It may not be as polished as I was hoping, but FitXR is slowly taking the steps to become a true VR gym with its latest update.
Formerly BoxVR, FitXR updated earlier this year to angle the app towards a broader range of exercises. With the most recent update, boxing is no longer the only activity in the game; you can now get your groove on too.
These new dance workouts include a number of energetic tracks for you get in-step to, mirroring a virtual dance partner. If you’ve played Harmonix’s Dance Central, you’ll know what to expect here; try and keep up as someone much more skilled than you shows you how it’s done.
FitXR’s take on the mode is much more energetic than Dance Central’s though, encouraging you to move your entire body and not just mirror hand movements. In more intense sessions, you’ll be shifting side-to-side, leaning from one side to the other and throwing your hands around pretty erratically. Even after a three-minute track I felt my heart starting to pump. You’ll definitely need a lot of safe play space if you’re to get the most out of these exercises, though.
All that said, the dance mode isn’t quite as polished as some of its competitors. Dance Central employs a gorgeous art style that feels in-step with the game’s rhythm and Supernatural uses live-action recordings of instructors to get around the difficulties of 3D animation. But FitXR just kind of brute forces it with full 3D character models that look, well, pretty PS2-ish.
The game also doesn’t give you quite enough information to feel like you’re properly keeping up. Dance Central, for example, has a core set of moves that are telegraphed to one side to help keep the flow going. In FitXR, I never really knew if I was doing exactly what the instructor wanted me to do, and felt as if my end of level score wasn’t really something I could go back to knowingly improve upon.
But, presentation aside, FitXR is growing into something exciting. Most VR workout apps focus on a singular means of movements to keep you active. They work a treat, but we should all be working out in different ways with a touch of variety. FitXR is becoming something that really can offer that. I’m hoping we’re not too far off from this becoming the definitive destination for VR workouts, though it definitely needs a lick of paint if that’s to happen.
FitXR’s Dance Mode is available now for free to anyone that owns the game. Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comments below!