Wii Fit Plus
I just tried Wii Fit Plus recently and I hate it already, though for all of the wrong reasons. I suppose this requires a little bit of explanation.
Let’s be honest, I can stand to shed a few pounds. I know this. Make your fat jokes now and get them out of the way. All done? Good. I’ve been to the gym before, though was bored by the lack of mental interaction I had while I was there. Reading a book is difficult when you’re on the elliptical and the sweat starts pouring into your eyes. Sure, you could plug your headphones into their fancy onboard tv’s, if you don’t mind having to choose between Cosby reruns and twenty-four hour infomercials. I loved working out, but hated the fact that I had nothing for my brain to do. I’m just one of those weirdos that needs to constantly think about something.
So I quit the gym and tried eating less. I am maintaining, but still obese with high blood pressure. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was the only thing standing in my son’s way of living in a foster home, I would probably let the inevitable happen. Having a child and being a good parent forces one to change their priorities and that means staying alive long enough to make sure that they are well on their way and can survive (and thrive) on their own before the circle of life comes to its conclusion.
So, Wii Fit Plus. I like video games, why not give this a try? For your information, you’ll need a Wii Remote, Nunchuck attachment, and the Wii Balance Board. At the time of writing this, the Wii Fit Plus bundle costs between $80.00 and $90.00 USD, which includes the game and the Balance Board. If you already have the Balance Board, you can buy the game separately for about $20.00 USD. This irks me a little…no peripheral should be that much money. I’m not alone in my line of thinking, ask anyone who plays Rock Band…the entire set of instruments can cost well over $400.00 USD. You’ll also want some loose-fitting clothes. You could “free ball” it, but others in your house may not appreciate it. I would definitely advise against it if you have no window blinds, though if waving to your passing neighbors while in the nude is something you do anyway, I guess it won’t matter much.
The game imported some of the information from my Mii character (the universal character you create for some Wii games) and told me to stand on the Wii Balance Board. It put me through some balance exercises and promptly informed me that I could do better. Okay, mental note. It then weighed me and told me to get off the elephant first, blowing my Mii character up beyond the confines of the television for effect. Okay…maybe I’m exaggerating. It also informed me that my Wii Fit Age was 41, meaning I feel older than I should. My BMI was likewise not very uplifting. My ego at this point took a giant hit…but whatever, might as well see it through being the hardcore gamer that I am. You know, quitters don’t do drugs and all of that crap?
I got to pick my personal trainer and I was given five different menus to choose from: Yoga, Strength, Aerobics, Training Plus, and Balance. Training Plus has new mini-games that are currently not in the old Wii Fit game. Each section has an array of mini-games laid out similar to that of Wii Sports Resort. Each exercise / game has an intensity factor assigned to it so you know how strenuous the game will be on you. After the game is over, it tells you how many calories (estimated) you burned and it gives you points based on how well you did. Leaderboards help you compare your stats with other profiles in your house. It also keeps track of how long you’ve worked out for that day. It combines all of these things and saves it so that you can view your daily progress on a graph or calendar, should you wish to.
I spent some time with some of the games this past Sunday to see how I’d fare. I ended up working out for a combined total of forty-five minutes: twenty-five minutes of which were aerobic, ten of which were balance, and the last ten I spent my time on the Training Plus. I immediately noticed a difference between them in terms of activity level. For example, Training Plus had a “snowball fight” game (no joke) where I balanced left and right from behind cover and used the Wii Remote to hit Mii characters with snowballs. I believe I burned maybe 10 calories after it was all said and done. The hula hoop and jogging games, on the other hand, made me sweat…though I admit it doesn’t take much seeing as how out of shape I am. I get short of breath going from my desk to the printer at work. Keep this in mind when deciding to purchase this as hardcore athletes may not find this game challenging at all.
To my credit, I jogged in place 1.5 miles on one of the exercises called “free run”, but was a little insulted by the trainer that ran in front of me, teasing me with a donut. Okay, that didn’t happen, but I was following someone and if I ran too fast I was treated to watching my Mii character take a nosedive into the pavement. This amused me for the following five minutes. My nerdy Mii character, who happens to resemble Leonard from the Big Bang Theory, kept getting up and waved to people like nothing had happened. I guess Wii Plastic Surgery Resort hasn’t been released yet.
All in all, I think I’ll like coming to this for a while just for the jogging game. I didn’t bother trying Yoga…I’m not sure I’m ready to take my leg, put it behind my head, and stick my face up my own natal cleft. If you don’t know what that is, google it when you’re not at work. The strength training looks appealing…leg extentions, push ups, jackknife exercises…you’ll find about roughly twelve of the common ones in there. I’d prefer to try to do a shoulder stand however when nobody is home.
I plan to get an elliptical machine as it is easier on my flat feet, but I suspect I’ll be using Wii Fit Plus some, even if it’s just to keep a daily log of my weight. Until then, I’ll be splitting my time between this and EA Sports Active 2, which I will post a review on once I actually try it. People who are in shape and already have an established routine may find this to be a bit childish and not very useful. For the beginner who doesn’t work out at all, like me, I think it is a good first step to overall better health.
Final Verdict: 6/10