GAME NAME: UFC Personal Trainer
DEVELOPER(S): Heavy Iron Studios
PLATFORM(S): PS3 / XBOX 360 / Wii
RELEASE DATE(S): June 28, 2011
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been rising in popularity over the last few years. What started in 1993 as a niche sport that was drawing in 86,000 viewers has now grown eighteen years later into a legit sport having over 1.5 million viewers. UFC has turned into a huge mainstream phenomenon with a rabid cult fan base that rivals any other. Now just about everywhere you go someone is wearing a Tap-Out or UFC shirt. With all the hype for UFC it is a no-brainer that there would be video games made for the sport. THQ has been the exclusive publisher for UFC games starting with a game on the SEGA Dreamcast, than later making games for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. The best and most recent UFC games were made on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But this year THQ and Heavy Iron Studios have a new twist on the Mixed Martial Arts franchise with UFC Personal Trainer. In this game you get to train with the same trainers the real UFC fighters train with such as Mark DellaGrotte, Greg Jackson, or Javier Mendez.
UFC Personal Trainer has a wide variety of exercises to help you get in shape. They even include the option to use free weights or bands with certain exercises to get more out of the workout. There are a lot of preset workouts available so gamers are able to jump in and start going with out much hassle. There are 30 and 60 day challenges to keep players coming back daily to get in their work-out routine. Heavy Iron Studios also included the ability to create custom work outs to fit your needs. The game as compared to the other fitness games on the Kinect feels like it offers a lot more exercises and does a better job of recognizing you as you do different moves. Not once did I find myself having to re-login to my gamertag like I kept having to do on EA Active 2 for the Kinect because it would not recognize me doing the exercises. The menus also look clean and can be navigated with ease. There are good video tutorials showing gamers how to do the exercises as well.
The best exercise in my opinion was the hit the mitts game, which involves you punching and kicking fast and precise at the trainer holding the sparing pads. The game keeps track of your progress, for example, you might start off only being able to do twenty pushups but after thirty days you might be able to do thirty. This is a very useful option as the game does a nice job of keeping track so you don’t have to. UFC Personal Trainer also has warm-ups to get players ready for the workout so they are not just jumping into exercises and getting hurt. It’s a great tool for beginners to ease their way into working out and bodybuilding. The game gives a good start to working out right from your home versus going to a gym.
The downfall I had with this game though were that the trainers do not vary much with their feedback. It was bland and a lot of times they would repeat themselves during the pre-workout exercises saying, “We’re priming the body for a great workout” during all three warm up exercises. Just little things like this start to annoy you and even though they are real trainers they still feel like computers. I want a little more motivation out of a trainer pushing me to workout harder.
I’ve done a lot of working out and bodybuilding over the last couple of years and from a real trainers perspective I think this game is a great way to get in shape and lose a few pounds. It’s not however going to turn you into a UFC fighter overnight. What it does though is gives enthusiasts a good idea about the training that goes into being a professional UFC fighter and let me tell you, it’s not at easy as it looks.
*Review is based on the Xbox 360 Version