Improve your physical condition while you punch non-stop in a challenge that combines bodycombat training with virtual reality and games. Available for Quest 2, Pico 4, and PSVR2.
There is a fine line between having fun and both physical and mental training, something that is clear from the Odders study, the same Spanish study that long ago tested our agility in OhShape, and more recently the challenge was mental with ChessClub. Now they return to the physical demand with a training experience focused on bodycombat, which has been enriched thanks to its alliance with Les Mills, a company in the fitness industry with a presence in more than 100 countries and tours since 1968.
From the Feet to the Head
We find ourselves with a training application that seeks to condition us completely, although due to the style of bodycombat it uses, it tends to focus mainly on the arms. In order to activate us, the mechanics are quite simple: there are some cones that come towards us so that depending on the direction in which they point, we will have to hit them, and for the legs, some blocks appear from time to time that we must avoid to the left, right or by bending down. sometimes even without stopping hitting.
The punch types are varied enough to leave us with a good feeling, tackling straight punches, left and right hooks, uppercuts, down punches, sky punches, cross punches, and hammer blows that are best done with leg curls.
These combinations along with various music tracks give the workouts a rhythmic style of play that is more present at some times than others, complementing the experience quite well. There is also a precision component that visually and aurally highlights hits you hit correctly, making constant concentration an important parameter.
The mechanics are explained to us by means of two trainers, a man and a woman with all the motivation in the world represented in the form of a hologram, put into action it is not as if they simply disappear, leaving us to our fate; instead, they stay on audio throughout the session, constantly talking while motivating us to continue, giving indications of the type of movement that is coming and how many hits we have left before, for example, starting to dodge among other things. Unfortunately, everything I’ve mentioned is in English, so if you’re not fluent in the language you’re just going to feel like you’re being told random things all the time, the good thing is that it’s still not necessary to understand the game.
Launched, my first impression was that it required more than I expected because I imagined that it would be something very basic without real demands like a couple of other applications that I have tried in this style. However, pleasantly, I have found that a lot of cardio is done, and if you hit hard, the work of the arms also becomes noticeable (or very noticeable).
After a few days in which I was doing different workouts of different durations and intensities, I must admit that my arms felt worn out and my shoulders burned more and more; on the other hand, I noticed that my reaction times had improved and I perceived the sessions to be shorter.
If we talk about the legs, I don’t have such a positive opinion, here the training I see as somewhat neglected since I have not come to feel effort or wear even with long sessions. Someone who is not used to being physically active may feel a strain on the lower body at first, but I would say you can adjust quite quickly. There are other complementary movements with the legs such as grabbing special cones with the hands and bringing them close to the legs to give them a knee, a mechanic that I liked, of course, it depends on each person since there is no good foot tracking You could cheat and just do the gesture with your arms, or if you have mobility limitations this will be an advantage.
In summary, the strong one in terms of physical demand is cardio, it will keep us in constant movement and always agitated, at the cost of sweating the visor, of course. It is also worth mentioning that it is a game that easily blurs the viewfinder (this depends on the circumstances and is based on physical activity), which is why on several occasions I had to stop for a moment to stop feeling that I was throwing blows at On the way to Silent Hill after it demisted there were times when it happened again, although never more than three times, and for the third time I suppose that the visor had warmed up enough to solve the problem.
Although this is more than a game, it is a fitness application, it is not without its own strong aspects of gaming, not only due to some entertaining mechanics but also due to a scoring system that confronts us with what seems to be the record of scores of other players synchronized with the part of the training in which we are going, being an aspect that motivated me to be more focused and keep up the rhythm so as not to drop in the classification. I’ve even faced off in some training against the user of another partner, a battle that started quite close by the way, it’s a pity that there isn’t a multiplayer component because it could use it quite well.
Another positive aspect is that if our blows do not have enough power, the precision indicator will not activate (an expansive wave that you will be able to notice in the videos), requiring us to make an effort not to fall in the last places. The bad thing about these points is that they are used for… nothing. Well, they actually serve to level up, so the longer and more intense the training, the more points we will obtain to access the next level, but achieving it does not give us anything, neither badges, trophies, nor even achievements. So, it ends up being a decorative section.
There are some medals that can be obtained and are seen next to our level, but it does not explain how to obtain them. I’ve only gotten a silver one, and no idea why or how.
For those who like to follow their progress, we will also see that when selecting a training that we have already done we find two graphs, one of the powers that we have maintained during the training and another curve of our progress throughout all the times that we have done that routine.
Interface, types of training, and graphic section
The interface is well distributed, however, it is extremely simple, to the point of lacking some options. Mainly we have on the left a panel with our level where we can select to change the user, or even access a guest mode. Below are the medals we’ve earned, the days we’ve trained, and the time we’ve invested. Then in the middle are the types of training, separated first by the intensity and further down by duration. Finally, on the right are the descriptions of the workouts that we choose, with the areas of the body to work, the bodycombat style, the types of movement, the music, and the progress graphs.
However, you may have noticed that there isn’t any type of configuration, in particular, there are two that seem important to me: audio levels and the possibility of deactivating the voices of the trainers, because for some people the fact that they are giving you encouragement and repeating that you can do it is something very positive, but for others I know it is annoying,
even more so when it is not even a language that you understand. Personally, I don’t care, because I end up ignoring the voices, but I know of cases that think otherwise.
With regard to training, we have at our disposal a few of low intensity and a greater variety of medium and high intensity, with sessions from 5 to 25 minutes approximately, nothing underestimated to tell the truth, because even those of 5 or 7 minutes are They come to feel challengers, and the high-intensity 25’s don’t even tell you anymore, they are quite an experience if you like this type of training. As for variety, I find it somewhere in the middle. It is true that there are different durations and approaches, although, in the long run, it can start to become somewhat repetitive, which does not mean that I am not hooked.
Apart from the training sessions, there are two major shortcomings in my opinion, the first perhaps more important than the second: firstly, there is no type of guide for warming up or calming down, a fact that can lead to injuries for those who are not used to these activities and put on the visor to train without further ado. Secondly, the introduction that is given on the way of hitting, the posture, and the way in which we should move is almost non-existent, limiting itself to the first introductory video of a few seconds and some other comments later, returning to the subject of the injuries and giving the possibility that the blows he takes as valid could be both from a professional boxer and from a drunk from a bar (I have really tried to hit in various ways).
Graphically it is quite good, the holograms have good definitions and I like the models of walls and objectives. The environment changes between 5 different ones: a night city, feudal Japan, a desert area covered in snow, Rome, and a desert landscape that paints to be Martian bases, all with a good appearance, but with the disadvantage that you can only see almost at our backs, where the game never looks at us, causing the scenarios to be wasted. On our hands, we will wear kickboxing or MMA-type gloves and a watch that tells us both the time and the kilocalories that we have burned in the session. Fun fact: I’ve compared the calories to those measured by the Oculus Move and they tend to calculate the same, with a negligible enough difference.
In the area of fitness applications, we find here a great title, not perfect but fun and challenging. The number of workouts seems enough for me to train for a few weeks. However, in the longer term, it may start to feel monotonous, or even sooner, depending on taste. I see the lack of not adding some modes such as warm-up and something like an academy in which they teach you the way you should move, even if it is to explain the basics. For the rest, I find it quite complete, I liked it, now it’s your turn to put on your sweatshirt and start training until your arms burn and the visor is loaded with salt water.