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PS3 Review – UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System

July 6, 2011 Written by Joseph Peterson

With motion control titles becoming increasingly popular, it was only a matter of time before people incorporated workout motions in with this new way to experience gaming. We are constantly seeing different dance, fighting, and exercise games with motion controls implemented to allow players to experience a healthier lifestyle and burn calories. Now it is THQ’s turn at the exercise market, and there’s no better way to do that than with a UFC based title that has some of the best mixed martial arts (MMA) trainers show you different techniques to allow your body to get a full workout. But the real question is does the PlayStation Move title UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System work, and if so how well?

Upon starting the game, you will be told to set up your profile so the game can accurately calculate the calories burned during training sessions. The game will require you to input are is your gender, height, age, and weight. It is then most likely using your body mass index from the data supplied to calculate the estimated calories burned.

Once completion of the initial set up, players will then be thrown into a fitness test to determine their initial level of fitness. They will be led through a series of tests that range from performing jumping jacks to push-ups, all during a set period of time. The game will record the amount of repetitions that are performed for each given activity and then analyze it against the different fitness levels. You will then be placed into your fitness level according to these results. As you progress through the game and improve your fitness, you can also attempt a higher level for your workouts. In total, there are three fitness levels for players to work their way through.

It is worthy noting that this game is a PlayStation Move title, but how does that work when you are on the ground performing different variations of sit-ups and push-ups? That answer is simple, the title ships with a leg-strap that conveniently holds one PlayStation Move controller in a built in holster. The game can also have two Move controllers used in certain exercises and activities.

In total there are three different trainers – Mark Dellagrotte, Greg Jackson, and Javier Mendez – that will be able to lead you through various workouts in the game. The game features many different approaches for you to use for your personal goals exercise wise. They include the initial workout programs that you can choose to participate in. There are three programs – build strength, cut weight, and build endurance, each of which offering either a thirty day or sixty day program to experience. These mean that for thirty or sixty days you will be able to login and have a workout already planned out completely for you.

If you want to work with a specific trainer then simply choose one of the pre-made workouts that are in the game, there are many combinations that will keep you busy for quite some time. Each of the three trainers that were mentioned earlier have seventeen workouts available to choose from in pre-made workouts where they lead you through each exercise.

Then, if all of the content still isn’t enough for you, you are able to actually create your own workouts according to how you want to do them with each of the trainers available. Each trainer offers fifty-one exercises to choose from when adding options to your custom exercise plan. These plans can also be saved for future use so that you don’t have to remember which choices you made each time.

For those that are looking to try something different, you can either give the activities area a look or even jump into the multiplayer section. Within the activities area, players can choose between four different choices that include hit the mitts, free striking, tire flip, and speed bag. Each of which offer a different way for you to burn some of those extra calories that you are trying to lose. The multiplayer mode allows you to essentially bring the activities mode into a multiplayer situation. You can choose to play side by side, one after another, or even send challenges over the PSN to friends.

All of the progress you have made in the game will be tracked via the Player Tracker area of the game. This is where you can edit your fitness level, or even retake it. Players can take pictures of themselves to see what kind of progress they are making over time. The main stats are tracked within the workout journal of this area, allowing players to see how they’ve done since they started the game. Players are even provided with a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which takes your data and calculates it to how many calories you should be consuming within a given day.

Now, with all of the exercises available, you have to be able to perform them right? That’s the whole purpose of an exercise game after all. Overall, between the on-screen instructions and the trainer demonstrating what you are supposed to do exactly it isn’t to hard to perform the action. As you advance in fitness levels it will become more difficult, therefore challenging you much more. But there were times when I was playing the game that the motion controls acted up on me. You must always take into account that the PlayStation Eye camera must be able to see the ball on the end of the controller while you progress through your motions during exercise. There were times where I was doing push-ups and the Move controller was in the leg-strap, which was of course strapped to my leg, and when I lifted myself off of the ground it didn’t register as a completed push up. This happened through a couple of the exercises, not often by any means, but still on occasion.

One huge positive of the game is that it really did a great job of keeping my heart rate up and, yes, I did break a sweat. This was the entire point of the game, and it was actually quite enjoyable as I played through the title for review. I figured that it might not make me break a sweat considering I lift heavy weights and do cardio five to six times a week, and have been doing so for years, but it definitely did what it was supposed to do. One other great feature of the title is that it takes flexibility into account as well, and that will be implemented into your workouts, which is a great thing for not only you but your muscles as well.

Graphically the game has no problems, you will find the instruction demonstrated to you by your specific trainer along with a green arrow pointing in the direction of the required action. Sometimes it will be a combination of both as you make your way through your workout. Within the game, you will see on screen versions of things like speed bags or heavy bags, and a full graphical version of the gym where your trainer will be instructing you. The game does suffer some in the sound/audio department. While working out, you may occasionally hear the same thing repeated throughout the workout, and this is something that should just not occur in this generation of gaming. The audio for this type of game should reflect your performance, not a repetition of phrases. This does not break the game or hurt your workout, but it does hurt the point of what the trainer should be doing, and this is to motivate you according to how you are doing at that given time.

Essentially, the more time you spend with UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System the more you will get out of it, not only physically, but mentally as well. This game will do a good job of keeping your heart rate up throughout the huge amount of exercises that it offers, all while you are having fun. But there are the number of issues with the sound’s repetitiveness and the motion controls not registering all of the time. This still does not stop this from being one of the better workout games that is available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Move.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score


+ The game delivers a great workout overall.

+ Offers huge amounts of workouts available to what the player is trying to achieve.

- Sound can become repetitive and sometimes motion with Move controller weren’t detected.

7 out of 10

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