Several months ago, on a whim, I picked up Get Fit With Mel B. After all, why not use my PS3 + Move + enjoy Scary Spice doing her level best to get me fit? Like I said, it was an impulse purchase, and the game set on a shelf until I realized that I picked up 5 unwelcome pounds during the miserably hot summer months when I only run once a week at best.
I gave up reviewing games a long time ago, so it is fair play for me to say up front that I have only completed day three with the lovely Mel B. What follows are some random thoughts for your reading amusement, and to give you a decent idea of what Mel B may have to offer.
Let’s be honest; Get Fit With Mel B (Get Fit; or sometimes Mel B as strikes my fancy) is very much geared towards the female audience. Just do a google blog search to see where I am coming from. Besides, what self-respecting guy (much less gamer) is going to get all sweaty with Mel B? Bottom line for any female readers that happen upon this article; I’ll try to refrain from talking about Mel B’s spectacular ta tas and overall great looking body, while at the same time you have to appreciate that I know diddlysquat about aerobics.
Thanks to those unwanted pounds, and because curiosity got the better of me, I finally got brave and fired up Get Fit. You just knew I would sniff the dandelions at some point, right? In the end, I always do.
Get Fit prompts you to enter some basic info – weight, height, DOB, along with your body type (skinny, not as skinny, and overweight). My wife said the not as skinny option was perfect for me, thank you very much, although I think she mistook it for buff, broad shoulders, and overall hunk; not just a little bit chubby around the midsection. Did I ever tell you my wife is too kind?
Next up, Get Fit presents you with a selection of background locations for your workout preference; if Get Fit sells at a decent clip, I could see more backgrounds being added in future DLC packs. I picked a nice yacht club background; beautiful water … picturesque for my viewing pleasure.
Mel B also offers a dietary plan of sorts; at least you can look at a daily menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and deserts, complete with recipes and preparations instructions. To this end you are given the opportunity to enter some items you don’t eat. I started to put in lamb; I love lamb, but it is not as if I can find any around here … just not a common staple.
Next up you get to pick an overall diet goal – weight loss, detox (i.e. junk food; I thought it meant no more drinking, which would suck), lower cholesterol, and finally healthy heart.
While all the selections make sense, and are good ideas for healthy living, the reality for me is that I am not going to follow the actual diet instructions. My wife is a great cook and while she may get some ideas from the various selections presented to get you healthy, I doubt she would ever be constrained by the 150 or so recipes (yet another DLC opportunity). In the end I picked weight loss, although if I stick with Get Fit beyond August, I may switch at some point just to see if I am right about these being more diet focused.
After selecting your overall goal, you are prompted to select one or two goal categories. I believe these goals will ultimately drive the types of exercise presented during each workout. You get to select from general health, lifestyle, special occasions, sports and activities, and shape. While I did not play around with all the options to see if this applied for each goal category, shape had several amusing subcategories – pecs, butt, shoulder, belly, upper body, lower body & core, and just Plain Jane looking good. If you decide to pick two goal categories, you can also setup the percentage to dedicate to each one.
Mel B will also allow you to make use of certain exercise equipment: aerobic step, fit ball, resistance band, wrist weights, and ankle weights. Since I don’t have any of these devices, I am not sure if I am missing out on any interesting fitness routines. I could see me getting an aerobic step, although I have plenty of steps on my front porch that I make use of after runs. I have never been into weights. Resistance band? No idea. I thought fit balls were used to break your back …
I decided to go with weight loss, general health and shape (belly focus), opting for a 50/50 split between general health and the dreaded belly fat.
Get Fit is nice enough to allow you to go with a pre-assigned workout routine, allow you to customize your own program, and you can pick the amount of time you wish to work out. You can also practice any of the exercises and there are tutorials where Mel B gives you the run down on exactly how to perform an exercise.
30 minutes of torture. I have a whole new respect for aerobics; no coordination. So much for enjoying Mel B’s ta tas.
Good Lord; I’m out of shape … haven’t run in a couple of weeks, but I haven’t done aerobics since a junior high school physical education class. Let me be honest and admit that I was really dying at the 20 minute mark, but thankfully I finally hit the cool down exercises without hurting myself.
I was disappointed that I didn’t get to do any sit ups (I thought we were going to fix my belly fat), and I did not really enjoy waving around a Move controller. Interesting enough, Mel B never held a Move, so I am not sure what that is about.
While I was huffing and puffing at the end of my 30 minutes, when prompted, I was ashamed to tell Mel B that the advance cardio workout was too hard, so I went with just right. Probably; Mel B just kicked my ass.
For my efforts I did pick up five Trophies. I am afraid to really look and see what is required to platinum the one. Dance aerobics? Probably not going to happen. Back in “real” life Mel B informed me that I burned 196 calories, which just shows you how much good food sucks – Trophies for burning off a chocolate bar, a pizza and Christmas dinner.
I decided to go with a 25 minute workout. For whatever reason, Mel B decided to throw some dance aerobics at me. If I thought I was wasted on regular aerobics, the dancing was a little over the top.
My wife unmercifully made fun of me, which was well deserved. I can’t dance; give me some sit-ups, pushups, park running … anything but clunky uncoordinated fumbling around on the screen dancing.
During the workouts, Mel B would encourage me to let me know I am doing the exercise correctly, or offer up some advice – twist your hips, lift your legs higher, follow the beat, not so fast, take it easy, etc. At some point I am going to have to experiment to see if this is Move related, or just camera tracking technology. Either way, I thought it was pretty cool (a tad repetitive) that Get Fit picks up your mistakes and tells you what needs to happen in order to nail the exercises.
By the end of the workout, I burned 130+ calories, and picked up another three or four Trophies. This “game” is a Trophy whore’s best friend or worst nightmare; really depends on your desire to exercise while earning virtual goodies.
The overall workout was OK at best; worked up a decent sweat, but I also know that I didn’t perform the exercises (dances) correctly. In the end I felt dissatisfied and a little silly, so I told Mel B that the workout was too easy. I then decided to go for a quick run around the park to help me burn off the rest of my energy.
This time I went back to a 30 minute workout. Mel B kicked my ass ten ways to Sunday with her fitness routine. 204 calories, three more Trophies, and spaghetti arms (I’m push-up’ed out).
For some reason the camera or Move had trouble counting some of my sit up variations; will probably have to experiment with camera and move placement later.
Day 4 and Beyond
My short term goal is to make a sold week of working out with Mel B using the default (suggested) exercise routines. If I can make it into week two, I will probably play around some with custom workouts so I can pick things I actually enjoy; I will probably cry every time Mel B makes me dance.
The question is will I stick with Mel B? Really depends. If burning an additional 130-200 calories a day helps me lose weight, I am all for it despite looking perfectly silly in the process.