Plot: What’s it about?
Thanks to the success of the Kinect, we’ve seen dance and exercise games rise in popularity. After all, full body tracking really opens up those kind of games to a whole new level of performance. In that trend, we now have Self Defense Training Camp, which uses the Kinect to let you experience a new kind of workout. In addition to some solid workout elements, the game teaches some basic self defense elements. The core mechanics are on par with Ubisoft’s other Kinect enabled games, so the movement tracking is razor sharp and the entire experience is quite fluid. As far as traditional exercise, Self Defense Training Camp offers martial arts and boxing inspired routines. These are cardio based of course, but are well developed and provide a satisfying workout. Other games offer similar boxing/kickboxing elements, but the routines here are better than most. Which makes sense, given the more combat fueled theme of this release.
While the game is no substitute for a comprehensive self defense course, there are some solid drills to explore. Some scenarios are offered up, then you’re shown how to respond and remain safe. The techniques demonstrated are universal and cover some common confrontation situations, so these are useful drills. The self defense elements focus on quick responses and allowing yourself a window to escape. So this isn’t like having your own Mr. Miyagi, but the drills provide some very solid basic self defense instructions, much more practical than I anticipated. And with the boxing/kickboxing workouts in the same game, the entire experience gels well and gives you a fluid training regimen. You can also peruse some mini-games designed to sharpen your reflexes and response times, again a perfect choice for the focus of the main mechanics. While a self defense course in a game sounds odd, Self Defense Training Camp is actually a great product and is highly recommended.
Video: How does it look?
The visual design here is rather basic, but it looks good and does it what it needs to. The locations are just workout areas, so there isn’t a lot to soak in, but that is fine for this genre. The on-screen guides look good and the animation is great, so you’ll be able to know just how to move to match the game’s routines. Overall the visuals here are bright, colorful, and effective, even if not all that memorable.
Audio: How does it sound?
The sound design follows the same as the visuals. So while you won’t be dazzled, the soundtrack performs well and covers the required elements. In a game like this one, there isn’t as much focus on audio/visuals, so I was more than satisfied with how the cosmetic elements were handled here
Supplements: What are the extras?