Review: Get Fit With Mel B. (Sony PS3)

Get Fit with Mel B.
Developer: Lightning Fish Games
Publisher: Deep Silver
Genre: Exercise
Release Date: 10/26/2010

There are two big problems with most exercise games. The first is that the games tend to be poorly made, including exercises that do more harm than good. We saw this with both EA Active and Wii Fit. The games included things like computer generated trainers that demonstrated how to do exercises incorrectly, had exercises like running in place or weird jumping things (both of which can cause damage to your knees and ankles and really should be avoided). Both games were really more snake oil cons sold to naïve dupes that wanted to lose weight or get fit without getting a gym membership (or possibly leave their home).

The second problem is the sad excuse we call gaming journalism these days. Most of these exercise games tend to be reviewed by people that lead a very sedentary lifestyle and who are also blissfully ignorant of proper techniques for physical fitness. These leads to horribly erroneous reviews written by people than neither know what they are talking about nor are aware of how bad some of these games are for you. But hey, since when have video game sites bothered to do research or quality reviews in the first place? Why make an exception for games that can actually lead to long term physical damage for their readers? I still shudder at the recollection of those early reviews praising the Wii balance board for its accuracy when it was apparent to anyone who fooled around with it in the slightest that said balance board’s pressure sensitivity was a joke and it was easy to not only trick the board, but also yourself into thinking you were doing something right where you were in fact doing it horribly wrong. You wouldn’t want someone doing brain surgery on your loved ones after just reading a book on it; why would you want someone that doesn’t know the first thing about exercising to tell you which workout game to buy?

Then there’s myself. I’m a pretty physically active person and have a pretty intense exercise routine that includes several miles of jogging, 600 crunches, 50 flights of stairs and more. I exercise a lot, as should most gamers considering how often we’re sitting our asses down in front of a TV with a controller in our hands for hours at a time. I’m pretty anal retentive about making sure I am not only getting a lot of exercise in each day, but that my reps are done right and I know exactly what part of my body is being focused on. That’s why I take it upon myself to review most of the fitness games (occasionally with the help of marathon runners, yoga instructors and the like to ensure you get a high quality informative review) that come out – so that you, the consumer, are actually knowing what you are in for should you buy one of these games. My concern and goal is to make sure each and every one of you that reads me doesn’t get stuck with a piece of crap like Wii Fit or EA Active.

To date I’ve only given a thumb’s up to two exercise games so far: Your Shape with Jenny McCarthy and Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout. The former was praised because a game finally included a camera so you could watch yourself exercise and make sure you were doing reps correctly and the latter because it used two Wiimotes (one for each hand), which ensured both sides of your body were being tracked instead of one like all other exercise games. Both had their issues, but they are the best the industry has. My Fitness Coach would be #3 but it’s really a port of the awesome Yourself!Fitness for the original Xbox, so I tend not to count it.

Now it’s time for Get Fit with Mel B.. I have to admit I had to go out and purchase the Playstation Move bundle just to review this game – something I had never planned on purchasing because after spending several hours with the setup as a press event Sony had here in Washington D.C., I came to the same conclusion that every major non-gaming centric publication from the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal had: The Playstation Move is highly underwhelming and the motion detection abilities of the tandem is actually far inferior to a regular Wiimote, much less the Wiimote with Wiimotion Plus. I went out and bought that since Deep Silver sent me a review copy for three reasons: I wanted to make sure people got an actual in-depth (possibly way too long) review of this game, I love Deep Silver because they gave me the Secret Files series and because I truly care about people getting this genre right. Hell, I played this game to a depth that even Aubrey Norris, the PR rep for Deep Silver was shocked by. She’s left comments here and there on my Facebook like, “OMG!” and, “You are a MACHINE!” as I unlocked trophies 99% of people shouldn’t be able to get until they had played the game for a fortnight to a month of hard exercising. For you, the public, I crammed in 36 workouts into roughly a week – something none of you should be insane enough to try at home, ESPECIALLY if you don’t work out regularly now. Yes my body is sore, but at least you’re getting a review from someone who played the game more than 2-3 times (at most) and then wrote a review that was 50% ignorance and 50% “Yay! I did ten push-ups! 9/10!” Ugh.

So is the first exercise game to utilize the Playstation Move worth investing in, or should you just pick up NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer which is the 85% the same game, but missing a Spice Girl and for the Wii?

Let’s Review

1. Modes

I’m happy to report that Get Fit With Mel B. has a staggering amount of depth to the game. There are five main modes, each of which has a lot of sub modes. When you first begin the game you’ll be scanned in, and unlike Your Shape which only scans you once and then never again, Get Fit scans you each time you workout. From there you’ll give your weight, up to two goals you are trying to achieve and what ancillary exercise equipment you have like ankle and wrist weights, an aerobic step, fitness ball and resistance band. Don’t worry if you don’t have any of those items – the game just lets you use them if you do. There are two exercise categories where an ancillary item IS mandatory though. You’ll need an aerobic step to do step workouts and weights for “Pump ‘N Tone.” If you mark you don’t have them, you just won’t have access to those workouts, which is fine.

After all that is done, you’ll have the option of your own daily personalized workout. Not only does this workout change from day to day, but when you change your goals, the workouts will be recalibrated to these new goals. This is great and really ensures that you get a workout that is actually customized for YOU and not just things that are thrown horribly together like the “30 day Challenge” in EA Sports Active.

If you don’t like the personal workout, you can always choose the option marked “Choose Workout.” This opens up four options. The first is “workout” where you choose an exercise type like fitness, cardio, advanced cardio, dance, step, pump and combat. From there the game will give you an exercise plan for the day based on the type you choose and the length of time you want to exercise for. Still not happy? You can choose “Custom Workout” instead . This is my preferred mode as I can pick and choose exercises I want to do, the amount of reps I want to do and the order I do them in. This ensures I will get the best possible workout from the choices in the game and at the level of challenge I want. The only downside is that you can’t mix and match exercises from multiple types into a single workout. After that you have “Practice,” which lets you try various workouts and challenges which are further broken down into five extreme tests of your physical fitness. Well, the game would say they are extreme anyway.

The other modes in the game include “Your Progress” which tracks the medals you’ve won from workouts, your caloric burn, the number of reps you have done and your current rating which each of the exercise types (scaled from 1 to 100). You can also change your goals here as well. The next option is “Nutrition,” which gives a set of meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks for throughout the day. Although this is a great idea, the nutrition section falls short of the original game,NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer‘s version as there you could actually check off that you’ve eaten a meal that is prescribed for you or not. Considering there is a trophy in this game that is supposed to unlock if you “follow the meal plan for a week,” I have no idea how you are supposed to unlock this, even though I look at the nutrition options every day. Another problem with the nutrition section is that not only aren’t there any listing for how many calories each meal has, there’s also nothing about fat or cholesterol in each meal. Something tells me that those would be good to know especially when the nutrition section suggests I have “cheesy fish bake” and an Spanish omelet in the same day. Oh my poor hardening arteries.

Finally you have the standard options, where you can change your weight, add or remove equipment and the like.

Overall, Get Fit with Mel B. has the most options out of any exercise game, with the exception of NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer, which is just the Wii version of this game anyway. Everything here is done very well and I’m highly impressed. My only complaints are that the nutrition section has taken a step or two back from the original game, and that exercise types are segregated by type and can’t be combined into a single workout, but those are minor compared to the actual exercise content itself.

Modes Rating: Incredible

2. Graphics

My two biggest complaints about EVERY exercise game made so far have boiled down to either the game lacking actual video footage of a person doing the exercise or the ability to see yourself so you can make sure you are doing the reps correctly when compared to the trainer. Well praise whatever deity you worship because Get Fit is the first exercise game to avoid these complaints.

It’s hard to really talk about the graphics because the game doesn’t really have much in the way of what we normally think of as graphics. Most of the game is high definition video footage of Melanie Brown/Scary Spice/Mel B. doing exercises on the left hand side of the screen while you are shown on the right. Now the game does include the option so don’t have to look at yourself exercises, but it would be EXTREMELY STUPID for anyone to do this as this is the only way you can be sure you are doing something correctly. The footage of Mel B. is great as it shows her doing the exercises accurately and in time with a specific beat. You can also click a button at any time to enter tutorial mode with the exercise and just watch it being performed. A few exercises even include close-ups or shots of Mel B. from a different angle so you get a better vantage point in regards to what you should be doing. I wish they ALL had this option, and there’s definitely room on the blu-ray disc for this option, but hey, we have two solid steps forward here so I’ll be happy with what we have for now at it is huge progress for this genre of gaming.

So yes, the game really doesn’t have graphics in the way we tend to think of them, but what is here is exactly what an exercise game needs to have. There’s no avatar bending in ways the human body actually can’t or some semi-corporal trainer sitting on a balance board incorrectly telling you to do the same. This is actual footage of a real person doing exercises correctly and the ability to watch yourself to ensure you do the same. THAT’S what matters.

Graphics Rating: Unparalleled

3. Sound

Like the graphics, the aural aspects of Get Fit with Mel B. is a hard subject to judge compared to other games. There aren’t a lot of musical tracks in the games and what’s here is meant to be inoffensive background noise as you work out or navigate the menus. It’s not like the soundtrack was designed to be as catchy as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or the title track to The Legend of Zelda. Music really didn’t need to be a priority with this title and what is here is serviceable and low key.

There’s a lot of audio comments from Mel B throughout your exercising, most of it consisting of a brief explanation of what you are about to do and which leg or arm to start with. You’ll also here a lot of “Right, left, right left” or Mel counting the reps that you have. There’s no mindless chatter or small talk. The game is pretty damn serious about making sure you exercise, and that’s what it needs to be.

The audio here isn’t going to blow anyone away and Mel is a bit robotic/atonal at times, but it serves its purpose and does so nicely.

Sound Rating: Enjoyable

4. Control and Gameplay

For the most part, Get Fit with Mel B. plays very well indeed. You’ll mimic the exercises shown on the screen in time with Mel while holding the Move controller in your right hand. However, there are several very big issues with the game that need to be discussed here. The odd thing is that the problems are not software related, but Playstation Move issues. I can create the same exact custom workout in NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer, and when you compare the two games, you will notice a huge jump in quality as it relates to motion detection with the Wiimote over the Move controller. Now again, after extensive testing of the game I can say with certainty it is a hardware limitation and not the game itself. The Playstation Eye and Move Camera just have some pretty big issues, so what I’m going to do is go into detail about these issues and then tell you how to minimize or outright avoid them.

I. The Playstation Eye has an EXTREMELY limited range that it can detect the Move controller in and if the controller goes even a centimeter outside this area, it will be unable to find it. This will come up most often when you are doing exercise where you are bent over and extending your arms to backward (such as tricep kick backs) or when you are doing any sort of exercise where your body remains horizontally parallel with the floor. With the kick backs example it’s because the controller ends up point away from the screen as you move your arm back so the system can’t read the rep or where the move controller is. Again, it’s because the Move controller and Playstation Eye are poorly designed With the lying down, it’s because the camera can’t properly read you in these positions, especially if you are lying down with your head facing the screen.

Now the solution to this problem is an easy one. Instead of facing the screen on exercises like these (LIKE YOU SHOULD BE), turn 90 degrees counterclockwise so the right side of your body is facing the screen rather than your chest. Now when you do the exercises, the Playstation Eye has a better chance of picking up the move controller. With things like Seesaws or exercises where you are mostly lying flat there will still be problems, but this should limit the reps the camera misses to about two to four at the most. I ended up resetting the set of reps over a dozen times with some of these exercises, moving the camera to a new location, and starting over in an attempt to find a good spot for it to pick up my movements. This more or less worked and sometimes after doing all these changes, I could get the Playstation Eye and Move controller to register a full set of reps, but the momentum and actual physical benefit of a 30-60 minute workout is lost with all the resetting and tinkering.

II. The Move Controller and Playstation Eye have problems picking up high speed exercises, especially ones that involve quick leg motions like kicks. Again, this is a hardware failure because Sony’s products really pale in comparison with the Wii’s motion sensing controls. Neither piece of Move technology can actually catch rapid movements very well. Now when I say very well, I’m talking a detection rate of 75-80% on these exercises, even if you are doing all the reps and doing them perfectly, where if you do it with the Wii precursor to this game, you’ll catch about 95-100%. 75-80% is still good though and Move IS a brand new technology for Sony, so as much of a drop in quality as Move is compared to the Wiimote, it’s still acceptable unless you are as anal as I am that some exercises give you a 99-100% accuracy score and ones you’re doing even better give you a 75% score simply because the Eye Toy and Move controller aren’t communicating to each other properly. In this case you have two options. The first is to do the rep slightly slower than Mel B. is to ensure the game picks it up, but then you risk falling behind a full rep or more. The other is just to suck it up and realize this is a Sony issue rather than a Lightning Fish or Deep Silver issue, and count down for the eventual release of the Wii version that Gamestop still lists even though the PS3 package says “Only on Playstation.”

III. The Playstation Eye’s wide angle range is actually still pretty narrow. Now this might actually be a game issue because when the camera scans you in, the wide rang (make sure your camera is set to the blue dot) sees and shows a hell of a lot more than it does in the game. In game you’re given only a little sliver some of the time and when you are doing kicks or punches to the side, your limbs drop off the footage of you on the right hand side of the screen and the “move controller not detected” light comes on the Playstation Eye. In this case, it’s simply a matter of pausing the game and moving the camera AGAIN to break up your rhythm and pulse rate. It’s unfortunate, but if you care about your score, it’s something you’ll have to do. If you just want to exercise and are happy with a lower score, than keep going.

The only real complaint about the game itself that isn’t related to Sony’s hardware is that there are certain exercises that I take umbrage with, and that’s the push-ups, or “press-ups” as the game calls them. Part of the problem is that you again will have to shift your body so your right side is facing the screen so the Playstation Eye can pick up the push-up, but that is minor compared to the fact you have to hold the Move controller in your right hand while doing a push-up. All I can really say is that not only is there no comfortable way to do this, but actually trying to do prolonged push-ups while holding the Move controller is going to put undue strain on your wrist and it’s tendons. I can also easily see someone who is out of shape trying to get the trophy for 1,000 push-ups, slipping because of trying to hold the Move controller and fracturing their wrist. Like the hardware issues, there IS a way around this, but not one that the game tells you. Instead of holding the Move controller, tighten the strap around your wrist a little bit tighter than normal and then the topside of your right hand. If you are doing push-ups correctly, it should stay there without sliding or falling off through the full set of reps and the reps will still be picked up by the Move combination.

Now I realize most of this section has been nitpicky or come off pro-Nintendo/Anti-Sony, but in truth it’s just me being overly detailed about the flaws in Move itself and also giving you the issues I had with the game and workarounds so that you don’t think you are doing some incorrectly or find yourself frustrated with your performance and end up slamming your body down and winding it all around. The overall gameplay is remarkably solid and the lowest overall rating I’ve had for a workout has been 85% with a lot of my workouts receiving a 95-97% overall accuracy. It’s just a dozen or so exercises out of the 200+ in the game that have some severe issues with Move picking them up, but since I’ve found ways to work around detection issues and still do the reps correctly (unlike a lot of Wii Fit and EA Sports Active, I can honestly say that my overall experience with Get Fit with Mel B. has been a good one. One big thing I would recommend to Lightning Fish is something I feel should be universal for all exercise games – a controller for each hand. It’s the only real way to track your progress of both sides of your body. Having it only track your right side only covers half your body.

Control and Gameplay Rating: Good

5. Replayability

If you’re picking up Get Fit with Mel B. you’ll quickly discover the game is designed to be a long term workout. Trophies are in place that if you do a workout a day, you might get a platinum oh…six months down the road? With so many different goals, and combinations of goals, along with the ability to create your own custom workouts, Get Fit really can be your one stop daily exercise routine. Of course, if you do go that route, you’ll also want to invest in all the ancillary equipment as well, but you don’t have to.

Get Fit with Mel B really is the first exercise game you can use for months or years down the road and still discover something new or see yourself improving. If you’re serious about using a video game to get in shape, this is one you’ll have in your PS3 on a daily basis.

Replayability Rating: Unparalleled

6. Balance

Even though I knew what my goals were with the game, I would test random combinations to see what kinds of exercise plans they gave me. Each one gave me a different workout and so it was nice to see that the goal system actually works instead of being a shallow piece of glamour. I also love that you can customize your own workouts . What can be more balanced than that. Sure, someone out there will just do workouts of nothing but jumping jacks and say, “Look how much I exercised!” but what can you do? That’s an issue with the user, not the game.

The more you play the game the less you’ll use the generated workouts and the more you’ll go for ones that you make yourself since you’ll know what you need to work on and maybe want to do more reps dealing with shoulders and less with pectorals for example. I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say here in the balance department save for the issues with nutrition and the fact some of those meals simply aren’t very good for you (or tasty!).

Balance Rating: Great

7. Originality

This is the first workout game for the PS3 and the first to use Move technology (such as it is) but there have been a lot of exercise games released in the past few years – almost all on the Wii and almost all of them terrible. There have been games that use a camera but not video footage of a real trainer, and there have been games that do the exact opposite. Get Fit with Mel B. is the first game to actual address every single bitch and moan I’ve had with the entire genre of exercise gaming and do the things that need to be done in order to minimize poor technique and/or injury. Sure the game is the latest in a constantly growing genre and it really doesn’t do anything other games haven’t done before it, but it’s the first to really take the best aspects of the best games and put them into a single title. That’s something at least.

Originality Rating: Decent

8. Addictiveness

Again, this is an odd duck, just due to the nature of exercise games. If you’re aware of Move’s limitations and how to counteract them, you’ll be far less frustrated with some of the exercises and the low scores that inevitably come with them. But then, they key here really should be concentrating on the workout rather than your score, or ugh…trophies.

Is the game good enough that you’ll keep coming back to it every day? Well yes, but you really shouldn’t exercise every day. Doing a full workout every single day doesn’t give your body a chance to recover or actually heal. Which is why I’m incensed that there is a trophy for working out every day for fourteen straight days in this game. Even EA’s “30 Day Challenge” had you take a break every third day. Like the push-ups this is one of two minor (but potentially harmful) issues in the game. I know some people love their trophies and gamer score but this really isn’t one you should be trying for unless you’re already in excellent shape.

Get Fit with Mel B. is a well made game and although the majority of people that will buy this are looking for a quick fix and will put this down like their other exercise games or diet fads, people that are serious about physical fitness will find this game to be well worth coming back to on a regular basis.

Addictiveness Rating: Good

9. Appeal Factor

This is really the Achilles heel of the game. After all 99% of people interested in exercising gaming have invested in a Wii. In the worst case scenario they’ve going to have to buy a PS3 with the Move Bundle which is a $400 investment. No one is going to do that for a workout game. Let’s say you already have a PS3. Then you’ll still need Move for this $40 game. That’s either a $100 investment for the Move Bundle (which comes with the decidedly mediocre Sports Champions) or$90 for sold separately Playstation Eye and Move controller. In that situation, you might as well get the bundle for $10 more as it’s easier to justify $140 for TWO games (and one that you’ll trade in anyway) than it is $130 for a single game. Even in this situation people willing to shell out that kind of case are pretty limited. But let’s say you already own Move, which is unlikely as only 300,000 were sold in North America (which includes the bundles with PS3) then you only have to spend $40 on Mel B. Then and only then was it worth it. Look, I love the game and I only had to spend $55 on the Move bundle since I had trade in credit, but even at the moments I’m enjoying this game the most I know $55 is too much for the Move Bundle at the level of quality it operates at.

Then you also have to take into consideration that to truly maximize your use of Get Fit with Mel B you’ll want a resistance band ($10), and aerobic step ($40-90), a fitness ball ($20), ankle weights ($20-30) and wrist weights ($10-30). As you can see, you will be shelling out a lot of money to use this game. At minimum it’s $100 for the optional exercise equipment, $100 for Move and $40 for the game. You can buy consoles for that much. Because of this, I can only really recommend this for people who are looking to make an extreme lifestyle choice or who already have all the bells and whistles already. In the case of the former, the money might be better spent on a gym membership and some personal trainer lessons. In the case of the latter, if you have all this, you probably don’t need a $40 video game to help you out. At least you can play 85% of the game without the optional stuff, but then you’re still looking at $100 for the Move. Or if you have a Wii, you can wait a few months for that version of the game (if it actually comes out) where you won’t need to purchase Move and the controller than comes with the Wii is better suited towards exercise motion detection anyway. If Get Fit doesn’t hit the Wii and 360 (even though Gamestop and Amazon still list both for preorder), you could probably still get My Fitness coach and Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout combined for the same cost as Get Fit with Mel B.. Both of which may not have all the bells and whistles of Get Fit, but it’s a better deal for your $40 unless you’re really willing to plunk down some serious cash for a fitness game or if there are a lot of Move titles out there you want to purchase to help ease overall sticker shock in the long run.

Appeal Factor: Bad

10. Miscellaneous

I’ve found a few bugs in the game but all are minor and trophy related. For example, I’ve played the game for over a week, but I wasn’t able to trigger the trophy “What’s For Lunch” until my ninth day of playing, rather than my seventh. Of course, there is no way to know what triggers it besides going into the nutrition screen, so I’m not sure what exactly finally triggered this one. it could be anything from me forgetting (or the system not registering) that i entered the nutrition screen or just a bug.

Something similar happened with “ONE LARGE PEPPERONI,” which is a trophy you earn for burning as many calories as is in a pizza. Instead my game jumped right over that trophy and gave me “PARTY SEASON,” which is earned for burning as many calories as you might consume in a gluttonous Christmas dinner. Now at first both Aubrey from Deep Silver/SouthPeak and I thought the requirements were reversed, but I’m at the 2,000+ calories burned region right now and the pizza trophy hasn’t come up while I have a “Pizza x 2” graphic on my stats page, which means this may be an inaccessible trophy.

EDIT: 10/18/2010 – 2:07pm: We’ve gotten word back on this particular trophy issue from the developers themselves thanks to Aubrey Norris over at SouthPeak/Deep Silver. Here’s the official word from Lightning Fish themselves:

The bad news about the Xmas calorie burn is confusing since the representation of the calories is shown in pizza slices, but the good news is that it is not a bug:

we can confirm it isn’t actually a bug:

-Christmas dinner is equal to 956 calories.
-A whole Pepperoni pizza is 2690 calories.

However, the “calories burned” illustrations on the stats screen includes an icon of 4 slices of pizza – illustrating 1000 calories. So that must be where the confusion came from.

This really helps. So basically the pictures of pizza on your progress page have nothing to do with the trophy. It’s more than a little confusing, but big props to Lightning Fish for getting back to us on the specifics on this particular trophy.

Now I don’t care about trophies in the slightest but god knows some of you do for some reason, so it’s important to point out these two tiny POSSIBLE bugs and the fact if they are in fact bugs, you can’t actually achieve a platinum because of them. Couple that with some other odd trophy choices like the one you get for working out every day for a fortnight (which is bad for you) and the trophy called PUMPED, which you earn by lifting the equivalent of an SUV in Pump “Ëœn’ Tone. What’s wrong with this one? Well, the game never asked you for how much weight you have on your ankles or wrists, so this is a wildly inaccurate one to earn. I have 20 lb wrist weights, but more than likely a person starting off with only have 4-5 lbs weights. Maybe 10. So what is the game assuming you are using? Is it rewarding someone for having less weight or punishing you for having less. Most of the trophies in the game are messed up in this regard, so just a head’s up for the trophy hunters out there. Me? Meh, I just like to exercise and so I really don’t pay attention to what I earn until they show up on my Facebook account.

Overall, Get Fit with Mel B is arguably the best overall fitness game on the market, but it also involves a heavy investment and the use of Move, whose design flaws prevent the game from reaching its full potential. At the end of the day, no matter how good the game is, if a person came up to me and said, “What’s the one game I should get if I am brand new to physical fitness and I just want a game that is well made and that I am guaranteed to get my money out of? Well sadly, it wouldn’t be this one. It would be Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout. It’s only $19.99 (or less) and the workouts are great. Sure it’s limited to only cardio boxing, but it does that one thing really well and you don’t need to buy any other equipment. It may have a…ugh, computer generated trainer instead of video footage, but it also uses a Wiimote in each hand to really guarantee accuracy compared to every other game on the market that either uses a single controller (which is not a good idea) or a Wiimote and Nunchuk combination (which is neither a good idea and the cord between the two tends to whap people in their face on certain exercises).

At the end of the day, Get Fit with Mel B. is a game I can enjoy and recommend, but only to people I know are going to stick with this for the long haul or who have already invested in most of the ancillary equipment this game needs. Oh, and who already have Move. That’s a very small demographic. Again, it’s a wonderful game, but so was Steel Battalion and the overall price tag for that prohibited a lot of people from picking that up too. Wow. Whoever thought someone could find an analogy between those two games?

Miscellaneous Rating: Decent

The Scores
Modes: Incredible
Graphics: Unparalleled
Sound: Enjoyable
Control and Gameplay: Good
Replayability: Unparalleled
Balance: Great
Originality: Decent
Addictiveness: Good
Appeal Factor: Bad
Miscellaneous: Decent

Short Attention Span Summary
If you were to ask me what I want, what I really, really want from an exercise game, I would definitely say I already have all in Get Fit with Mel B. Of course that’s what *I* want. The average gamer or person who is considering using a video game system for exercise purposes will more than likely balk at the combined cost of buying Playstation Move and this game, not to mention the optional ancillary items needed to maximize the potential of this title. For those that make the investment however, you’ll find a game that does nearly everything right, from high definition video footage of Mel “Scary Spice” B. doing exercises correctly instead of a horribly animated virtual trainer to the Playstation Eye displaying you on the screen next to her to ensure you are doing your reps correctly and at the same pace as your virtual Spice Girl trainer. Think of Get Fit with Mel B. as the exercise game equivalent of Panzer Dragoon Saga. Yes you’re going to shell out a lot for it, but if you have the cash and the desire, is it ever worth it.



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29 responses to “Review: Get Fit With Mel B. (Sony PS3)”

  1. James Avatar

    The Move is just too complicated to set up and calibrate for the casual gamer that isn’t technically savvy.. and constant calibration for each game is bothersome… the only thing it has going for it is that it’s on a HD console. No thanks.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      James – you’re right that constant calibration is too much for the average gamer. It’s annoying as hell.

  2. Gregg Avatar

    U say it’s inferior to the wii when it’s the opposite the only reason is it’s too accurate I get 100% on the wii all the time and some things my sister does better then me when she is just sitting on the couch the move is too precise it gives u an exact movement which to b honest no body can move the exact same way every time so a 75-85% is awesome

  3. Gregg Avatar

    Another thing u say it’s basically the wii with motion plus when even with the wii like that it has still twice the accuracy and precision and it follows ur body the wii really doesn’t unless it involves the pointer other then that the wii just detects the jerk in movement and moves in that direction

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Greg – the problem is that Move simply can’t detect a series of rapid fast paced movements correctly (and sometimes at all), but the Wiimote can. It’s not the idea of Move or the Controller itself, but the communication between the Move controller and the Playstation Eye. They faster you go, the less they synch up. The Eye has a very limited range in which is can pick up the Move controller and you’ll see that first hand with this game as the little red light on the Eye will go off regularly.

  4. […] Diehard GameFAN | Review: Get Fit With Mel B. (Sony PS3) Share and Enjoy: […]

  5. Dave Avatar

    Can the OP due a review on this game using KINECT please ?

    You have given IMO an honest review here, so i would like to hear more about Kinect from yourself.?

  6. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Dave – I haven’t touched Kinect so I can’t comment either way. Sorry.

  7. […] for the PS3 is apparently a big hit. …Review: Get Fit With Mel B. (Sony PS3)diehard gamefanSony reveal Move results as total U.S. hardware sales […]

  8. William Avatar

    I haven’t tried this game. But having tried wii and ps3 move on other games, I have to say in my experience, ps3 move is much more accurate and much more responsive. I just recently relocated to the Netherlands from SoCal, I’m glad I bought my ps3 move the day it came out. Apparently, ps3 move is sold out everywhere I go. I’m still waiting on better games to come out.

  9. Jay Avatar

    Calibration is simple and only takes a few seconds, and the wii also has calibration. But the move actually works right unlike the wiimotes where I am constantly having issues with the IR sensor. The only issue I have seen is if the game (ie. EyePet) involves reading movements other than the move controller, you need a good amount of light in the room. This is going to be the killer issue with the Kinect for sure, as it is reportedly even more sensitive to light conditions than the move.

  10. Nigel Chaos Avatar
    Nigel Chaos

    sedentary lifestyle.. not sedimentary… unless you’re comparing people to sediment!

  11. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Nigel – thanks for the typo catch. This thing is 6,000 words/12 pages long, so I’m not surprised something got through!

  12. Alex Lucard Avatar

    William – how many of those games have had to deal with Eye-Move connectivity. Again, the problem is that when you use the two together, the accuracy drops below what you get from the Wiimote on its own. The Eye and Move combined can’t handle short fast repeat movements. It’s not a matter of partial recognition – it’s getting them to recognize some movements at all.

  13. Alex Lucard Avatar

    Jay – If this was a normal Move game I’d agree with you about calibration, but this game uses the Playstation Eye extensively and you will constantly have to take time out from exercising the move the camera – especially when you go from standing to sitting exercises and back.

    What you described with the EyePet affects this game as well.

  14. M Meyer Avatar
    M Meyer

    That was a really in-depth review. It hit all the questions I would have about any fitness game, and it really helps that you’re a work-out type. I live in a large city in the Midwest where it gets cold in the winter, and have decided that gym membership is just too expensive and annoying. So, when it gets cold out goes my bike riding and my jogging. I’ve wanted a good fitness game for years. Thanks to your review this one looks like a good investment (I already have PS3, and was already planning on getting the Move), and hopefully Sony will improve the camera/move controller sync in the future and there will be even better games.

    Now if these games would just allow me to import my own tunes (maybe some Daft Punk, MSTRKRFT or Fujiya & Miyagi), we could really have something!

  15. ddfrenchyrocks13 Avatar

    im 53 been a gamer all my life ,chef, nutritionest , body builder 30yrs ago just need to get back in shape for health reasons .very good article . this will work for me thanks

  16. Ghenwa Avatar

    I’m glad I fell upon this extensive review before buying any console. I would like to choose one, me being interrested in exercise gaming and my 7 year old girl in dancing, singing and party games. Would you suggest the Wii + newU fitness first or PS Move + the Get fit with Mel? I’m need to get back in shape, and would like to have fun with my daughter and I’m kind of lost as to which console would be better.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Ghenwa – if you’re just buying a video game system for exercise games, go for the Wii. You can buy a Wii, Your Shape, My Fitness Coach and Gold’s Gym for far less than it would cost you to buy just a PS3.

  17. Tigs Avatar

    The PS Move is more than capable of detecting fast movements. Check out The Fight: Lights Out.

    1. Alex Lucard Avatar

      Ha! I have no idea if that was sarcastic or not, but The Fight has pretty much proven everything I’ve said about how flawed Move is. Thanks for the hilarious comment before bedtime.

  18. calla flower Avatar
    calla flower

    HI. Thanks for your review. you may think it was long, but i really appreciate the level of detail you went into. I am very choosy about the games i buy. I got a move for christmas, and i picked this game up and set it down a few times, unsure if i would really see any benefit from it. I also groaned at the whole “Mel B is there for you” kind of stuff on the packaging because it was cheesy and i really don’t care that a spice girl is interested in “helping” me out. after reading this i think i would like this for nights when i can’t get to the gym.
    oh.. and i love those stupid trophies. lol

  19. Lily Avatar

    Great review! Appreciate all the detail. Have you had a chance to check out the EA sport 2 – just wondering if the new addition was worth a shot or if better to get the mel b fitness. Thanks!!

  20. Barry Avatar

    I have this game and have been using it for a couple of months with good results. Now, however, my wife would like to use it as well. I understand that the game will only register one person at a time. However, it seems as though the game can only have one account at a time. I thought that I might be able to copy my game to an SD card, but the game cannot be copied. Am I missing something? I’d rather not delete my account every time the wife wants to work out.

  21. Anna Avatar

    I never was one to get into the Wii. The inaccuracy and lack of response from the controller was a turn off to me (although I hear the ‘plus’ was supposed to make it more accurate, I felt as if the controller should have been that way all along). After months of storing my Wii underneath a table I finally sold it.

    When I heard about the PlayStation Move, I was excited. Mainly because of the real-time movement (which is what I had always expected/wanted the Wii to be). Needless to say, since I already had a PlayStation, I bought the Move and decided to get this game to go along with it.

    Now, I don’t have any of the extra exercise equipment, but I must say that I greatly enjoy this game (more so than anything I ever played on the Wii). I find myself setting aside time each day to use it. This game is actually a workout that gets me sweating…and that’s exactly what I wanted. After just two weeks I can already feel a difference. Everyday there’s a different workout waiting for me so I’m not getting bored doing the same ‘ol routine. I don’t really use the recipes much, but I like the fact that they’re there. The only thing I wish is that I can go back and look at my previous workouts to see how I’ve improved over time (but then again this may be a feature and I’m just too stubborn to read the manual and too stupid to find it). The calibration, in my opinion, is easy. It’s just a simple click of a button. I do it without even thinking. I guess I could see how casual gamers might find this confusing, but the Wii’s remote seemed way more complex to me.

    Anyway, I’ve been comparing the Wii to the Move and that’s really not what I need to be doing here. Having the Wii or not having the Wii doesn’t change the fact that Getting Fit with Mel B for the PlayStation 3 IS a good game. If you have a PlayStation Move then it is DEFINITELY worth it to get this. If you plan on getting a Move then this is also a great first game to buy along side it.

    Berry – My husband and I both use the game just fine and it saves our data individually just as any other game would on under our user profiles. When I’m logged in under my profile it pulls up my info while logged in under his pulls up his. Have you tried setting up a New User for her?

  22. Hunter Avatar

    great review. You really covered all the points here. Just wanted to let you know, I bought the game last November and still used it almost every day. It’s become part of my weekly workout routine. So there is definitely a long term apeall to it. I also purchased Heavy Rain Move Edition and Time Crisis, and played both games extensively. So the extra costs for Move were well invested!

  23. […] games as well, like Exerbeat, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout and the crown jewel of the genre – Get Fit With Mel B.. The original Your Shape proved to be one of the better games, as it provided a web cam that […]

  24. […] as well, like Exerbeat, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout and the crown jewel of the genre – Get Fit With Mel B.. The original Your Shape proved to be one of the better games, as it provided a web cam that […]

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