with UFC Personal Trainer has taught me anything, it’s that I never want to play the damn thing again. If it has taught me anything else, it’s that I am a pathetic wimp.
There I was at a recent THQ event, happily blasting aliens while slouched in a comfy seat, when I was approached by a smiley PR girl. “Hey, have you had the chance to play UFC yet?,” she cheerily enquired.
I wish I had lied to her.
I’ve always been a bit scornful about fitness games. If you want to get fit then you should leave the bloody house and run around the block or something, not ponce about in front of the telly. Right?
Well, maybe. But based on the rather brief time I spent with the Kinect version of UFC Personal Trainer, I reckon they can be pretty effective. So effective, in fact, that I couldn’t even make it past the warm-up routine. I really am a pathetic wimp.
This is going to hurt in the morning...
It was hard work. Genuinely. Selected from a huge menu of routines, I’m informed mine was somewhere towards the middle of the difficulty spectrum. It gets a lot, lot harder from there.
If I had survived long enough, I’d have reached the meat of the game: High-impact, fast paced exercise routines led by genuine, real life UFC trainers Mark Dellagrotte, Javier Mendez and Greg Jackson.
But I didn’t, so Ignoring the scornful look of the burly UFC fighter bloke, I ducked to the back of the room, fell into a sweaty, crumpled mess and watched as a new wave of unsuspecting victims took over.
Here are the facts: UFC Personal Trainer features over seventy MMA and NASM-approved exercises, inspired by Muay Thai, kickboxing and wrestling, amongst others. These exercises are stacked up in different routines designed to target specific muscle groups, as well as individual fitness goals.
Basically, you’re tasked with mirroring whatever the chap is doing on-screen, while the game utilises either the Kinect, Move or Wiimote (depending on your platform of choice) to track just how well you are doing. At the end each routine, you are presented with some stats to rate your performance, as well as an alphabetised score.
Put all that together and what you’ve got is… well, it’s basically a terrible videogame. Just like the rest of the fitness genre, UFC Personal Trainer is little more than a tech-enabled, slightly more macho version of Davina’s Workout DVD.
But as a workout program, as a piece of software that enables you to get fit (or at least fitter), it looks really quite good. Which is exactly the point, isn’t it?
Honestly, I’m not in terrible shape, but I couldn’t walk downstairs properly for about three days after playing it. While I don’t doubt for a second that UFC Personal Trainer is no replacement for actually getting down the gym, it will doubtless help you shed a few unwanted pounds.
So if you’re after a decent workout, with a bit of a manly edge, you may just want to keep your eye on this one. Me, I’ll stick to shooting aliens in the face, thanks. Or wait for THQ to announce KFC Personal Trainer instead. How amazing would that be?