After a long summer of rumors and anticipation, Dwight Howard has finally been traded to the Lakers. As a Los Angeles native and lifelong Lakers fan, I can’t help but be pleased with the efforts of the Lakers management this summer.
Dwight Howard is one of only three basketball superstars signed to deals with the storied Adidas brand though, how long that will continue to be the case though remains to be seen. Adidas, a key NBA sponsor has had difficulty signing and keeping big name stars in basketball in sponsorship deals. Dwight’s new teammate Kobe Bryant and new mortal foe Kevin Garnett both left Adidas for more lucrative deals.
For the time being at least, Dwight Howard works for Adidas and is the face of their latest foray into gaming with miCoach. Just to set the record straight and un-train everyone from Nintendo’s long e-sounding double i’s, miCoach is pronounced like “my coach,” not “me coach.” miCoach is Adidas’ name for a whole line of fitness products that includes shoes, pocket devices, and cell phone attachments. That line, now includes a Kinect enabled Xbox 360 game although, there is no mention of the 505 Games published title on Adidas’ website.
The main idea of miCoach is similar to the Kinect launch title My Shape: Fitness Evolved and the more recent UFC Personal Trainer. All of these games give the player with a coach or instructor and then run them through an exercise regimen. What miCoach has going for it is that it’s not overly specialized like UFC Personal Trainer but isn’t as general as Fitness Evolved. Adidas has enlisted almost the entirety of their stable of football, soccer, basketball, tennis, and running stars to assist in a variety of training regimens for the miCoach game, even the new Olympic Women’s Heptathlon gold medal winner, Jessica Ennis, is on board.
All of the Kinect fitness games require a huge amount of space and miCoach is no exception. What is a little puzzling about miCoach is that it’s not an entirely ready to play package, many of the exercises require additional equipment. To do all of the exercises in the programs you will need dumbbells and a stability ball. Those exercises can be skipped, but you would imagine that most of the people willing to give this game a shot, would appreciate not having to make a trip to the sporting goods store after making it halfway through an exercise program.
miCoach first encourages players to set up a miCoach.com profile. This allows you to connect Adidas’ other miCoach devices as well as manually entered activity to meet your fitness goals. If you want to skip that you can and just put your basic information in for your local profile. You will then pick your regimen or basic Men’s Training, Women’s Training, or Getting Started categories and then your coaches, based on the regimen you picked. Your chosen coach will then give you a little bit of insight into the program you are about to begin and demonstrate the activity until you are ready to jump in. miCoach boasts over 400 exercises in addition to the Training Games that offer a fun way to warm up.
Besides needing a very large space and having to buy more stuff to do everything miCoach offers, there are other problems with the game. As soon as you open the game case, you will have a pretty good idea that there is a lot of content in miCoach. For the Xbox 360, the game ships on two discs and this leads to a big problem. The menus are lengthy and because of that everything on the menu is a little too closely packed together for the often imprecise Kinect sensor (the game does offer some voice control). The other problem miCoach has is the motion tracking in general. Even at the recommended distance of 10 feet, miCoach will not always capture your repetitions.
Honestly, I can’t help but wonder how useful any of these training programs for Kinect really are. Games like Dance Central and even Kinect Adventures will provide an extended, serious, whole body workout. Except in a few specific cases, there is little to justify purchasing a workout ‘game’ like miCoach. It’s not as if buying UFC Personal Trainer will be your ticket into MMA or miCoach will let you walk on to a professional sports team.
For those who would like a wide variety of regimens and have the space and equipment, miCoach is a comprehensive but a little rough around the edges fitness trainer for the Xbox 360.
Adidas: miCoach is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB This game can also be found on: PS3.