Wii Fit Wii
As a game made to appeal to the casual crowd Wii Fit easily tops Nintendo’s other efforts. Once you put the disc in you are ready to go straight away with no typical gaming start screen popping up at all. From there you are asked to select your favourite Mii and then enter your DOB and height. Then you move onto the core of the game, step up onto the Wii Board for the first time and take a Body Test. After a few seconds your height, weight and birth date will be combined and you’ll be told if you’re Underweight, Ideal, Overweight or Obese.
You can then perform a few more tests for it to determine your Wii Fit Age. The game explains that the closer this is to you current age is the better, and the further away the less fit you supposedly are. Interestingly, for a game based on keeping fit it will never put your exact weight up on screen if you don’t want it to, which is a nice extra should you want to show the game off to a few friends without getting embarrassed. Be warned though, Wii Fit is still not all that sympathetic, and if you’re overweight or obese it will show your Mii holding his big chubby tummy after you weigh yourself.
So, If you’re the kind of person who probably got tired trying to move to sit down in front of your computer to read this, and if you are already getting lazy threatening to stop reading this review cause it looks too long, and if you play Wii Sports sitting down (Hi Gamespot!) then this game is not for you. If you spend 15 minutes working out, and think that gives you the right to eat a Big Mac straight after then this game is not for you either. Oh, and if you work out while eating a Big Mac then really back off!
I am not trying to offend you, I am just giving you a good warning, as if you do pick up Wii Fit and put one foot wrong in an effort to try and get fit the game will mock you. If you eat late at night it will tell you to stop, if you drink too much alcohol it will tell you that you’re a bad person. Believe me, one day it said I put on 2lbs as I did my daily Body Test and I was at the end of it wrought. Wii Fit told me I sucked. It shows no mercy. If you or your girlfriend asked ‘does my bum look big in this?’ Wii Fit would not care about what a nasty comment it would lead to and say yes. However, it always ends up by telling you that you can do better to somewhat soften the blow.
Like most of these new-fangled Nintendo self-improvement products it is the games on show that end up being the real star, and Wii Fit is no different with a nice selection. In the game the activities are split into four different categories – Yoga, Muscle Workouts, Aerobic Exercises and Balance. Just about half of these exercises are available from the outset, with the rest getting unlocked as you spend more time with the game.
The first two (Yoga and Muscle Workouts) are not really games in the traditional sense of the word, and instead see you accompanied by a virtual trainer as you are instructed on how to perform moves. To be honest these section are more-or-less like one of those workout DVDs you buy at Christmas, but without that Z-list celebrity doing a terrible job of cheering you on.
For example if you picked to do the Sun Salutation in Yoga the trainer will show you how it is done first, and afterwards you both get to do it the same time. Most of these games also track your balance and positioning, with the trainer reacting depending how well you perform. As a result you have a nice gauge to see how much better you are getting at particular moves. The exercises in this modes get challenging very quickly too, with the likes of Crocodile Twist, Shoulder Stand, Jackknife and Rowing Squat having me falling all over the place. However, if you take your time (unlike me) and try to perfect each move before moving on (unlike me) you’ll probably have an easier time.
Aside from these are the Aerobic Exercises and Balance activities which are more fun. The games in these sections are the ones you’ve probably seen in the TV ads where you have to move about to head a ball and have to spin your hips to keep a Hula Hoop moving. There is even a basic rhythm game called Step aerobics that makes you use the Wii Board as a dance mat, stepping on and off in time to the music. There is also one mode on show here that does not use the Wii Board at all and instead asks you to put the Wiimote in your pocket to jog through a park.
Many of the games in these modes also see a few other Miis randomly appearing to cheer you on and help you out which is a nice addition. Furthermore, since I have Michael Jackson, Chuck Norris, Elvis, Ali G and Jesus Miis on my console, seeing them pop up in random places was great fun too.
Interestingly, you may have noticed that the Wii Board has not been mentioned much in this review, and there is good reason for that. The simple fact is that it just works so well you’ll forget about it. It seems to react to just about everything you do without a second thought. So as long as you don’t do something silly like jump about when standing on it, or pile two people atop, it seems sturdy enough to last for many years of use.
So that’s it, yet again we have another game from Nintendo built around the concept of a selection of mini-games. It’s hardly something new for the company, but unlike many of their other efforts this one seems much more entertaining. Unlike Brain Training you really feel like you’ve accomplished something if you see your weight going down. Setting weight loss targets is fun too, and reaching them is even better.
When all is said and done Wii Fit is a product that can help you lose weight as part of a calorie controlled diet, so in the end that’s what really matters with a purchase of something like this. Although, if you wanted to be cynical you could say you achieve similar results by scoffing down a few yoghurts and going for a walk in the park.
In spite of that, it’s still one of the better ways of trying to get in shape from the comfort of your own home, and regardless of how unscientific some of its ideas are the game at the core is entertaining. But remember, it’s still just a mini-game compilation, and as a result it is something that is quite easy to get bored with after frequent play.