Looking for a good game to burn some calories on the Kinect? Avengers: Battle for Earth is one of my favorite titles mostly because of the upper body workout you get while playing. And to top it all off, I can play as Iron Man and Wolverine!
When it originally came out in 2012, Battle for Earth didn’t get the most stellar review. It was nothing like the developers promised, and it does lack in some regards to story and development.
But when you look at it from the perspective of fitness, it’s an incredible opportunity to gamify the experience.
What is Avengers: Battle for Earth?
In Battle for Earth, you’re playing as Earth’s mightiest heroes to defend the planet from the invading Skrull force. The Skrull are an alien race with the ability to shape-shift.
Planning to overtake the globe by replacing key members of various superhero groups, it’s your job to put an end to the Skrull invasion.
At it’s core, you play as two of the available superheros from the Marvel Universe. And don’t let the name fool you; there are more than just the Avengers. For example, one of my favorite team ups in the game is Spider-Man and Wolverine.
Why Would You Play Avengers: Battle for Earth?
The story is a bit weak in areas, and there are no real mid-game cinematics to keep you engaged. However, it’s a great tool when looking to lose a few pounds and firm up the upper body.
I’m a fan of anything Marvel-related. While some things I am more on the fence about, this game is not one of them. I found it to be challenging at first and now use it on a regular basis instead of aerobics or other forms of exercise…and yes, I do work up a pretty good sweat.
I’m a bit disappointed in the number of available characters to play, however. I understand the complexity of designing a game like this, but it would have been even better if the list of superheros was a bit bigger.
Gambit doesn’t seem to get love from any developers nowadays.
By playing some of the tutorials and challenges, you can unlock characters and skins. So far, I have all the movie skins from “Avengers” unlocked…and I love Iron Man’s outfit.
What Do You Need to Play Battle for Earth?
This review is based on the Xbox 360 Kinect version of the game. Which I still play to this day. In fact, I played it all month in January of 2018 so I can get an accurate recording of calorie burn.
And I managed to beat the campaign segment of the game in the process.
If you want to expand the workout, add in a pair of weighted gloves. When I included the Fila weighted gloves to game play, there was a significant increase to the workout. My shoulders, back, biceps and the side of my pecs were sore for a week.
However, I worked through the burn and am pleased with the physical results. Although you can play the game without the gloves, I highly suggest you try adding some weights if you want to strengthen the upper body.
How Does It Work for Calorie Burn?
I use a Fitbit Charge 2 to record calorie burn and pulse rate. So far, Avengers: Battle for Earth is one of the most intense workouts I can play on the Kinect. It’s easy to work up a sweat inside of 30 minutes.
I can burn up to 12.49 calories per minute while playing the game for just under a half-hour. To put this into comparison, I can burn just over 9 calories per minute walking for a half-hour at a pace of 3.5 mph.
In other words, it’s like doing a decent amount of aerobics only you’re playing a game.
Of course this will depend on your physical movement throughout the experience. Because I throw myself into all Kinect games, I burn an exceptional number of calories every time.
As Battle for Earth is a fighting game, you’re putting a lot of effort into punching and various arm movements. There is very little leg work aside from the occasional knee-lift. It would have been nice to have more leg moves available, but the upper body workout is excellent.
What Stands Out the Most
There is a surprising amount of arm movements required to win your matches. Although you’re not fighting face-to-face and rely on range attacks, you can get quite active when playing against more difficult opponents.
One of the selling points for me was being able to play as Iron Man and Wolverine as a combo. I am pretty ruthless as Spider-Man, but I’ve always been a fan of Wolverine.
At first, I was disappointed in some of the game mechanics. For instance you’re pitted two-versus-two, but the round is over once you knock down one of the opponents players.
In reality, taking both down would greatly intensify the workout to the point where people like myself would only be able to play two or three matches before passing out.
A more engaging story line would have been nice. However, I remember the first days of Street Fighter 2 which didn’t have a story in between matches either.
Perhaps the most important part of the experience is indeed the calorie burn. It’s one of the most active games in my arsenal of Kinect fitness. At one point, my pulse maxed out to 156bpm. This is higher than when I play tennis.
Pros and Cons
OK, so let’s break down some of the pros and cons of Battle for Earth. Keep in mind, these are my opinions and you may have a different experience when playing.
What was good about the game and why I might want to play it again in the near future?
- Excellent physical workout, especially for the upper body.
- I get to fight as some of my favorite characters from Marvel.
- End fights are challenging enough to keep me coming back to the arcade version.
What are some of the things that disappoint me about the game?
- Not enough characters to choose from. Marvel has a huge universe at its disposal.
- What? No Deadpool?
- Has a semi-weak story line that could have used a bit of effort.
- Not enough leg movements while fighting.
Would I Continue to Play Avengers: Battle for Earth?
Because it is one of my favorite exercise platforms, I’ll continue to play Battle for Earth until the Xbox dies. It’s not all that bad if you look at it from a perspective of health and fitness. Because I like the workout it gives me, I would rate it much higher than other gaming channels.
If you’re a fan of Marvel and looking for a good calorie burn from the Xbox Kinect, pick this up from Gamestop. If you can find a copy, they’re pretty cheap nowadays.