Customer Review

419 of 432 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Xbox Fitness Game to Date, October 30, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Nike+ Kinect Training - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I tend to divide fitness video games into two categories: "fun" motion games like Kinect Star Wars and Kung Fu Live where you get a workout just in the course of playing a game, and "pure" exercise games that are designed from the ground-up to be workout games. In the world of "pure" fitness games, so far there have been two contenders for being the best on the Kinect: Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and Adidas MiCoach.

I'm happy to say that from what I've seen do far, Nike+ Kinect Training powers its way to the top of the list. It has the most accurate motion detection and interface of all the workout games I've seen to date, has a truly innovative fitness test, and puts together workout routines that really feel personalized for you.

While the Adidas game had appearances by animated versions of very recognizable athletes such as Dwight Howard and Eric Berry, with Nike you have animated versions of Alex Molden or Marie Pervis, both best known as Nike certified trainers (although Molden did spend 9 years in the NFL). I found that fact that these are actual trainers lends a bit more credibility to the training, as opposed to other games which hire big name athletes or pop stars to drive sales.

The concept of the game is quite simple. You start out by selecting your goal (such as Get Strong to increase your power and build explosiveness, Get Toned to develop lean muscle and muscle definition, or Get Lean to maximize calorie and fat burn). Then, you go through a fitness assessment, after which you'll get a customized circuit training routine to do over the next four weeks. In other video games I tried, the assessment is really just smoke and mirrors--however you do on your "fitness test" those games will give you the exact same workout routine and call it a "personalized one". With Nike+ Kinect, the workouts I was given really feel customized to my exact goals.

The Fitness Challenge basically runs you through a series of exercises, using the Kinect to measure both how well your form is and how many reps of each exercise you're doing. You'll see a video image of your animated trainer and a silhouette of yourself next to him or her. One thing to keep in mind is that you need a minimum of 8 feet in front of your Kinect sensor with a clear view of the floor, and you'll also need a good 8-10 feet from left to right for certain exercises where you'll be jumping from side to side. [EDIT: some have reported that 8 feet is not even enough for certain exercises; in any case, if you get stuck with the system unable to track you, just use voice command "XBOX - TRACKING OFF" to proceed with the exercises. Thanks to Hans for the tip!]

Each exercise is similar in that you'll see your trainer to the left of the screen, and you'll see a silhouette of your body to the right. Your silhouette will be orange at first but will glow blue when you're using the correct form. The Kinect is extremely precise and did a great job of gauging whether I was doing the exercises right each time.

The first part of the assessment tests your lower body and upper body mobility by having you strike a few poses (first lying down and raising each leg, and then standing up and stretching with your arms behind your back).

The next part of the assessment has you doing a variety of exercises, from a hop and stick (this is the one that requires a ton of space from left to right), a squat jump. What's really cool about this is that not only does the system judge your performance, it'll also give you detailed data that you can try to beat each time you do the exercise; for example, the squat jump will tell you your vertical leap in inches.

There's a cool exercise that tests your speed, reaction and agility, where you have to hop and jump to various targets on the ground. You're also tested on squats, push-ups, and high knee sprints. Again, I loved how you could set a benchmark and then try to beat it with each rep you do. A bar on the bottom of the screen will show you how good your form is; the more it fills up the better you're doing. I also loved how the system displayed things like time and reps; it's stylistically integrated into the background of the scenery in a way that's easy to read and has a certain "coolness" factor.

Motion sensing was excellent, something I always try to test with these kinds of games. I tried to throw it off several times, but it seemed to do a great job of keeping up with me.

After your evaluation you're given something called a "unique fuel print" an interesting metric that tracks your "Fitness Score" on one side and your "Athleticism" on the other side. During the test you basically establish a benchmark and then every four week you're given the same test to see how much you've improved. I started with both numbers in the 30s, which I knew meant I had a LOT of room for improvement.

You're also set up with a custom 4-week workout that focuses on your goals as well as things from your fitness evaluation that need improvement. There's a cool visual representation that shows the system picking the right exercises for you. The exercises in the workout routine are along the line of what I described above: doing various exercises where you're evaluated on how well your form and your execution are. The virtual trainer does give excellent feedback of your performance.

At first, I was excited because all the marketing material pointed to this game being tightly integrated into the whole Nike+ system. It turns out the integration is not very deep at all. If you have a Nike+ Fuelband, you'll earn "NikeFuel" playing this game just like you would doing any other exercise, but other than that there's not direct connection nor interaction between the FuelBand and Kinect Training. Kinect Training will sync (in summary form) to your NikePlus.com profile, so you can view your overall Kinect Training statistics on the site next to your FuelBand statistics, but that's it.

One thing I also love about the game is that it's supported by Kinect PlayFit, so calories burned will be counted along with all your other PlayFit-compatible games.

The one thing I wish this title had was more "fun" activities where you could get exercise by simulating real sports or activities. This is something that other titles such as Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and EA Sports Active 2 both have that provide some nice variety and diversion to keep the workouts from getting too monotonous. While Nike+ Training has some of that (there's an interesting game where you need to move your body to avoid shattering a pane of glass that's coming toward you), for the most part it's still mostly like a virtual experience at a gym, so if you have a tough time getting motivated to go to the gym every day, chances are you might have a tough time keeping up with regular workouts with this game. That said, the game does "basic training and exercise" better than any game before it, and makes a great addition to your Kinect workout game collection.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 31, 2012 1:55:05 PM PDT
What is the kinect range required to play this game, I probably only have around 5-6 feet of space from the kinect..will this work?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 12:57:02 PM PDT
Mogg says:
I would download the demo and test it there. Im still waiting on my copy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 9:11:43 PM PDT
Unfortunately, 5-6 feet will not be close to being enough. You need at least 8 feet in front of the sensor (with a full view of the entire floor), and at least 8-10 feet from side to side. While there are some exercises where you can get away with less space, the moment you need to lie on the floor or do exercises that involve moving left, right, forward, or back you'll find yourself frustrated (I'm in the same boat as you, so I literally had to rearrange furniture to be able to play the game).

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 3:49:47 PM PST
BubbaL says:
Just a question: do you need a nike fuel band to get NikeFuel points or can you play the game without it? I have Nike+ shoes that I use for running and wondering if those would for this. Thanks.
.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 6:27:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012 6:28:39 PM PST
Hans Wurst says:
Kinect tracks you without the need for the Nike fuel band.

With regards to space: I got 8 feet, but it's not enough for all of the exercises to be tracked correctly. I say "Xbox", and then "Tracking Off" whenever it is confused, and all is well.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 1:04:39 PM PST
BubbaL, According to Nike, "if you wear your Nike+ FuelBand while working out with the Nike+ Kinect Training, you will earn NikeFuel for both products, and will be able to track both experiences in your Nike+ profile on nikeplus.com". So as Hans says below it's not required, but having it will let you have a nice big picture of your Kinect workout data along with your workouts outside of Kinect.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any benefit to using Nike+ footwear with this product. I actually wish Nike could be a lot more clear about which products work with what instead of just throwing marketing words around implying that everything is interchangeable.

BTW, Hans, thanks for the heads-up about the distance--the workouts I've tried have all worked within 8 feet, but perhaps there's some I haven't tried yet. I'll add your information and your tip to the main review to help others.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 1:52:54 PM PST
Hans Wurst says:
I just measured the distance from the Kinect to the back wall and it's a bit over 10 feet. I've run into tracking issues with Hip Circles (those work when I'm all the way up against the back wall) and Single Leg Hip Lift, for which I usually have to turn tracking off.
But I love this, it's light years ahead of the competition, and I get a better workout in 20 minutes than I used to in an hour with EA Sports Active Kinect.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 7:04:35 PM PST
_l_l_ says:
Thanks for the great review! Packed with helpful information.

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 8:03:04 AM PST
EchoMS says:
This is an excellent review - thank you!!!

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 9:35:04 PM PST
M. Baroun says:
Do you know if the kinect zoom helps with this game?
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