Video Games Based on Fitness
“Fitness Boxing,” the video game designed for sports enthusiasts
It has become a daily ritual: pushing a couch to make room, closing the curtains to avoid showing this distressing spectacle to others, and turning on the Switch console to start a fitness Boxing session.
Virtual bread rolls – Each stretch breaks half the body, proof that writing this article was a profitable experience for its author. The exercise makes me lose a hundred calories, quickly regained by drinking a sufficient number of cans of sweet drinks to quench my thirst.
- “Guitar Hero” boxing version
The release of Fitness Boxing was much less discreet in Japan, where it was accompanied by commercials, than in the rest of the world. The game focuses on the accessibility and portability of the Switch console, coupled with a beautiful model of fit-tech: we can take the Beast and do its session wherever we want.
At the launch, we are greeted by a virtual coach, who asks for our weight, our size, and the desired menu: cardio, muscles, or fitness. From there, Fitness Boxing focuses on the recurrent aspect of training: a calendar, tampons –a little Japanese fetish– to mark the days when we followed the program and some cosmetic gifts from time to time motivate us to continue the sessions.
These are all structured in the same way. The beginning and the end are dedicated to stretching, where you follow the instructions of your coach without the game being able to verify anything. Between the two, it’s boxing time at proper: it’s all about putting the right moves at the right time, like a rhythm game – a Guitar Hero in a little more physical, in short.
Jab, right hook, left hook, uppercut, direct, dodge: all movements are validated with Joy-Con joysticks, which detect your movement in space. Unfortunately, the game is often a little too imprecise in its detection.
In all, we spend six minutes swinging on an instrumental cover of “Bad Romance” or “Video Killed the Radio Star,” to realize more and more difficult shots.
If your coach is trying to advise on decomposing movements, your Switch and its limitations can technically do little to prove the reality of your efforts and successes.
Funny but exhausting
Every day, the sessions get tough. The sequences are more and more complex, and we quickly ask you to perform combos (unique sequences) quite physical: jab, jab, uppercut, direct and dodge, to be repeated eight times; we change sides, and here we go again.
At first, it’s a laugh. The basic concept is straightforward, not to say poor for a video game over 40 euros. But it expands along the length and finally reveals its auditory potential. The Real added value of Fitness Boxing is to work yourself out and feel the effort with an almost zero risk of getting hurt.
The game also offers an entirely modular experience: you choose your coach, your clothes, the background music, the intensity and duration of the sessions (which vary from single to double), the parts of the body you want to work on. On the other hand, the goal is unique: you have to spend as many calories as possible (objectives to be achieved in the medium term would have been very welcome).
We can play as a duo, with one or two pairs of Joy-cones. When you are satisfied with a joystick, the movements of the other arm are automatically validated.
In short, Fitness Boxing is a simple way of doing sports at home, without risk, and that can correspond to a specific need. In one way or another, it is a question of making sport playful, in the image of the accompanying applications of real venues.
- Nintendo moves the world
Nintendo does not have a monopoly on modified sports, but technically, the Japanese firm has always prepared the ground for its development.
To move with a video game, you need motion gaming and motion sensors, and this is precisely the case with The Joy-Con or Wiimote of the Wii console. Zumba Fitness, EA Sports Active, Daisy Fuentes Pilates, all the developers went there from their title mounted in a hurry, on a Wii console quickly flooded by sports games.
By definition, the mobile market is equally conducive to this type of activity. Studio Six to Start understood it well: its application Zombies, run! It allows accompanying jog sessions with zombie apocalypse scenarios.
The principle is simple: one launches the story, runs to escape the ugly, slows down from time to time, and lets oneself be carried away by the narration.
- Unrivaled ” EyeToy Kinetic
With or without accessories, Nintendo is not the only company to have positioned itself on the sports game. If one can cite many titles of salon or arcade rooms, including a Sonic Athletics requiring running on a treadmill while pressing a button to skip virtual hedges, it was the studio SIE London that in 2005 pushed the concept to its maximum.
Are others betting on motion recognition? With Eye Toy Kinetic, the British reason upside down and indirectly detect your gestures: you are filmed, and it is the video rendering that interacts with the virtual objects on the screen. Recorded e by the camera-accessory, you see yourself directly wiggling on your screen.
A few years before the arrival of the Cursed Kinect camera for Xbox, it was the EyeToy camera, on PlayStation 2, that served as a precursor.