Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wii Fit: One Week Later

It has been a week now since Wii Fit, a fitness and exercise game for the Nintendo Wii, hit Canadian store shelves. From what I've read along with my own experience, it's getting rave reviews. And, as is customary as with any highly-anticipated video game, you'll have a tough time finding it in stores. We visited EB Games the other day and were simply told that there were no copies in stock, and no confirmed date as to when more would be coming in. Great.

As the Wii console did when it first launched back in 2006, this game really has managed to attract an entirely new audience of gamers. Moms, grandmas, and young gals everywhere are locked up in the living room when no one's home, substituting their regular work-outs with some Wii Fit training (and constantly checking BMI and weight: the Balance Board makes a great substitute to the bathroom scale!). My colleague, who has been anti-gaming forever, has even been intrigued and went out to purchase a console.

As for my own experiences with the Wii, I gave my initial review last week. Unfortunately, I haven't had as much play time as I would have liked to with it since then. Logging on last night, the game studiously brought that to my attention: "do you know it's been seven days since you last logged on?" Upon conducting my fitness test again, I was advised that I had actually gained a couple of pounds since my last weigh-in. Great. I was then given a number of potential reasons (snacking, late night dinners, eating too much, etc.) I decided upon late night dinners ( it's been a busy week) and was provided with my "tip of the day": have dinner as early as possible, and never less than three hours before you go to bed. Good advice. I also noticed, to my surprise, that my trainer's hair had grown: was this a tactic to make me feel like I'm not playing often enough?

I engaged in a selection of activities for about 45 minutes, with jogging and hula-hooping being the most strenous of my choices. I even managed to unlock Super Hula Hoop, which makes you twist and turn starting from the right, and then from the left, for three minutes each while your friend's Mii avatars throw additional hula hoops your way. I couldn't even make it through the second 3-minute session! Luckily, my overall BMI is considered "normal", but I still hope to shed a few pounds and tone up.

My partner, who's a traditional gamer that likes the shooting, fighting, blood-'n-guts games, jumped in and enjoyed the game as well. However, he was more into the skiing and various other balance games than the yoga and strength training. Still, it was amusing to see someone that's usually seated on the couch with a remote in hand up on his feet and really into the whole fitness theme.

One quip: I wish two people could play against one another, as can be done with the Wii Sports game that comes with the console. My partner and I found ourselves alternating Mii characters, constantly trying to out-do one another at tightrope walking or skiing. It would have been much easier if there was a two-person competitive workout setting of some sort.

Wii Fit is really focused on balance and posture, quite obviously because this is the one variable that the sensored Balance Board can measure. The game's virtual trainers claim that having good posture and balance is essential to building muscle, gaining strength, and shedding pounds. I'll continue to work on that, and hopefully reach my Wii Fit goals soon!

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