Latest Game Reviews

Wii Fit Review - Wii

6
Gameplay: 6 stars 6
Graphics: 6 stars 6
Audio: 4 stars 4
Innovation: 9 stars 9
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Introduction

It is a timeworn stereotype - overweight physique, thick-rimmed glasses and acned face. This image of nerddom is so longstanding that it feels a little bit rude to point out that it’s not really true these days. As we all know, geeks come in all shapes, sizes and genders. Me? I’m barely 63kg and with a skin colour best described as ‘pale chalk’ (at least they got that bit right). So while the rest of the world went crazy trying to shed the kilos with Wii Fit, I had a different challenge: trying to gain them.

Gameplay

That’s a little bit of a misnomer right there – Wii Fit is really stretching the limits of what you can label a ‘game’. It’s an exercise assistant, really. With your purchase you get the Wii Balance Board, a solid piece of technology that is intelligent enough to measure not only your weight, but your posture and balance too.

When you boot up the game for the first time, you import a Mii, pick a male or female personal trainer, and then take part in a preliminary body examination. At the end of the trial, you are presented with your Wii Fitness age and immediately feel terrible when it is inevitably something like thirty-seven or forty-two. Talk about motivation! After that shock to the system, you’re asked to input a target weight and time period in which to achieve it. Then you’re let loose on a range of exercises, with more unlocking as you spend time working out.

The exercises are broken up into four categories: Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics and Balance Games. All are pretty self-explanatory. Yoga is about holding positions and keeping balance. Strength Training is about building up your muscles, while Aerobics is about getting the heart pumping and actually improving your fitness. Finally, Balance Games are less focussed and are more about simply using the Balance Board for some fun, point-based games. You can even tell the game if you’ve done exercise in the real world and it will adjust accordingly.

Here’s the problem. I wasn’t looking at the device as a weight loss system. I wanted to gain weight. I wanted to build muscle and improve fitness. The game allows you to set a target above your current weight and a time frame, but it doesn’t have the necessary intelligence to tell me how to achieve that goal. I’m not going to improve anything with Yoga or Balance Games. That leaves just Aerobics and Strength Training.

Now, I spent time on the wide variety of activities within both of these sections. I got tired, I sweated, and I felt like I had exercised. However, the aerobics activities invariably resulted in large weight decreases because of the constant movement. Good for fitness, no doubt, but it is doing the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve. That left Strength Training. Now, this is more like it. It features slower activities that depend more on endurance than continual exertion - push-ups and lunges, etc.

The ...

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