The Switch is slowly but surely becoming the home of a new era of fitness games. The success of Ring Fit Adventure has clearly inspired a new batch of fitness-sustaining titles, with like Fitness Boxing 2, Active Life Outdoor Challenge, and even Nintendo’s limited-edition Jump Rope Challenge all vying for a piece of the game’s pie. fitness. But that’s not such a big hunk: they have to watch their waistlines, after all.
Knockout Home Fitness is the latest contender to step into the ring and try to beat the competition on its butt. Unfortunately, this gives more of an Anthony Joshua performance and is ultimately disappointing.
Known as FinC Home Fit in Japan, Knockout Home Fitness offers two main modes. Personal training is the main thing but can only be played once per day. It offers an organized daily workout, depending on the settings you choose. This includes your overall goal (losing weight, building muscle, or staying active) and what part of the body to focus on (top, bottom, abs, or whole body).
Other than those two settings and the ability to choose a workout time of 10, 20, or (when unlocked) 30 minutes, Personal Training mode doesn’t really offer much more flexibility. Its goal is simply to give you a different set of classes each day, to try and keep each workout fresh.
You get a daily buffer every time you complete a personal workout, and then you can view a graph to study how many calories you’ve burned and how many reps you’ve completed over time. You can also enter your weight at any time, so you can keep track of your BMI and weight loss on the graph over time.
Once you’re done with the personal training, it’s locked into overnight, which means the only thing left for you to play is the second mode, 3-Minute Fitness. This consists of 60 separate workouts, each lasting 3-5 minutes and offering different intensities. At first, only a handful of them are unlocked, but more become available as you learn about them in Personal Training. These workouts are also divided into five different categories – Warm-up, Boxing, Kickboxing, Combat (which incorporates Muay Thai movements) and a final Challenge section with more intense sessions. Other than choosing your workouts, your other options are quite limited.
You can choose from four trainers (two of which are locked at the start of the game) and three different studios, none of which are particularly inspiring. There are 25 music tracks to choose from as well, but unlike Fitness Boxing games, they are not based on popular songs. It’s a mix of EDM, Techno, Trance, Rock, and Hip Hop, and while they’re pretty harmless, they’re hardly memorable. That said, some tracks act almost like achievements, as they’re locked and can only be unlocked by hitting target scores on specific challenges, which adds at least some sort of goal to the game.
The workouts themselves are exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from the Wii era of fitness games. Similar to the Fitness Boxing series, you are shown a series of icons representing different left and right strikes and, holding a Joy-Con in each hand, you have to perform them to the beat of the music. Since it incorporates a number of different fighting styles, the attacks you are asked to perform vary widely. Expect to fire punches, crosses, uppercuts, blocks, hooks, knees, elbows, kicks, squatting punches – the full shebang. On paper (well, on a screen) it looks like an impressive degree of variety.
The problem is, each movement is tracked in one of two ways: either by recording any fast Joy-Con movement, or none at all. No matter what kind of punch you’re asked for, you can just touch the Joy-Con and get a perfect note as long as you time it to the beat.
Kicks, meanwhile, are counted no matter what you do. Rather than attaching a Joy-Con to your leg like you do in Ring Fit Adventure and Active Life Outdoor Challenge, here the game has no way of tracking everything you do with your feet. As such, it just gives you the benefit of the doubt and continues your punch combo even if you’re right there.
Ultimately, that means you can get perfect scores with every workout just by sitting on the couch eating crisps and flicking your wrist in rhythm as needed. Granted, you would only go wrong this way, and the only pounds you would end up losing would be the money you spent on gambling, but it does indicate that there isn’t really any gambling here to talk about. .
Yes, the same can be said of Fitness Boxing 2, but it at least has a wider range of options and tries to keep things somewhat interesting by giving the player a larger and more varied list of accomplishments, all the while doing more appealing to the collectors mentalities of the players. . Fitness Boxing 2 had nine trainers against the four on offer here, and they each had a wide range of outfits to unlock, as well as some sort of side mini-quest where you could try to find a combination of outfits that they were really happy about. to wear.
It was hardly Civ VI in terms of complexity, but it added a bit of interactivity to the procedures and attempted to add “personal” to its personal trainers. After all, all of the trainers in these games are just fancy dummies (almost literally, in the case of Wii Fit) who are only there to show you how to do the exercises. When you put one in an ill-fitting suit in Fitness Boxing 2 and they complain, it gives the thing a semblance of character that is completely lacking here.
Basically, the game doesn’t do anything serious. You buy it for a combat-based home fitness program, and that’s what you get. The problem is, these days there are plenty of other alternatives to a $ 39.99 game, and Knockout Home Fitness has to do little more than paste a bunch of punch animations together and have you copy them for a while. that he says “excellent” whenever he notices any Joy-Con movement.
As it is, you’ll get an equally good and much more varied workout by loading the YouTube app on your Switch and finding workouts there, while using a free fitness app to track your weight and BMI. in this way. When there’s no real game to be found here, there’s really no need to drop $ 40 on a bunch of 3-minute avatar-hosted routines when there are real people around – some of whom have even a little charisma – waiting on YouTube to give you free workouts.
You could argue that the Switch just doesn’t have the necessary controllers for a really interactive fitness game. Say what you love about the Xbox Kinect, but it was one of the few devices to date that was really suitable for fitness titles because (when it did) it could give real feedback on technique and the shape of a player. Most of the other alternatives, including the Joy-Cons, are simply to follow a basic movement and hope the player is ready to suspend enough disbelief when “evaluated”.
That’s why the best fitness games on Nintendo systems are the ones that offer something else to make up for the lack of precision. Ring Fit Adventure’s story mode and custom Ring-Con controller. Wii Fit mini-games, licensed music from Just Dance and varied choreography. Yes, even the Unlockable Coach outfits from Fitness Boxing 2. When precise tracking isn’t offered, you need to have something more than a set of short routines to make your game more engaging than YouTube. In this regard, Knockout Home Fitness unfortunately does not do enough.