Get Fit with Mel B – The good
- Lots of exercises
- Will actually get you fit!
- Automatic workout generation based on various goals
- Motivates you to keep going
Get Fit with Mel B – The not so good
- Terrible music
- Slow and uninspiring interface
- Not really a game
- Not optimal usage of the Kinect sensor
Get Fit with Mel B – Story
The first thing that has to be said about Get Fit With Mel B is that it’s not really a game but more a very accurate fitness class simulator. Have you ever joined a gym and went to one of their instructor led classes, in which you stand in a big room with lots of other people and do exactly as your instructor does? Well Get Fit With Mel B is a perfect simulation of that!
Hence that fact that this game is not really a game it doesn’t have a story in the traditional sense, but instead you will get to experience your own personal weight loss story! For me this story started when the game asked me to input my weight. I didn’t know my exact weight, so I got my hyper advanced scales (they measure weight, body fat percentage, muscle mass percentage and water percentage) and for the first time in a year or so I was forced to weigh myself. The results were unfortunately not so good…
My scales indicated to me that I was overweight! It had never done this before. My fat percentage was through the roof and my weight had increased considerably since last year. This was a real shocker to me, as I thought I was in pretty good shape. Good thing is: this changed my whole perspective of Get Fit With Mel B. At first I just wanted to go test the game a bit to write a review, but now it became a serious tool for me to get back to a healthy weight. This was getting serious!
Get Fit with Mel B – Gameplay
The very first step to getting fit with Mel B is to create a personal profile. You will enter gender, age, weight, body type and even food preference (for the nutrition part of the game). The next thing you do is select one or two personal goals, and this is where Get Fit With Mel B gets interesting!
The main menu of Get Fit With Mel B
The goals you can select are both numerous and tailored. You can set up the game so you will do exactly the exercises that will help you get to your personal goals! Some of these goals are very generic, like “weight loss” or “lower cholesterol” or “healthy heart”. Others are extremely specific, like training for great shoulders or detoxing from a night of too much drinking, or building up stamina to be able to dance all night. Bottom line is, whatever your reason is to play Get Fit With Mel B, it will be supported by one or more of these goals, and the game will help you achieve these goals with a tailored exercising schedule.
After setting up your goals you can start exercising with a workout that is tailored to suit your goals, a custom workout or one of the totally impossible (at least for me) challenges.
The workout itself is very straightforward. Mel B will tell you what to do and will perform the exercise, and you have to do it just like her in perfect synchronization. Mel B will very quickly explain how the exercise is done and will then immediately start with it. This explanation is often confusing and doesn’t really explain how to actually perform the exercise, but once Mel B has started it’s easy to just copy her and learn it like that. The exercises are done in quick succession and there is almost no time to rest in between them. When I did my first daily exercise it took Mel B only about 10 minutes to get me sweating like a pig (this is a good thing) and after 20 minutes I was cursing at her for making my body hurt everywhere (this is also a good thing).
Get Fit with Mel B – Graphics
The exercise screen consist of Mel B, you, a backdrop and a rather rushed looking UI.
Mel B herself looks pretty good, it seems that she was shot using a pretty good green screen as she is perfectly cropped out.
A video of the player (you) is placed in real time in the game as well. Kinect is used to create a cutout and is doing a fairly good job at this. The quality of the video is however not so good, as the resolution of the Kinect camera is just not comparable to what they used to capture Mel B. It is however possible to swap the live feed of the Kinect camera for a silhouette style cutout (similar to Your Shape) so if you don’t like seeing yourself on the screen there is an option to remove this.
I look so much better than Mel B
There are a bunch of different back drops available (forest, ocean, etc.) but all are pretty uninspiring and boring.
The UI is functional but looks like a quick and dirty job, the developer obviously didn’t spend a lot of time creating a great looking UI.
Get Fit with Mel B – Sound
Music is in my opinion an extremely important aspect to any workout. It helps set the pace, it gets you in a flow and it provides you with energy. Get Fit With Mel B unfortunately has a different opinion about this because it seems like the music aspect of the game was completely neglected. There is some background music playing during the workouts, but it’s some kind of uninspiring, bland sounding track that has no workout value at all. Fortunately music can be disabled altogether so you can use your mp3 player to listen to your own music.
Get Fit with Mel B – Motivation
When it comes to weight loss games I think a major aspect of the game should be its ability to keep you motivated, and I must say, Get Fit With Mel B does a pretty good job at doing so. The game has kept me motivated for a week now and I expect it will continue to do so for quite some time.
All the different goals you can go for will keep you motivated as well!
Get Fit With Mel B keeps a personal fitness level for each of the 5 different game modes (fitness, aerobics, advanced aerobics, attack, dance and cardio). This fitness level is represented by a score ranging from 0 to 100. The game will adjust the difficulty of the workout based on your score, and will also increase it from time to time based on your performance. I really want to get my score up and this really works as a great motivation to go on.
The second thing that works as a huge motivator to me are the achievements. Achievements in a fitness game count in my opinion for so much more than achievements from other games. Getting an achievement in a fitness game often requires you to train your body to have sufficient stamina or strength to get to a certain goal. It’s no different with Get Fit With Mel B: the harder achievements will require you to be in absolute top condition and will be a massive personal achievement if you can get them. I really want to get these achievements and their existence are looming me to keep going on!
Get Fit with Mel B – Kinect Experience
The Kinect sensor is primarily used to put you into the game by means of augmented reality. The effect of this is satisfying and it actually kind off feels like you are looking into a mirror and standing next to Mel B.
The game uses the Kinect sensor to check if you are properly performing the movements. Don’t expect this to be as good as in Dance Central though. The game will not tell you what you are doing wrong and how you should improve it. The game will just tell you how well you are doing on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. It’s not really helpful and it doesn’t really work that well.
The interface navigation on the other hand is terrible. The game uses the same interface mechanics as Kinect sports and this is just too slow! Selecting an option requires you to hover over the button and then wait for a bit till it gets selected. Creating a custom workout with this slow navigation seriously takes ages and is a pain to do.
It’s 15 pages of workouts to choose from, and each time you select something or go to the next page it takes 3 seconds! Aaaarrrgggg!
It is now one week since I started playing the game and I’ve played it every single day. The game has done a good job of motivating me to keep going and it will continue to do so. Most importantly the workouts I’ve done really paid off. I lost 4.5 pounds in just 1 week (2kg) and have increased my muscle mass! In that sense Get Fit With Mel B does what it intends to do: it will get you fit. It is however not without flaws and the dull music, dull graphics and the not optimal use of the Kinect sensor keep it from being a great game. However if I judge this purely as a fitness simulator it is a pretty good title and is recommended for anyone that wants to get fit!
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Get Fit With Mel B
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