Created by Nintendo / Rated E / 1 Player / Balance Board + Wii Remote / MSRP $90 + Balance Board
Review written by Ray

ZapperZapperZapper

When the Wii was first announced, Nintendo’s focus towards an expanded audience came with promises of new and exciting gameplay through the use of innovative and intuitive controls. In that case, Wii Fit is the quintessential Wii title, as promised.

Wii Fit is more of a virtual fitness assistant than it is a videogame, while taking obvious cues from recent titles such as Brain Age and Wii Sports. Players enjoyed being able to track their day-to-day progress in those titles, so Nintendo has raised the stakes this time by allowing you to track your weight, although the emphasis is on your Body Mass Index.

Also included in the daily ritual is your "Wii Fit Age," but I can’t say it makes quite as much sense this time around. In Brain Age, you were given an approximate age representing how smart you are at solving quick mathematical problems. But in Wii Fit, the only things used to determine your age are minimal excercises based on simple balancing movements. I’m not convinced how well I lean left and right can seriously determine my age of fitness, but none of that matters when you look in a mirror and see a physical improvement with your body. That is the clear difference this time around.

The Wii Balance Board is an incredibly well made wireless peripheral that runs on four AA-batteries. You’ll realize just how sensitive and precise the Balance Board is within moments of starting your first excercise. My only gripe about the board is that it’s a little small for me. I’m pretty tall, and I found pushups and planks a little more difficult than they needed to be. Overall though, the Wii Balance Board is a solid piece of innovation, and I look forward to seeing how it is used for future Wii titles.

Once you’ve determined your initial BMI and Wii Fit Age, you’ll discover the real bulk of the game is in the "Training" menu. Here you can choose between four different categories: yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. Each are pretty self-explanatory, and everyone will find something different to love. As somebody who is listed in the "underweight" category, my main focus is doing around 30 minutes of strength training everyday, but I know plenty of others will consider one of the other modes their main focus.

When you first start out, you have limited access to most of the excercises, and a very limited number of repetitions. The more you play, the more you unlock, and you’ll soon find yourself struggling to finish those last few repetitions. This game is definitely a workout, and you will feel the burn.

The balance games aren’t exactly spectacular, but there will be a few of them you’ll find yourself coming back to over and over as you try to beat your high-score. I wasn’t real impressed with the Tightrope Walk or Penguin Slide games, but there’s just enough here to keep you interested. There certainly is a bit of challenge to them though, since I’m still terrible at Ski Slalom.

What’s sorely missing from this game is a two-player mode. You are guaranteed to have a friend follow up one of your balance games by asking, "can I give it a try real quick?" But since there’s not exactly an easy way to swap users, that "real quick" becomes exiting out from all of the menus and either setting up a new account or having them choose a guest Mii that won’t have any data saved. This is especially hurtful if you have a spouse or significant other who is interested in training at the same time as you are. This is a real missed opportunity.

Although there are graphs to chart your BMI, weight, and Wii Fit Age (for an entire year, I believe) there are not any graphs for your day-to-day progress with daily excercise routines. Sure there are high-scores, but I’d much rather see how it fluctuates over time. Additionally, there’s no available option to compare these stats with friends over Wi-Fi. I’d be interested in comparing charts with a few friends, but I’m limited to only those who play it on my Wii.

In the end though, Nintendo has put a lot of hard work into this title, and there’s enough to love about Wii Fit that the $90 price tag is justified. Plus, your body will thank you.

Verdict: A fun way to get in shape.

7.6/10
Reviewer’s Completion: All training excercises unlocked + Bronze Fit Bank

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