Wii Fit reviewed

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 29 May 2008 14:44 GMT

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Wii Fit’s sold-out-everywhere, so you can’t even buy it if you wanted to. If you could, should you? We tell you after the link.

We, of course, bought Wii Fit for our wives, as we’re real gamers who shoot people and then chainsaw them in half, but we were able to get a few minutes alone with the Nintendo fitness “thing” to see what the all the fuss is about.

Wii Fit starts with working out your Wii Fit age. If you haven’t already created a Mii with your date of birth then the Balance Board – who is your ‘friend’ throughout the process – will ask for that info, in addition to your height and how heavy your clothes are.

A bit of hocus pocus later and we found out that we had perfect BMI but a body-age of 55. Great: the guilt trips start here.

After being chastised by the Balance Board avatar, the player then makes a daily plan designed to help lose weight over a specific period. Wii Fit charts your progress, recording everything you do in an effort to reach your target.

Wii Fit is based on physical mini-games, consisting of yoga, muscle workouts, balance games and aerobics. Each ‘game’ lasts up to two minutes and include hula-hooping, slalom skiing, standing like a tree, push ups and others. Each exercise has its own properties, designed to improve different parts of your body. Also, more importantly, each challenge has its own sense of “fun” – apart from the muscle work-outs, which are simply knackering.

Although Wii Fit is strictly a single-player game, you can have as many Mii profiles as you like on the go, so you’re not only limited to one profile per console. Also, for people like us who don’t like get up out of our computer chairs let alone actually work-out, playing it with friends was to be the most enjoyable aspect of it. Watching partners and loved ones gyrating their hips like lunatics trying to keep five hula hoops on the go in genuinely funny. Also, competing with each other for the longest distance on the ski-jump adds a sense of rivalry.

That’s not to say that if you really want to get your spandex out and train properly doing the steps, running, sit ups and so on, that the game becomes dull. In fact it’s testament to Wii Fit that it can be enjoyed on so many levels.

Plummet

After one daily work-out – around 45 minutes of it, mainly ski-jumping with a couple of minutes falling off the Board trying to stand on one leg with our arms in the air – our Wii Fit age had plummeted to 37.

It’s easy, therefore, to understand why stuff like this can happen. Taking Wii Fit too seriously isn’t the best idea in the world.

Be warned, though: our muscles are still aching from the various exercises. Wii Fit does feel like a proper work-out.

One addition that would’ve made for a more realistic “experience” would have been the ability to chose the things you want to do for a set time period and have the game line them up for like a kind of fitness program down the gym. Instead, after every exercise you have to go menu-hopping. Nothing major, but it breaks the flow, as it were.

All in all we were impressed. Not only does Wii Fit seem to actually improve your fitness, it’s also a great fun both alone and with friends. We’re not sure if we’d actually use it daily, but we can see why many would. Also, on a social level, if it gets people to be more active in their daily lives then we’re all for it: just don’t take all the information it gives you literally.

Ultimately, it’s easy to see why neither love nor money will get you a copy at the moment.

By Mike Bowden

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