Get Fit with Mel B

8.0 Overall Score

Written by on December 30, 2010 in

Are you ready to get in shape?  If your new year’s resolution is to get fit then Mel B is just the Spice Girl to help you do it right.  In the new fitness video “game” developed by Lightening Fish Games and published by Deep Silver, Mel B gives you plenty of tools to get the job done.  There are many games out there that offer you unique ways to get up off your couch and get fit so what more can they offer?  This game uses the motion controls of the PlayStation 3 to set you into the role as workout buddy to Mel B.  I started the game by giving them a few basic facts about me (height, weight, gender) and up to two reasons I want to work out (like to “de-stress”, “tennis fit”, or even to “keep up with kids”), and what equipment I have in my home that we can use in our workouts (like ankle/wrist weights, step board, medicine ball, and resistance bands).  I was also able to choose dietary preferences for the meal plan portion of the game.  Are you allergic to shellfish? Trying to avoid gluten or pork?  You can take those items off the menu.  This is a nice feature in the game.  My favorite exercise game from the previous generation’s Sony and Microsoft consoles was Yourself!Fitness had most of these same features and a virtual trainer that had an amazing ability to shape fitness routines to fit your needs.  What makes this the game to take fitness to the next generation?  Let’s take a closer look to see.

After making sure I had calibrated the motion controls on the PlayStation Eye camera and the move controller I got to choose from a variety of workout locations… I chose the beach.  If I was going to hurt, I was going to do it in paradise.  And now I was ready to begin.  From the information I gave, Mel B decided that I needed to endure a 30 minute cardio workout.  YIKES! You can adjust the time if you want to but I decided to trust in Mel.

The goal of this initial workout is to test my fitness level, and test me it did.  By default the game has two workout mats onscreen with Mel B to the left and my image on the right one.  This gives the feeling of working out together and allows me to see what I am doing right or wrong as we go through our workout.  You can choose to take yourself off the screen completely but I found it very helpful.  All of the exercises were fairly simple to follow but kept my pulse rate up and definitely challenged me.  There is a short warm up where I was able to loosen up and get ready for the heart of the workout.

Here the ever-smiling Mel determined that I was ready to jump right into a variety of exercises that ranged from lunges, to jumping jacks to some fancier moves that had me literally kicking my own butt.  It is a good idea to have a water bottle handy because she offered a quick water break but I was not prepared and lost out on a tasty beverage break.  At the end of the initial workout, and the daily workouts that followed, there is also a cool down period to help slowly ease you down.

After this initial workout the game asked me to rate the workout.  Was it too easy, too hard, or was it just right.  From this rating the game adjusts the workout and sets up a daily workout.  When I came back to the game I was asked to update some personal information and goals.  Then I was presented with several options on a menu.  “Today’s Workout” is the workout that Mel has designed based on your information.  There is a nice variety of moves that range from cardio to dance fitness, to step aerobics to yoga and even a little in the realm of kickboxing but I had chosen to get heart healthy with my workout so cardio was the word of the day.  Be careful what you wish for because you just may get it.  The nice thing is that you will update your personal information at each workout and have the opportunity to change your goals to fit what you hope to accomplish.

I really appreciated Mel’s happy “now you’re gettin’ it” even if it was repeated fairly often.  A gal loves to hear she is doing well.  The motion controls were able to track me fairly accurately as long as I kept the Move controller within the PlayStation Eye’s coverage area and the number of rep’s I had done correctly was shown alongside Mel’s.  Yes I did not always keep up with virtual Mel but it was good to see how well I did do.

I have to admit at the end of each workout I was an exhausted gal.  I did test the ability to cheat the system by making the proper arm movement while not doing the full exercise and I could get away with a bit.  So, yes, you can cheat the system but why buy a fitness game if you don’t want to actually get fit?  After each exercise I was updated on the number of calories I had burned which can be a slight incentive.  I had to stop myself a few times from trying to calculate the percentage of a cookie I had just earned.

The good news for those that don’t want their fitness decisions made for them is that you can choose your own workout by selecting “Choose Workout” from the menu page.  Here you can select which exercises you want to do, how many times you want to do them, and in which order.  The only frustration with the custom workouts is that you can’t choose a workout with exercises from more than one style of exercise.  For example it would be nice to be able to mix dance steps with kickboxing.  The onscreen stats also include a graphic in the upper left hand corner that kept me informed of where I was in the workout.  This came in very handy when I was gasping for breath.  I could convince myself that I was over halfway done and, in the words of the immortal Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive”.

By selecting “Nutrition” from the menu page you can explore healthy meal options to help your healthy new lifestyle.  The meal plan helps you plan healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks that are in line with your fitness goals.  There are a total of 140 recipes.  As much as I would love to say that I tried many of these meals I would not be truthful.  It is a nice idea and after reviewing the meals I have to admit they are tempting.  So I may dabble more in that area in the future but my focus was really on the exercise.

Another part of the fitness program is tracking your progress and workout success.  Under the “Your Progress” section you can do just that.  Here there are graphical representations to show how successful you have been in your fitness.  If graphs and figures are not enough incentive for you to work out the fitness plan comes with PS3 trophies.  My initial workout was a little brutal but I was handily rewarded with 5 trophies along the way.  They are awarded for fitness related accomplishments like working out for a certain amount of time, working out enough to burn a goal number amount of calories, etc.  I have to admit that getting that many trophies was an encouraging and a fun bonus.

Overall I found the fitness regime challenging but worth continuing.  The controls could be a bit quirky at times.  If the Move controller went outside of the PlayStation Eye’s coverage area then it would fail to register a repetition of an exercise.  You could potentially cheat the system a bit by waving the controller in the right area at the right time.  These flaws are real but I found them fairly minor.  My fitness goals seem to truly change the workout regime and the ability to change the workout to fit your needs.  This is a next gen complete workout and healthy lifestyle regime that extends to a web page that promises to add more content to the game in the future.  Yourself!Fitness had a website that served a similar function but what takes this game further is the incorporation of the motion controller into the regime.  With the previous generation the fitness was completely on the honor system.  The game had no way to make sure you were actually doing the exercises.  This game adds more realism.  They have included several incentives to keep on track and the side-by side workout screen was very helpful.  I have to say I was impressed by the depth of this game and the flexibility.  I would only add the ability to select exercises from all the workout styles, adding all my favorites into a single routine.  I have to say that this game challenged me but it will keep me coming back to get fit.

A copy of Get Fit With Mel B was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of review.

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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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