So, here I am, with a beer and a fag, trying to review Ubisoft’s My Fitness Coach Club. I’m not getting very far, it has to be said. I’m 32, somewhat overweight, have downstairs neighbours and an incredibly sedentary life. What the hell am I supposed to do with My Fitness Coach Club?
No, seriously. If you’re anything like me, a title like this is utterly pointless; you can’t eat it, you can’t drink it, and it doesn’t involve bullets or spells. Useless. If you’re reading this as a pasty, lethargic, overweight gamer pretending like this is going to turn your life around, stop there, turn the oven on and whack a pie in, because you’re going to need a rethink.
I think it was the late, great Bob Monkhouse that said, “Contemplating change is unnecessary; if we wanted to change, there is no doubt we would be in the process of changing now.” This applies to you fatso. If you want a lean body and abs you can play the spoons on, eat less, go outside and do stuff. Doesn’t matter what it is, just do stuff, and the weight comes off. That’s about as close to a workout video I’m gonna get here, but it’s good advice.
So, what about this My Fitness Coach Club game, then? Well, I’ve seen a few workout videos in my time: Sam Fox, Linda Lusardi and Melinda Messenger spring to mind, and this is probably a shade better than those in that it’s faintly interactive and doesn’t make you want to put your hands down your pants. I stress the word faintly, because it really has nothing to do with you. In fact, I’ve got it on a constant workout at the minute in the background, accruing points as I write, and I’m still getting top score. Feel the burn.
At the risk of calling this particular kettle black, it feels somewhat lazy. I know you’re not expecting phenomenal visuals, or astounding Dolby surround sound, but what you do expect is a set up that motivates and encourages you to work out. It should at least try to make you use the PlayStation Move controller so you feel like you’re getting the most out of the silly thing.
During the workouts, which I’m sure have been very carefully created, you get a barrage of nonsense words from the lovely voiceover woman, whose Canadian accent slides into South Park-esque comedy at times, eh? “Two-time”, she spouts. “Go, feel your thighs,” or “Get ready for the crunches,” comes rattling in monotone out of your TV regularly, and seemingly with no relation to what’s happening on the screen. If it weren’t for the awesome background tunes, you’d mute the damn thing in seconds. This isn’t a killer, as I’m sure that this kind of encouragement and informative imperative is great for people who are genuinely using this to get fit. Probably. If I were the kind of person to go to the gym, I would probably beat her to death with whatever foam-covered gym implement that came to hand if she made this kind of noise at me.
In terms of organisation, the whole set up seems sound, if a little derivative. You enter your weight, height and objectives and it selects a bunch of routines for you to do. Do them, collect the points and reassess your weight ad infinitum. You don’t get anything of general interest by way of reward. No achievement points, no avatar unlocks and nothing but generic photos of fit people to keep you interested.
Really, that’s about it. The PlayStation Move aspect of it is lame, and is only present in some of the workouts. The only real advantage over a por… sorry, workout video, is that you can download sessions from uPlay. There’s plenty to choose from, and a wide variety of options in terms of where you want to focus your workouts, namely flexibility, core, strength, cardio and the like.
Really though, I can’t see this taking off. Firstly, if you have downstairs neighbours, don’t buy this. It requires you to jog on the spot, skip and hop. They won’t be too happy with you. Secondly, it WILL NOT change your life. Until something comes along that is so unutterably addictive that we, as a collective demographic, stand up to play our videogames, there’s no argument for this type of game being motivational. If you go ahead and buy this thinking, “Maybe, just maybe…” you WILL be disappointed.
No, this is a game that, while it may have been created with the best intentions, will be played exclusively by fitness freaks who want another way to calculate how superior they are to anyone who doesn’t live on power shakes, energy bars and electrolytes. The other demographic is the slightly overweight girlfriend, whose boyfriend has bought it in the hope of turning their once-tidy bit back into someone who can do the reverse cowgirl without a) shitting themselves, or b) falling down.
I can’t say it is a complete disappointment to me, if nothing else the tunes are sweet and the interface is easy to navigate, even if you’ve got pie-withdrawal shakes. I’m scoring this on functionality, rather than pinning a subjective “It doesn’t got guns, 2/10” score on it. Really it boils down to you. If you have this in your collection, the chances are that you need to take a good, long look at yourself. Realising that is worth the asking price alone.
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