Product Type: Nintendo game controllers
Newest Review: ... is great for storage when I'm not using it. How To Use The board plugs into your Nintendo Wii console using a USB cable. I like the fact t... more
Nintendo Wii Fit Balance Board
Member Name: lolly23
Nintendo Wii Fit Balance Board
Date: 25/11/10, updated on 18/09/11 (42 review reads)
Advantages: Fun to use, accurate and responsive, can be used as weighing scales.
Disadvantages: Can be expensive.
I bought my Wii Balance Board a few years ago in a set with the Wii Fit game, I think it cost around £70, which was pretty standard at the time. You can buy them a little cheaper now, and the price varies more so it is worth shopping around for one. You can probably get one for £50 now, maybe even cheaper on sites such as eBay.
They can be bought alone, or with Wii Fit/Wii Fit Plus; I would recommend going for one with the game as it is a great game, and really utilises the board. The board is mainly intended for use with Wii Fit although a lot of games now have options to use the board to enhance gameplay.
Setting up the board is done in exactly the same way as you set up the Wiimotes, you do this by pressing the small red button underneath the battery cover, and the matching button on the Wii console. Once done, the balance board will be permanently connected, even when turning the machine off, or taking out and replacing the batteries.
The balance board requires four AA batteries, I have found that batteries (even cheap ones) last a really long time in the board. As mentioned, I've had my board for a few years now, and have only had to replace the batteries once!
If bought with the Wii Fit game you can use the balance board as a set of scales. You can chart your weight and use it as motivation for weight loss. When telling you your weight, your Mii will be on screen, the Mii will start of really, really thin and gradually grow outwards. If you are overweight, as I currently am, your Mii will grow quite big and will look really dumpy - it's awful, lol!
If you pick anything up over 3kg then the board will notice and will tell you how much it weighs (this is handy if you have small children or pets and want to know the weight).
When I first bought it, I did experiment with it to see how accurate it actually is. First I weighed my bread maker as I know how heavy it is, then I realised that I actually had some weights so took them on. Each time the Balance Board was accurate to within a pound of the actual weight - quite impressive.
I find that the board is a useful addition to some games and really does enhance gameplay, but it is not very useful on others. On some games it seems that the balance board has only been introduced in an attempt to increase interest in the game (i.e sales of the game!), the board doesn't benefit it at all and in some cases, even detracts from it.
One example is EA Sports Active, while this is already an excellent fitness game (the best, in my opinion), they somehow felt the need to add balance board exercises, the exercises are exactly the same as some of the other exercises but you have to stand still to do them. Yes, the board checks your balance while you do it, but for workout exercises like this, who cares about balance? I would rather jump around when playing the games as it will give a better workout (which is the reason that I am using the game in the first place!) than stand as still as I can in the hope that a red dot doesn't leave a circle!
Saying this, the board is ideal for performing certain exercises; yoga is a perfect example. This type of exercise is all about balance, and the Balance Board really helps you to improve your moves. It will guide you through the poses and will show up exactly where your weight should be placed when in position, it will show you exactly how your weight is distributed, and how it SHOULD be distributed, thus perfecting your technique, which will give you a more effective workout.
I find that the balance board is very responsive and even the slightest change in weight distribution will be recorded, this is most apparent in games such as this where you make slow, careful movements.
So, all in all I am happy with the balance board; it is a great addition to many games, is very accurate in responsive, and can even be used as weighing scales!