|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 19, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Since you're reading this article, you might be wondering how good this game really is and if it's actually worth your money. If that's the case, I have both good and bad news for you. But don't worry too much; if you're serious about starting a new exercise routine, this game will do the trick. Just remember Wii Fit is not an actual game, but an exercising tool you can use with your Nintendo Wii.
Now that you know Wii Fit is not a game, you'll understand why "playing" it is not as fun as it sounds. Wii Fit requires as much commitment as an actual exercise program, and if you don't keep up with it, you'll just be fooling yourself. This is no magic. You either exercise or you don't, and if you do, you'll obtain good results.
When you play Wii Fit for the first time, the chatty Balance Board on the screen will give you a few tips and facts about exercising, balance, postures, and health in general. You'll then select your Mii and enter some data like your birth date and height. Then it will go ahead and calculate your weight and BMI (Body Mass Index). This is the point where I had to find a solution for a problem that came up: if you have carpet in the living room, the Balance Board won't be able to calculate your weight accurately unless you add the provided attachments to each of the four legs. Once I did that, the game was able to measure my weight without a problem, and it told me my BMI was normal. Sweet!
The Balance Board character on the screen, though it had no eyes or mouth, was quite friendly and convinced me to create a goal for myself. I've never looked nor felt overweight, but I've always felt completely out of shape. Because of that, I decided to set a goal of losing three pounds and reducing my BMI in two weeks. However, since I just started playing a couple of days ago, I can't confirm it works. But I'm sure it does, because there really isn't much difference between exercising in front of the TV screen or at the gym.
Perhaps this is the biggest problem with Wii Fit. Despite its attempt to become your personal home trainer, Wii Fit gives you too much freedom. It's like when you go to the gym by yourself and plan your own activities; you may do it right, or you may not. The game offers four types of exercise (yoga, balance, strength, and aerobics). Within those categories, there are different exercises and postures you can choose to practice. This is all well and good, but where's the trainer? And where's the exercise program? That's the catch. It's not the same to do a half hour of yoga and balance activities as it is to practice strength and aerobic exercise during that amount of time. Therefore, it's mostly up to you, your knowledge about exercising, and your willpower.
Leaving that problem aside, Wii Fit is actually fairly complete and offers a good amount of activities that will greatly improve your circulation, help you burn calories, and pump up your heart rate. You can take a Body Test everyday, and it will recalculate your weight and BMI, while it also checks your abilities and improvements with small and random balance tests like maintaining your equilibrium with just one foot or shifting your balance from side to side as prompted by the game.
Depending on your performance in this test and your BMI/Weight results, the game will tell you how old your body feels that day. You can then put a stamp on the calendar, and the data will become part of your statistics which you can check at any time. Those stats are good motivators, especially when other family members are participating in the same routine. Of course, if you don't want to share this information with the rest, you can password-protect your profile and no one will be able to look at it. However, if you're in the overweight or obese category, your Mii will show off a pompous belly!
It's probably a good idea to start your daily exercises by choosing different postures from the yoga section. They help you relax, breathe in and out, and stretch your muscles. After that, I like selecting activities from the aerobics section. There's a pretty fun game based on step aerobics. You and a bunch of Miis from your console will go on stage and dance to the rhythm of the music by stepping on and off and to the sides of the board. You'll have to be careful not to trip! This game is similar to Dance Dance Revolution, and it gets a lot harder when you unlock the advanced mode. A few times the board didn't sense my foot on top of it. I'm not sure if it was because I put more weight on the other foot, but it was definitely strange. It only happened a few times though, so it didn't bother me too much.