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A decent exercise game for the Playstation
on July 2, 2011
I admit, I came to this game with low expectations, having just played the not-very-strong Wii version of this game. But the very things that made the Wii version so weak are what makes the Playstation version strong: its use of motion controls and its beautiful graphics.
There are some similarities to the Wii version. First, the "Six" of the title refers to six core areas you need to work out to achieve full body fitness: Balance, Cardio, Core Body, Flexibility, Lower Body, and Upper Body. Every exercise you do in the program will tell you which of the six you're working on and to what degree. And you can pull up a graphical summary which tells you how much of each you've worked out, and which you need to focus more attention on.
You can choose a fitness goal, after which the system will select a number of "classes" for you to take. Unlike the Wii version, you're greeted with a very colorful, very simple and clear user interface where you can select classes. The classes fall under these categories: Cardio (14 workouts), Upper Body (7 workouts), Core Body (8 workouts), Lower Body (8 workouts), Fit for Life (9 workouts), Boot Camp (10 workouts), Kickboxing (8 workouts), Cardio Dance (9 workouts), Pilates (7 workouts), Latin Dance (9 workouts), Dance Moves (10 workouts), and Challenges (6 workouts).
Like most fitness games of this ilk, the classes are led by a computer-animated trainer. The level of detail of the trainer and the background graphics of natural environments are very good--not quite photo-realistic, but certainly done with a good attention to detail (for example, when you exercise by the water, you can see soothing clear blue skies with puffy clouds, seagulls flying gently, and even a gently moving ferris wheel in the background). I do like how you can see your own video image next to the trainer so you can match his or her motions.
You do need to have a registered Playstation Account in order to play this game--I realized later that this is so Ubisoft could cleverly slip in some DLC into your choice of classes (certain classes require payment of $1.99 to download them). I'm not averse to downloadable content in general, but I was a bit annoyed that Ubisoft seems to be charging for exercises they would have included at no cost if the DLC option did not exist.
As other reviews have said, the game does make use of the Move controller for about 50% of the classes, as identified by a blue ball icon over the menu choices. While the Move controller isn't necessary and doesn't track all of your motions 1:1, what it does is show you a colorful "swoosh" where you move your Move controller. By matching up your trail to your trainer's, you can tell if you're doing the exercise correctly. If you are, at certain points you'll get confirmation in the form of a "good!" or "great!" compliment.
One thing I really like about this game is that you can play with minimal space. While most Kinect fitness games need at least 10 feet of space, I managed to play with under 6 feet, with room to spare. I also like that you can use your own music from your Playstation 3 instead of the generic music that comes with the game.
Overall I wouldn't say this is a "fun" game (it's about as fun as a semi-intense trip to the gym). But in terms of workout value and the sheer number of exercises you can do, as well as the good graphics, it gets a solid 4 stars from me.