Wii
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The Wii system and much of its library is great for getting you off of the couch, and Wii Fit is no exception. Not only will it help you get in shape, it also helps you improve your center of balance. The Wii Balance Board measures your balance and weight. Although only one Wii Balance Board can be used at a time, you can have multiple player profiles and some of the activities don’t require the board at all. There are four areas to focus on: aerobics, balance games, strength training, and yoga. You’re also encouraged to take a daily body test to check your weight, BMI, and balance, which the game uses to assign you with a Wii Fit age. The better you do on the balance tests, the lower your score will be. It’s ideal to be at or below your age. (I have yet to achieve this).

 

Setting up your profile

 

The Nintendo Miis are incorporated into this game. You will be asked for your age and height. Wii Fit calculates your BMI based on your height and weight. Don’t take the BMI results too seriously since it does not consider age or build (my toddlers are considered underweight). If you’re doing serious strength training, you will gain a little weight as your muscle mass increases; this game does not take that into consideration. You set goals for losing (or gaining) weight or BMI every couple of weeks or months, whatever you choose. You won’t be given too much grief if you miss your goals or workouts. Your Mii will become skinnier or fatter depending on your progress. Your profile is verified by your weight, as many of the games need to have the balance board calibrated to move properly.

 

Balance Games

 

I found the balance games to be the most enjoyable, but they won’t burn many calories. These games require the balance board. There are different difficulties available for many of these games. Here’s a list of them:

 

• Soccer Heading – bounce soccer balls off of your head; avoid the shoes and panda heads!
• Ski Slalom
• Ski Jump
• Table Tilt – Tilt the table to drop the marbles into the holes
• Tightrope Walk – don’t jump!
• Balance Bubble – picture yourself in a hamster ball
• Penguin Slide – slide on the tilting ice to catch fish
• Snowboard Slalom
• Lotus Focus – stay still, focus on the burning candle

 

Aerobics

 

The aerobics games are fun to do. The hula hoop games are fun, though even after playing these I still can’t do it in real life. The running games actually make running enjoyable; it’s fun to see the scenery and pass by familiar Mii’s. I like how you can choose to follow different dogs instead of the random Mii assigned to you. The step games are okay, but they won’t dethrone DDR anytime soon. It’s basically a glorified line dance. The rhythm boxing is pretty entertaining; it’s great for working out your upper body. I found the free step and free run games to be pretty boring. They basically just let you do your own thing, while running or stepping, for a minimum of ten minutes. The idea is to make watching TV more active, as occasionally the Wii Remote will give you status or instructions on how you are doing in the exercise. It’s okay in principle, but if there is nothing else to do, it’s boring. Here is a list of the aerobics exercises available:

 

• Hula Hoop®
• Basic Step
• Basic Run
• Super Hula Hoop
• Advanced Step
• 2-P Run - only one profile gets credit
• Rhythm Boxing
• Free Step
• Free Run

 

Strength Training

 

In the strength training and yoga exercises you get a friendly white and gray trainer. You can choose a male or female and you can change at any time. Sometimes they will swap on you for fun. Many of these exercises require the balance board; they can actually tell if you are doing it wrong based on your balance. More reps will become unlocked as you play more. Eventually you’ll unlock challenges against your trainer to see who will endure the longest. Here is what there is:

 

• Single Leg Extension
• Sideways Leg Lift
• Arm and Leg Lift
• Single-Arm Stand
• Torso Twists
• Rowing Squat
• Single Leg Twist
• Lunge
• Push-Up and Side Plank
• Jackknife
• Plank
• Tricep Extension
• Challenges include Push-Up Challenge, Plank Challenge and Jackknife Challenge

 

Yoga

 

The yoga format is pretty similar to the strength training. You have the same trainer and you can choose what to focus on and how long to do it for. The game will make some combination recommendations for you. Each yoga exercise strengthens different muscles, helps you improve your balance, as well as stretch. This is what’s available:

 

• Deep Breathing
• Half-Moon
• Dance
• Cobra
• Bridge
• Spinal Twist
• Shoulder Stand
• Warrior
• Tree
• Sun Salutation
• Standing Knee
• Palm Tree
• Chair
• Triangle
• Downward-Facing Dog

 

Motivation

 

Wii Fit uses points based on how many minutes you exercise. As you accumulate points you’ll unlock new exercises, games, or harder difficulties. There are no set routines so you work out on what you feel like working out on. I think having a set routine is more motivating. Also, once everything is unlocked, the game doesn’t do too much else to motivate you; you have to want to get fit on your own.

 

Graphics

 

Many of the balance games and environments are colorful and detailed. The trainers on the other hand, are very bland and lack realism. This game definitely shows the Wii’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s a clean look that is without flair.

 

Sound

 

The sound effects are great and the voice acting is good. I like the Anime-like childish voice they use for the animated Wii Balance Board. The background music for the most part is decent but forgettable. The Rhythm boxing music did get stuck in my head once, though it wasn’t appreciated.

 

Controls/Interface

 

Wii Fit is a very family friendly game and is very intuitive for many age groups. The balance board is pretty easy to use. The only challenge I had was not jumping (only extending my legs) on the tight rope balance game.

 

Appropriateness

 

This game is perfectly clean and I recommend it for any age group. The only nitpick I have is the names of the stances of some of the yoga poses, as they are a bit new-agey for my tastes; though that’s more of a problem with yoga then a problem with Wii Fit.

 

Conclusion

 

This game is still hard to get a hold of as of the writing of this review. I recommend this game as a fun way to exercise your whole body. Given that there isn’t much structure or any pre-set routines I don’t take it too seriously as a weight loss tool, though someone with the proper motivation could use it that way. Using your BMI the way they do doesn’t help much, as your classification (underweight, normal, overweight or obese) can be wrong. Always consult a health professional before making important dietary or lifestyle changes; this game should not be your only guide. I can’t help but feel that the trendiness of this game will fizzle out. The Wii Balance Board controller is very well made and accurate. I really look forward to seeing other games take advantage of it.

 

Gameplay 15/20
Graphics 6/10
Sound 6/10
Controls 4/5
Stability 5/5
Appropriateness 50/50

 

Overall 86%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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