Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout Kinect

Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout Kinect
The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout Kinect lets you do a full body workout without balancing on boards or holding any controllers. You simply do the workout - and the camera knows how well you're doing.

We have the PS3, XBox 360 and Wii, and we have fitness games for all of them. I was a big fan of WiiFit when it first came out. I loved the activities and saw the potential. But holding the controllers or trying to balance on the board wasn't always the best way to do an exercise.

Now, with the Kinect, being active has become completely natural! You're not pushing buttons or keeping track of where your foot is. You simply follow the commands. Jumping jacks. Lunges. Yoga poses. Punching bags. You can choose Bob or Jillian to guide you, and you are in different locations for your activities.

It's fairly clear that this was their first try at a Kinect game. The controls are *awful*. You have to choose your weight one pound at a time. Multiple people here tried their auto-sizer and came up with 200 inch necks. Changing values is simply not up to par compared with any other game on the market. You shouldn't be moving a tenth of a pound at a time - give us a spinner for each digit!

When you input your "additional calories" you did (for example if you went for a 2 hour walk and want to add that into your account for tracking purposes) you have to scroll a digit at a time. So these issues aren't a one-time-only setup issue. You'll hit them every day as you try to keep your account up to date. Also, they seem to cap out at 2 hours of exercise! What if you go play golf for 4 hours? Or go hiking for an afternoon?

Many of the areas are laid out with empty mats. This is so, if you have online friends, you can play with them. However, if you're playing alone it just makes the area look barren and empty. They should reduce it to just the number of players' mats. Also, despite the fact that the camera could see our feet fine for the various exercises, when we did planks in the exact same area, it couldn't handle the plank visuals well and gave us not-perfect scores there. So there are some issues with the sensitivity.

My biggest issue, though, is with the gameplay when you choose Jillian. My boyfriend likes Bob and went through his workthroughs just fine, with Bob cheering him on and explaining the moves. Then it was my turn. I chose Jillian as my trainer - and Bob's voice started talking! The most I got out of Jillian was an occasional "good job" - but it was Bob doing all the commentary. If I had wanted Bob, I would have chosen him. If this was going to be a Bob-centric game, they should have let us know that. Would it really have been that hard to record some more dialogue?

Still, it's important to keep in mind that this is a release title for the new Kinect system. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of kinks for game makers to work out as they figure out how to best utilize this new camera software. They'll have to tweak the way sensors work, the way you manipulate the settings and so on. Once you get into an actual workout, it is fun, and they are good about offering you water breaks and asking for audio status updates. You yell out if you're doing well or need a break, so it doesn't interrupt the gameplay.

But that brings up another issue. With the Kinect, if you stand with your left hand down and out at a 45 degree angle, this is a sign to pause the Kinect. However, several of the exercises require you to put your hands into this position, and you have to wiggle to keep the Kinect from pausing! So again, a sign that this is a new-release game where they didn't think of some of those types of issues.

Still, if you mentally gear yourself up to deal with some annoyances in inputting numbers and handling on-the-floor poses, there's a great deal of potential with this game. I think when they come out with the second version that they'll have fixed many of these niggling issues and have a superb game that will be great fun for years!

Rating: 8/10

We purchased this game with our own money from a gaming store.

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