Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
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Gaming your way to fitness... or not
Wii Fit (Wii)
Member Name: BitterFusion
Wii Fit (Wii)
Date: 05/06/11, updated on 05/06/11 (71 review reads)
Advantages: Good range of exercises
Disadvantages: Gets repetitive, expensive
Wow, I have never seen a product with so many reviews. Well, if 445 reviews weren't enough to help you decide whether this is a good product, let me be the 446th to give my opinion on the matter! The Wii Fit was released as an exercise 'game', and is the third best selling console game of all time (according to Wikipedia), demonstrating the game's overwhelming popularity. However, is it actually any good...?
My Wii Fit came with the balance board, which is really easy to set up to the Wii. Instructions are given within the manual, but in case you were wondering how it's done, there's button on the underside of the board which calibrates the board to the Wii. After calibration, the Wii will pick up the board every time you play from then onward. The game works with a combination of the Wii Fit Balance Board and Wii remote to track your movements and measure how well you're performing.
In order to play the game, you first need to create a Mii in the Mii Channel on the Wii's menu. This is very simple and easy to do, and you can choose from a range of hairstyles and facial expressions. You can also choose what colour to dress your Mii in. I would suggest that every member who uses the Wii Fit dress themselves in a different colour (I'll explain why in a bit).
So, once you've created your Mii, you start the Wii Fit game and register your Mii on the menu setup, which is very simple to do. You are then introduced to the Wii Fitness Board, who is essentially your guide throughout the 'game'. Hold up, how can a Fitness Board be a guide, I hear you ask? Yes, I found it odd too. But it becomes an over-enthusiastic, over-chirpy animated character who, trust me, will get on your nerves.
You then go through a fairly simple set up of height, weight, date of birth and balance tests in order to establish your Wii Fit age. The better you do in the balance tests, and the better your weight, the lower your Wii Fit age will be.
Wii Fit Plaza
The initial menu, called the Wii Fit Plaza, is really simple and easy to use. Along the bottom of the screen, all registered Wii Fit users are lined up next to each other in the form of Miis. Something I really like about this is that your activeness on the Wii Fit will affect the activeness of your Mii. So, for example, if you have not used the Wii Fit in a few days, your Mii will fall asleep on screen.
Above them is a graph, which compares each member's progress. So, remember when I said that each Mii playing Wii Fit should be a different colour? This is because the line on the graph which represents your progress corresponds to the colour of your shirt. Therefore, it makes more sense to have different colours so you can easily track one another's progress. You can choose to compare BMI or FitCash, which I'll explain in a bit.
Otherwise, there are 4 little circles on the side of the graph which give you the following options:
* Go back to the Wii menu
* Register a new user
* Enter settings mode - you can do a Wii balance board check if you think the balance settings might be off
* Enter trial mode - this is really good if you want to show someone who doesn't have the game how Wii Fit works. It registers them as a guest and gives them a taster of the game.
To access the next screen, select your Mii character.
Whenever you click your Mii, you will then be greeted by the Wii Fit Balance Board, who will always give you an annoying, useless piece of information (I really don't like him if you haven't guessed) before actually allowing you to get to the main screen.
Once you've gotten past the pesky Wii Board, your personal calendar is displayed, which shows on which days you took a Body Test (which is not dissimilar to the test you take in the set up). You are also offered an array of options. These include, viewing the graph from the Wii Plaza screen in more detail, as well as taking the Body Test and entering Training mode.
You are advised to take the Body Test every day in order to track your weight change and to test your balance by taking some tests. You have the option to skip the balance tests if you want. I tend to do this now, as my concern was not with my balance but with my weight. Something I find annoying about the Body Test is that it checks where my centre of gravity is on every Body Test. This is to determine whether your posture is good or not. I wish that, like the balance tests, there was some way of bypassing the results of this, as I'm really not interested in whether I have a good posture or not. However, once this is over, your weight is displayed to you, first in the form of your BMI, and then you can see how many lbs you have gained/lost.
This is what I consider to be the main selling point of Wii Fit. The good thing about the Training mode does have a variety of activities for you to use, as listed below. Each activity has a time value, which is converted into FitCash. Your FitCash is essentially just a measurement of how much exercise you have done for the day.
*Yoga - I rarely practice the yoga, and haven't tried all the positions, as some of them look way too difficult for my liking. Things like the Breathing exercise are easy ways of earning FitCash, and fooling yourself into believing you've done lots of exercise. However, the real intention of this section is, of course, to improve balance, and so if this is something you're interested in, there are 15 exercises for you to practice.
*Muscle workouts - Like the yoga, I rarely do this. This section includes things such as press ups, which I am rubbish at, and so the section really does not appeal to me at all. However, like the yoga, there are 15 exercises for you to practice if you so wish, and they're probably a good way of warming up/down, providing you don't pull a muscle in the process!
*Aerobic Exercises - This is the section that appealed to me most with regard to Wii Fit. Here, there are 15 exercises which range from hula hooping, to step aerobics, to jogging. This is where I thought I'd really lose the weight. As you earn more FitCash, harder exercises are unlocked, which offer variety to your exercise routines. My favourite exercise in this whole section is the Freestyle Step Aerobics, which allows you to do Step Aerobics whilst watching the TV. You set the amount of time you want to do, and the Wii remote guides your steps by playing a timer noise, so that you can keep up with the rhythm without having to look at your Mii on the TV, leaving you free to flick to whichever channel you'd like.
However, if you use do these exercises continuously, you soon find yourself getting bored of the same old thing. There is no variation to the Step Aerobics routines, and twirling a 'hula hoop' around your waist is only entertaining for so long. I think the Wii Fit Plus was released as a combatant to this, and of course to make more money. I've never played it so can't compare the games, but I expect that it would offer some variation on the exercises available.
*Balance Games - These I find to be more of a fun section than anything else. I enjoy the games, such as tightrope walking, but only as a form of distraction. I don't consider them to be real exercise, and so they don't get played as often as I use the Aerobic Exercises section.
*Favourites - Here, your most played exercises are listed, which is handy if you have a combination of exercises from different sections that you do on a regular basis.
I think that the idea of Wii Fit was excellent, and at the time of its release, it was unlike any other exercise 'game' on the market. I say the word 'game' loosely as it's more of an exercise programme rather than a game. The Wii Fit Balance Board is extremely versatile, and the developers were really clever to design it in a way that can measure not only weight, but how well you perform the balancing exercises etc. In that respect, the Wii Fit is a success.
However, the real question is will the Wii Fit successfully help you lose weight? In my opinion, the answer is no. Or rather, that was the case with me. It requires a lot of will power to stay with the same old routines again and again and again, and I find I can rarely use the activities for more than 2 weeks continuously without getting bored.
That said, if you do have the willpower, then there is a very real chance that you will see the benefits of using the Wii Fit. Things such as the Freestyle Jogging and Step Aerobics are a favourite with me, as you are able to do them almost without thinking because your mind is occupied with what's on TV. Also, practicing the balancing games and yoga will inevitably improve your balance. I neglect these sections more than the aerobic exercises, as simply, I have no interest in improving my balance.
These days, I generally don't do any of the exercise parts at all, as I find that adjusting my diet is more effective to control my weight than using the exercises on the game. I do, however, still tend to use the Body Test mode most days, as I enjoy seeing how my weight has changed. I have had the Wii Fit for about 3 years now, and so it's really interesting to compare how my weight has varied between bad and good.
However, on the whole I probably wouldn't recommend the Wii Fit for someone who is seriously trying to lose weight, unless you're certain you have the willpower and are not one who gets bored of repetitive activities. The Wii Fit is still quite expensive as well, costing £79.99 from Amazon for the disc and the Balance Board. It's not exactly a cheap investment. If you're considering getting it, I would advise trying it by having a go on a friend's etc. and imagining that you had to do the exercises on a daily basis. Otherwise, it's probably better to save your money.
Summary: Initially good, but gets boring
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