Review: Adidas MiCoach
So the London 2012 Olympics are over and no doubt Britain will suddenly have thousands of people who will want to get fit and try to be like the athletes they have witnessed over the past two weeks. Most of us will give up after a few weeks, others may last a month or so and the odd few may grace our screens in Rio in 4 years time.
Not everyone will want to be in full view of the public when starting out with exercise, so maybe hooking up Kinect with Adidas MiCoach could help. What better inspiration could there be than to have some of the worlds best athletes including Dwight Howard, Kaká, Tyson Gay, Jessica Ennis, Ana Ivanović and Eric Berry (oh, and Gareth Bale). They will guide users through a wide selection of sport-specific personalised training programs.
If you have all of the Adidas sports equipment such as the MiCoach heart rate monitor you will receive real-time data on your performance. If not you can create an account online to track your training plans and results. There are plenty of sports to train for ranging from Rugby to Tennis, Running to Basketball as well American football and football (or soccer if you prefer). There are over 400 different exercises for you to work out too, so its pretty comprehensive.
Once you have created a Training Plan you can start to begin the various circuits, you’ll be able to choose a team of three athletes to guide you through each day. During each exercise one of the three athletes will be on-screen showing you how to perform each move while Kinect shows you its view of you on right hand side. Unfortunately it doesn’t do a very good job, although it checks and calibrates itself before each exercise, 90% of the time I could only see part of my body on-screen and ended up doing double the amount of reps needed to get through the exercise, at least I was getting a workout. You are able to skip exercises if you wish; sometimes you will have to unless you have a Gym Ball or dumbbells handy. It would have been nice to have an option to tell the game you don’t have the equipment so that it didn’t try and make you do exercises that required it.
I felt quite rushed as well during the circuits, although the game tells you start when you are ready if you weren’t in the right position Kinect would believe you had already begun the exercise as you moved into position, and would sometimes count the movement as one rep. There are masses of audio feedback from all the stars and they would explain what you need to be doing as you were performing the exercises. As an incentive you earn medals as you progress through your plans. For example if you had completed 100 reps that had worked you thigh muscle, that would be an award, or if you had performed an exercise perfectly that would be one too, though you knew that Kinect wouldn’t know anyway.
One of the positive things about the training plans is that once you have set your plan it is still very flexible, you can add in a specific single workout if you fancy trying something different or you bring forward your next scheduled workout. If you don’t fancy taking on your proper workout you can take part in some faster paced conditioning workouts which were really good fun, there are also some mini games too. In the football game you need to score as many goals as possible in the allocated time by volleying or heading the ball. In tennis you will be hitting various shots to break down a wall and in Basketball you’ll be trying to score as many baskets as possible. Yet again though the whole is thing is let down by the fact that Kinect just doesn’t pick you up very well which results in loads of misplaced shots.
Whilst I’m giving Kinect a bit of kicking, the menu and the voice recognition are terrible. There were too many occasions were I would swipe the wrong option or spent ages trying to get a different option to swipe at all. It also annoyed me that they kept putting options in the bottom left corner of the screen, Kinect kept thinking I was trying to open the guide rather than choosing the option I wanted. Unless you were saying “MiCoach” to Kinect it had huge trouble working out what I was saying to it, it’s a real shame they couldn’t nail it as it could have been quite useful during workouts.
I feel bad giving the game such a hard time because if the Kinect integration had worked properly it would have been a great compliment to the extensive content that MiCoach provides you with. I did get a really good workout from the game but I know that was mostly down to the fact I was over compensating for Kinect being pretty useless during my time with it and therefore almost turning the title into a workout video. UFC Trainer did a much better job with Kinect and I imagine that the upcoming Nike+ title will be well set up too, it’s probably best just to go outside and do some exercise before considering this game.
Review: Adidas MiCoach Results
What we liked:
Some great Athletes to work alongside with
Huge amout of content ranging accross many sports
You will get a good workout
What we disliked:
Kinect doesn't do a good job with detecting your movement
Menu Design is very poor
You are not given enough time to prepare yourself between exercises