Plugged In

Review: ‘Wii Fit’

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You have to give the developers at Nintendo credit.

First, they challenged our brains with “Brain Age.” Now, they’re challenging our bodies with “Wii Fit.” And make no mistake — “Wii Fit” will challenge your body. Chances are, though, you’ll be having such a good time you won’t even feel the burn.

If you’re new to the party, “Wii Fit” is essentially a collection of exercises, stretches and yoga positions designed to get gamers off the couchand on their feet.

After inputting some basic information such as your height and date of birth, “Wii Fit” prompts you to stand on the Balance Board, an included accessory that’s one of the neatest gaming peripherals ever created. The Balance Board measures your weight and your BMI (body mass index; and don’t pay any attention to that number as it’s nowhere near medically accurate) and assigns you a fitness age.

From here, it’s time to get moving with any of the multitude of activities “Wii Fit” offers. This is where the real fun — and work — begins.

wiifit1.jpgInstead of pushing a predetermined exercise routine on you, “Wii Fit” allows you to mix-and-match any of the activities you wish to tackle. Each “game” (for lack of a better term) falls under one of four categories — yoga, strength, balance and aerobics.

Yoga is fairly self-explanatory, as an on-screen trainer guides you through an assortment of yoga positions. Strength games include push-ups, leg bends, crunches, etc. Aerobic exercises are my personal favorites and include such things as rhythmic boxing, hula-hooping and running (in place; don’t laugh, it’s fun). Balance games are the most traditional game-like activities and include things like walking a tightrope, ski jumping and snowboarding.

While there are a good number of games to keep you busy (around 40 in all), many have to be unlocked by playing those available from the start. Also, as you progress at certain challenges you can unlock the ability to increase your reps or the time limit in those disciplines.

Now that you know what “Wii Fit” is about, you’re probably asking, “Does it work?” For me, the answer is a resounding yes.

I’ve been playing “Wii Fit” for about 20 minutes every day since launch and have lost almost three pounds. Miraculous results? Hardly. But I’m pleased with my progress and, most importantly, I have noticed a change in how my body feels. I have more energy and less aches and pains (unless you count those I’ve gotten from working out too hard.)

“Wii Fit” isn’t going to take the place of visiting the gym, but it’s a great tool to use in conjunction with a regular exercise routine. And it’s a viable option for those who, like myself, don’t have time to squeeze in a trip to the gym.

Judged as purely a game, “Wii Fit” doesn’t really stand out. The graphics are simple and the presentation is lackluster, to say the least. But “Wii Fit” is more than a game.

It’s an experience. And it’s an experience that’s not to be missed if you have even the slightest desire to get in shape.

Score: 8.0/10