Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Wii Fit Review!


Nintendo

Well, I got one on Friday, and I am pleased with it so far.

Turns out it's selling for 90 euro which is cheaper than I'd expected a few months back, but that could be down to the relatively strong euro.

Setting it up was dead simple and went off without a hitch. (except... I had trouble stamping the date on the calendar... maybe it's my sensor but it took me ages!)

Starting up the game, you are prompted to be weighed and it measures how well you carry yourself. It's quite accurate, I think. The difference was obvious between my non-athletic self and my wife who is very athletic and used to do Tae Kwon Do. She stands still and her Centre of Gravity (CoG) is almost perfect. Mine is far from perfect but has been improving daily. I don't know if there is anything to the idea that the CoG determines how effectively you burn fat, but I have noticed since mine has been improving, I'm walking better. I actually feel more balanced, which I guess is good!

The board itself works well, even on carpet and turns itself off when not in use so at least I won't be constantly leaving it turned on like I do my wireless sensor. My one complaint about the board is that there should be an A button that you can kick. There are so many times in the wii fit that you don't want to be holding the controller, but you have to keep pressing A to continue.

Every day you are promted to do the body test, which I have mixed feelings about. You're not supposed to weigh yourself every day, and if you work a schedule like mine, you're not going to be excersizing at the same time every day either. I do like that it measures your CoG every day. It's also not a good game for those especially sensitive about their weight. If you are obese, it will say it, and your corresponding Mii will increase in size to illustrate the point. I think it's kinda cool (I'm fully aware I'm obese, that's why I bought this).

You can install the game so that the body test can be accessed on the Wii even if a different disk is in the machine. That's handy. To move on to the training segments, however, you have to have the Wii fit disk in. I'm hoping the Wii Fit game is a starting point, as far as a workout program, it's got a lot of improving to do.

You have four catagories: Yoga, Muscle Building, Aerobic and Balance Games.

The Yoga implementation is very good. I've tried Yoga classes before, and while I enjoy it, I always found it hard to judge if I was doing the positions correctly. With the balance board, it tells you if you're holding your body correctly. There are visual and audio cues to guide your breathing as well.

The Muscle Building is similarly effective. The balance board can tell if you've done a push up properly and the tutorials are good.

The Aerobics that I've tried -- Hula, Super Hula and Step have all been ok. I dislike the step but that's a personal preference, as the visual representation is contrary to what I expect as a musician. It would work better for someone who couldn't read music. The Hula is mad fun, and works very very well. It does leave you very sore, but I think that's a good thing!

The Balance games are tough, but this is of course the point. It also showcases the kind of things I hope we can expect from Nintendo in the future, like skiing games for instance.

My main issue is with the Yoga and Muscle Building parts. Each pose or excersize is separate. You then have to listen to the "personal trainer" prattle on and say the same things over and over. You can't skip the verbage. It's really annoying. You also cannot string together separate poses or excersizes, so your "flow" is constantly interrupted. It takes ages to do 10 minutes of excersizes because of all the Wii Remote stuff you have to do to get at the excersizes. I would love the opportunity to choose a string of Yoga poses, Muscle Building excersizes and even a balance or aerobics game. I think others would too.

In conclusion, I like the balance board... it should be a real winner when the software catches up. The game itself is passable but hopefully we'll see better things in future.

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