Giant Bomb Review

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Wii Fit Review

3
  • Wii

Wii Fit's simple workouts run out of charm pretty quickly, but for some, the subtle nudge to get on a better workout plan will be worth the price of admission.

Wii Fit accomplishes exactly what Nintendo representatives said it would prior to its release: it makes its users more cognizant about what's going on with their bodies and, along those lines, it made me think a little bit more about my overall health... for about four days.  After waking up to Wii Fit for less than a week, my interest in the simple stretching and balance exercise waned, leaving me on the hunt for a more intense and interesting workout than Wii Fit and its balance board can provide.

Breathing, stretching, and balancing are the keys to Wii Fit.
So that's the rub. On one hand, Wii Fit's collection of minigames wasn't really enough to keep me coming back. On the other, it managed to get me thinking about getting back on my old workout plan, and also gave me a quick look at my posture and weight distribution. In a way, I'm thankful for that, but that doesn't exactly translate into an immediate recommendation that you should run right out and spend $90 on the board and game package, especially now that it's become a hard-to-find item that many retailers are bundling or selling for more than its original $89.99 price point.

Wii Fit is broken up into two sections. The first is a scale, center of balance calculator, and calendar. Here you tell the game how tall you are, you stand on the board, and it weighs you. This info is used to tell you if you're overweight or not, using the sometimes-controversial Body Mass Index rating to decide. It also lets you know if you're evenly distributing weight between your feet, or if you're resting back on your heels too much.

The calendar is for setting weight loss goals. While the game will warn you if you set an overly aggressive goal, it seems like the game should be able to look at your weight and perhaps suggest some goals, rather than leaving you to guess at it until it stops warning you.

There are also some simple balance tests you can take in this section of the game, and all of this data is combined to form your Wii Fit age, which is just as scientific (and just as dopey) as the way Brain Age would determine the age of your brain. The first time I stepped on and took the test, the game claimed my Wii Fit age was ten years above my actual age. After playing it for two days, it started claiming I was two years younger than my actual age, even though I had only lost around four pounds. It's a senseless statistic that will probably confuse people who don't already know how the same number works in the Brain Age games.

The rest of the game is a collection of minigames that pose as exercises. They're broken up into multiple categories, such as strength training, yoga, and aerobic activity. The yoga involves a lot of stretching and breathing, but all the game is really interested in tracking is how well you balance yourself while stretching. This feels like a minor point in the overall scheme of things, since it isn't measuring how well you're able to bend and perform some of the different yoga poses. Regardless of that, the game doesn't really provide you with any set warmup or cooldown exercises, and the yoga poses work well for that.

The strength training has you doing pushups on the balance board, or performing torso twists, and so on. The aerobic section has you moving a bit more, but since the board can only sense your balance and how often you're stepping on it, it doesn't feel like it's built to really gauge your performance. There's a jogging mode built in, but jogging in place on your floor while holding the Wii Remote so the game knows you're actually moving doesn't seem like a very effective workout.

There's that rub again. Wii Fit didn't strike me as a very effective workout device, yet it got me thinking that I needed something better, rather than making me think I needed to stop waking up 30 minutes earlier for some morning exercise.

Once you've outgrown the activities in Wii Fit, the yoga may still come in handy as a warmup, and the scale and calendar can be used to track your progress, regardless of your workout plan. With that in mind, Wii Fit is a decent package, and it works exactly as advertised. But you may outgrow it quickly. Unless you're already convinced that you'll want other balance board games down the line, you're probably better off just going for a nice, long walk.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
33 Comments
Posted by vunna

This is the single largest waste of money I ever spent.  I hope that I can stop men from buying this P.O.S. to keep their girlfriends happy.  Jeff is completely right in that the fun wears off pretty quickly and it just sits on the floor as a constant reminder of how I wasted 130 dollars on Craigslist.

Posted by Sigafoos

I'd agree that it's definitely not worth spending more time and/or money on past a trip to the store (like buying a damn game should work), but overall I'm fairly impressed with its offerings. It's no gym membership, of course, but there are days when we can't make the drive to the gym before it closes or we're too tired, and on those days doing a few yoga poses and strength training exercises is certainly better than nothing.

I have some problems with how negative the game can get -- 'You gained a pound and a half. Explain how that happened!' -- but since I'm already fairly motivated, I won't really get discouraged by it telling me I'm weak because I didn't balance on one foot well enough for them. I guess that's the issue: people who aren't committed to an exercise routine either won't keep with it or will get discouraged by that negative little animated balance board, and the people who are committed will already be going to the gym.

Posted by DogRaperMcSodomy

No man can refuse to get his female this game, because she will use it as a guide for losing weight. $90 is a lot to spend on a game, but it's even more to spend on a NOT GAME.

Posted by Vinchenzo

When I'm working at Game Stop I feel like I should tell every customer that comes in looking for a Wii Fit that it's just not worth it. They expect a real game, something they can do with their family, but it does not have much depth other than adults (and the few youngsters) to get a push in the right direction once in a while.

Posted by Serraph105

i actually disagree this game really has given me a real workout. The second day i had it the back of my legs were really hurting because i had done two short runs and a long rung the day before. Plus (this will sound bad) it saves me from going out in weather thats in the high 90's and feeling likeim gonna die before i get back to my house. Just so you know i live in the country so for me getting back to my house involves a couple extra miles.

Posted by VoodooTerror

i pay $20 a year for my gym membership, so after 5 years Wii fit would have been worth it. hmmmmm, i dont plan to have my 360 that long let alone my Wii

Posted by SammySpartan

eh it was alright.

Posted by SquallLeonhart

I'm suprised so many people really hate this, I think it has worked really well for me, I feel the muscles burning, it's not really for the young , more for people in their 30' 40's who haven'r worked out heir muscles in a while.

Posted by Nintendude

For a good workout I'd definitely suggest trying a dance game instead. I really like In The Groove 1/2 and Pump It Up series*. When you are good enough to finish the songs of difficulty levels 8 and 9 it really starts to feel like a real work out.**  You really can push yourself to a limit with the harder stuff (10+), that doesn't quite happen when you go for a jog and stuff.

Oh and one hint: Try to avoid the lame DDR versions which lack speed mods, they really help and make the games more enjoyable when you are better. (Speed mods allows you to set the preferred scrolling speed for the arrows.)


*I prefer the PIU Pro but it's arcade only for now.
**ITG, DDR and PIU Pro grades. Equalent of the original PIU series (such as Pump It Up: Exceed) would be 11 or something.

Posted by DannyBoy

The only thing that appeals to me is the ability to instantly graph your BMI over an extended period.

Posted by skrutop

Well, that's not a bad feature, DannyBoy.  But you can get the same result with Excel ;)

Posted by BlueJ33

I was one of those people who was calling this game stupid months before it came out. I'm glad I didn't waste 90 bucks on this, because it looks seriously boring. Nice review.

Posted by vunna

The problem with Wii Fit is the fact that it uses BMI.  BMI is not a good measure of your overall fitness level.  It only takes into account your age, height and weight.  There is no real motivation to continue using it once the "newness" wears off.  It becomes just another unused workout machine.  Jeff nailed it.  If people come over, they would much rather play Wii Sports or Mario Kart.  I can't wait to sell it once my girlfriend forgets about it and remembers the $20 a month gym membership she has.

Posted by KinjiroSSD

I was very skeptical of the Wii Fit before it came out and decided to read the feedback before buying it. I'm glad I waited and I get the feeling many others share my sentiments. 

Posted by shorthair

I played it on a friends Wii and was quite looking forward to the experience
then i started calling me obese and that i couldn't hula hoop
it wore my last nerve thin in about 30 minutes
i won't be buying it that is for damn sure

Posted by Grecco

I still use it, and its worked for me. The Mini games are fun.  Not a fan of the yoga stuff.

Posted by Swat20

all i can say is for god sakes people STOP CALLING MY STORE LOOKING FOR THIS GAME. it sells within 15 min of me getting any. do u honestly think that by the time u finish calling and get to my store its still gonna be there?

Posted by grainger

The situation with this bloody game is worse than the wii at christmas, my work hasn't had any in since release and every 5 minutes
 "do you have wii fit"
 "no"

"when you getting it in"
"not sure"


"well piss off then!!!"


"sorry it's not my fault nintendo screwed up their supplies again! ... dick"

seriously im sick of this game, the console and nitendo in general they have made my life hell!!!! anyways its fun because i got mine! read the review



god bless hot air baloons

Posted by G3rt

Where's the weight gain?  Huh?  What about us light weights!?  I'll never be able to put on weight because this game doesn't offer it!  Even if it did though, I wouldn't see myself buying a game for exercise.  There's the gym and the great outdoors.  Also a fridge with food.  Though I need money for food...oh, I'm still typing a comment?  Sorry!

Posted by Spleeny

I have built up muscle on my lower legs to the point where my weight has gone up!

Posted by NinjaMunkey

I would never buy this. according to the reviwew it just isnt much of a workout. I can work out my own BMI, I can do pushups, yoga and joggin on the spot without the board, all it can do is give me a fitness age which is no where near accurate.

if you really want to spend the money, get yourself a fitness machine, or go to a gym, or just do things like jogging and weight lifting.

Posted by sirmokona

It's pretty casual, and, yeah. Got it, still use it. Don't expect to build/lose any muscles, your balance will improve, though.

If you like Wii games, then you like Wii games.

End of comment.

Posted by BestUsernameEver

Hey, I have a great idea! Instead of standing inside on top of a plastic plank helplessly wobbling and balancing, (while looking stupid mind you). Why don't you go outside for a walk or something. One good reason, It's free. And another reason, it solidifies the Wii's thought's of being unloved and lonely.

Posted by Aaronmcng

I loved wii fit's running excercises until I realise how much better it was to run out in the open. (Probably cuz running on the spot makes you look like a douchebag).

Posted by KingGoonie

Wii Fit is a pretty damn awesome game.  I have played it for 31 days straight when I first got it, granted a few of those days was just to weigh in and do a fitness test... but at least 26-27 days I spent 30-45 minutes on the excercises, and it did help out on my weight loss.  It helped out a few of my friends as well.  Of course for best results you should do wii fit along with eating better, etc.  But for myself and friends, losing weight has been quicker adding wii-fit on to the rest of the diet regiment.  And also it is a great party game with the balance games (and the hula hoop which is aerobics) .  Now its a few months old and I still use mine every few days, and my friends do the same,  it really is a game we all enjoy. And yes IT DOES give you a work out.  Thats just it... if you are serious about using it to help you tone your body, then just like going to the gym you have to PUSH yourself to do it, because as fun as it is... it is still working out, and you still get that "gee... maybe tomorrow" attitude towards it.  But the balance games man... those you don't need to push yourself to play when its a group of poeple.  Those you will WANT to play.   Overall, great game... 8.5 out of 10, and lets face it other games are going to use the board so get it, its well worth the 90 bucks.

Posted by KingGoonie

Wii fit is a great game, well worth the purchase. And whomever said they pay $20 for a year at the gym... what the hell does your gym consist of a 40 year old excercise bike?  Most gyms, at least in larger metropolitan areas like NYC are like $40 bucks a month AT LEAST, and thats on top of $100 registration fee, etc.

Posted by porziio

I think it is a good idea because it is helping America to get a little bit more active and not sit down and play a game for 10 hours in a row. But for kids i don't think its the best game because its not gonna get the eye of many teenagers, this is probably played most by younger kids or people in there 30' and 40's.

Posted by VinceVincent

Do some tabatas you pansies.

Posted by Pezjulo

The game is actually quite entertaining...but it just gets old so quickly...

Posted by Koopa_kid12

My Mums getting it for us in a week! Allahua!

Posted by chipper_farley

I have the Wii Fit and really like it, probably because I have a realistic expectation.  I keep in shape by riding a mountain bike, not by using Wii Fit.  However, there are days when a bike ride just isn't feasible but I'd like to get the heart rate up a little.  So, on those days I do Wii Fit.  I think anyone who has a Wii and is looking for a light and accessible compliment to a more rigorous workout plan will find the Wii Fit useful.  Just don't plan on doing Wii Fit to prep for a marathon or the Olympics.

Posted by ArclightBorealis

It's pretty obvious that this is not meant to be a replacement to actual workouts at the gym, but it is a good place to start if you dont have the time or money to actually go to the gym (like me).

But still, like the rest of the wii ___ series of games, it does wear off eventually.

Atleast the Balance Board is getting some good use put to it with upcoming games.

I do want to get wii fit atleast, even though I just want the balance board for skate it, but if it was only sold separately, I'd be fine. Still wanna give it a try though.

Edited by Crono

I just got a Wii and a Wii Fit for Christmas.  I was a bit inebriated by the time we actually set it up and tried it out because of all of the Christmas revelry and eggnog but still had fun.  I tried it sober today and though it was decent fun.  I can see myself weighing in every day for the body test but I just have this feeling that if I spend too much time in a single session that, by the end of that session, I will probably find myself thinking "If I had put the same amount of time into an actual workout I probably could have made 4x as many gains as the time I spent using this Wii mat."  I think it is a novel idea but it seems more like a spring board to a healthier lifestyle for those who are not where they want to be; and I think that is great.
 
That all said, I still find it enjoyable (for now!) and really had a lot of fun with some of the games haha :)
 
Oh yeah and it was Wii Fit Plus, but I doubt the additions added much to the original.