First of all, I’d like to apologize to everyone for my absence. I had some life changing events happen but nevertheless, I’m back in full swing with Kinect reviews. We will be trying to keep up and review both new and older games that have been out so bear with us as we play catch-up, but on the positive side, at least (hopefully) all of the bugs have been worked out by now. Anyhow, onto the review!
Adidas miCoach is another fitness style program, with a few game aspects to it, but if you haven’t heard about it by now, the synopsis states:
The world’s greatest athletes help you raise your game in Adidas miCoach! Sharpen your skills as you learn from the Adidas roster of stars in workouts and training programs geared toward specific sports. Tailor your routine to multiple sports, including basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and running. Work out with guidance from NBA All-Star Dwight Howard, legendary footballer Kaka, world-class sprinter Tyson Gay, heptathlon world champ Jessica Enis, tennis star Ana Ivanovic, and NFL defensive back Eric Berry. Kinect monitors your movements as miCoach analyzes your performance and helps you reach your goals. Combine with the miCoach mobile app and sync data from your workouts outside the game.
This is a very different kind of fitness routine. It’s geared to assist you in actual sports consisting of Basketball, Football, Running, Soccer, Tennis and Rugby, but if you just want cardio routines it has those as well. Now don’t think just because you finish a program you are going to be a pro, it’s more or less for endurance, strength, power, agility and more but you can only get better by actually playing better in real life, as long as you understand that, this may be something you will want to check out.
As always, I’ll break down the menu one by one. The menu follows that of the Dance Central type, but it’s more hesitant as you have some status/informational screens that pop up on the left so you can actually read what you are selecting. It is broken down into some “buttons” we’ll call them though, being able to scroll up/down, double speed and to select. There’s also voice commands which work fine as well. Before you can get into anything though, you do have to register on the website and link your account. I didn’t see any bypass option but I signed up anyway. We’ll start with the first menu item.
This is basically your workout schedule, except you have to choose some real specifics on what you want to do. It’s broken down into several categories which include:
- Getting Started
- Men’s Training
- Women’s Training
Once you choose a plan, it than sub-categorizes the category you have chosen into certain body areas, such as muscle, strength, power, endurance, etc. Choose a sub-category and then it breaks it down into 3-4 sections of your plan. Once chosen, you are presented with the schedule. I chose Football for an example and had 12 workouts total, which consisted of 4 workouts per week for 3 weeks. Each phase is your actual workout and don’t think you can do a quick one before you go to work with this title. I also experimented and tested out the first workout, thinking it was going to be short and go figure, it was 55 minutes long. The cardio workouts are shorter but they will push you to your limit.
After your plan is confirmed, you do get new menu options which include; Next Workout, Change Plan, Calendar, Pick Up Plan From Today and Change My Workout Days, which are all self-explanatory. Now on a side note, don’t think you can just buy this game and be good to go. It does require additional equipment to workout with such as dumbbells, stability balls, resistance bands, etc. so if you are serious about this title, expect to spend some extra on accessories. I didn’t include a video of an actual workout because let’s be honest, working out is boring and I’m sure you don’t want to watch me workout for 20 minutes but the workout sessions are shown briefly in the trailer below:
This is another section which is probably the only “game” aspect of this title. You can only choose from 3 sports and honestly I’m not sure if this would actually help you or not, but I do have to say it is very accurate. All of the games are kind of beat the clock, but for each success, you gain additional time and points and you keep going until time runs out. There’s also gold, silver and special balls that give you bonus points/time. I found that there are 20 scenarios and if you keep going, there is a bonus scenario just keeps replaying until it’s game over so technically, you can’t win.
The Basketball training game consists of a 3-point shoot-out style except you just don’t shoot 3 pointers. It has scenario’s setup where you are all over the court taking shots. The way it works is a ball is launched at you, and you have to actually bend down like you were catching a pass and then you can proceed to shoot. It does actually measure everything – I believe even your wrist motions – as when I just put my hands up, the ball didn’t go very far, but if I flicked my wrists forward such as shooting a real ball, it increased the distance. The objective is just to keep taking shots. Each successful shot will earn you points and a time bonus. You are presented with 10 balls and then move onto the next scenario. I did create a video of it so you can get an idea, but I’m not very good at it:
The Soccer training is different. You have to use your feet obviously, but also your head as well as like pumping your chest out as such a ball would be hitting you, then pretending to gain control of the ball and kicking it in. I think the video explains it better, but again I’m not very good at it:
The Tennis training is interesting, it’s kind of like brick breaker except you have to aim and hit the ball back with the correct type of swing such as forearm, backhand or smash. I’m pretty decent at tennis and play in real life and I have to say for a sport I know well, this felt very natural even though I wasn’t holding a racket. The aiming works really well depending on how you are twisting/turning your torso, I’m not sure how they got this right but this teased me for a real tennis game, I suppose we’ll have to wait for the next-gen to play full-blown sports titles. Anyhow here’s a video below, sorry it is so long:
The conditioning consists of 10 different program workouts ranging from 10-20 minutes and covers all condition purposes. Unfortunately there’s not much to it, it’s conditioning.
The game options included Units (Metric/US), Athlete Close-Ups which while working out, the camera will zoom in your trainer and take focus off of you, How I Look which allows you to change from a real video capture of yourself to just a silhouette, Unlink Account, Follow Friends and turn Voice Commands on or off.
The audio options just allow for volume adjustment for sound effects, speech and music.
The extras section is pretty simplified; there’s a Stats section that breaks down your stats by week, month or all time. The video gallery consists of locked videos (until you unlock them) of numerous all-stars giving you expert advice, Awards which are just small milestones that you can win over and over and the Credits.
On The Go
Now what I found fascinating about this game although I didn’t get to use any of the extras is that basically this game, along with miCoach accessories are tied into one place. Items such as a Pacer, Heart Rate Monitor, Textile Strap and a Stride Sensor can all sync statistics with the miCoach website to keep you active on the go. They even have special miCoach shoes which you can plug-in a Speed Cell into the shoe which measures how fast you run, distance, and more. It’s quite neat in my opinion but you can view the products available online.
As for the actual website, I did register and it’s fairly similar to the other fitness game websites. You can also setup your schedule and plan types through the website and it syncs to your game as well. One other note on the website, you can also input a running/walking route using google maps and I believe using one of the accessories it tracks you or something, but like I stated earlier, if you are going to take this serious, expect to spend some extra cash.
I only mention graphics if they are worth mentioning and with this title, they are definitely worth mentioning. The trainers are all real video and I can only imagine if story based games could somehow do this. They look amazing because it’s real. The backgrounds are just normal but I am really amazed at this technology they’ve used. The characters are flawless. Even your own image is quite clear compared to some of the other Kinect titles that have attempted this.
Another note, detection works very well with this game. If the game feels the need to readjust Kinect, it does it while it’s loading and readjusts all the time. This gives you a maximum amount of accuracy detection. Basketball was no problem as I remember in previous basketball type mini-games, you would have to manually adjust and tilt Kinect up or down, not with this one. Now if they can just get it to adjust all the time in real-time, we would have some flawless games. Anyhow, floor detection works very well also, as it adjusts and points to the floor if it’s a floor exercise. Overall, the developer did a great job with making this game work as it should.
Honestly, with these fitness type games, they can only offer so much but this one is specifically geared for sports and running. If you want other things such as Yoga, Aerobics, etc. you will have to look at one of other fitness titles available. For what this game offers and in the specific category, I feel it does a fine job. It’s not over the top and I can only compare so much with it which is why I rated it what I did. Again, I’m not one to offer advice but I don’t feel this game will make you become any better at sports but it will at least build your body up for it. I’m assuming the upcoming title, Nike+ Kinect Training is going to be the competitor to this one, so stay tuned for that review soon!
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Adidas miCoach
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