My Self Defence Coach Review
Posted by Trent Milner
Poor in defence
Why dance yourself fit when you can fight yourself fit instead? Ubisoft's My Self Defence Coach offers just that, with a workout regime that's also designed to teach you how to fend off any would-be assailants, too.
After creating a profile to help chart your productivity and progress in cardio, reflex, defence process and balance, you can learn moves step-by-step to tone up and defend yourself in the progress: anyone who's always wanted to slap around a virtual man and kick him in his digital... parts will find those desires ably satiated here.
Sadly several stumbling blocks get in the way of your progress. One is the frequent loading times: it seems there's always a spinning wheel to slow you down, turning around while the game loads up the next part. It seriously stunts the game's fluidity, holding you back when all you want to do is get straight into the action and train.
There's also the usual problems with poor motion detection to hamper things. While the menu system is neat — swipe left to right and punch forward to select — it's in the exercises that things fall apart. The game seems to award you Excellent ratings for clearly substandard motions: we nabbed top ratings despite flailing our arms and legs around wildly. That's not to say the game always picks up your movements — there are plenty of times you'll have to repeat the same move before it registers. The discrepancy between doing the motion correctly and failing and performing it wrong and getting an excellent immediately drains most of the impetus to play: why bother if it doesn't matter?
Graphically the game's clean and crisp, with detailed characters and decent animation making things easy to follow. The music wouldn't sound out of place on a yoga DVD, but it grates after a while and you'll soon hanker for your own music, though sadly the game doesn't support custom soundtracks.
Good graphics and a fresh angle on exercise doesn't prevent this from succumbing to the traditional failings of budget fitness games: poor motion detection removing the drive to keep coming back for more. If you're really keen on Achievements it might be worth it for the easy G — you can dance or walk through most of the exercises with ease — but anyone wanting the promised self-defence coach will be left disappointed here.