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|Building off the critical success of Wii Sports and its popular "fitness test" mode is Wii Fit, a collection of more than 40 activities and games specifically designed to get players off the couch. Meant to be played using Nintendo's Wii Balance Board, a squat rectangular object resembling a common scale, Wii Fit spreads its activities out across four different categories: strength training, aerobics, yoga, and balance training.|
Players begin by entering their height on the screen and then standing on the Balance Board to determine weight and body mass index (BMI). After users' BMI has been calculated a balance test, based on how well players can control their left and right balance, determines players' Fit Age.
Users can then begin to try out the game's many activities. Strength training focuses on muscle toning, and includes exercises like single leg extension, torso twists, and rowing squats, as well as push-up, plank, and jackknife challenges. Yoga activities stress balance and flexibility and incorporate deep breathing and poses like half-moon, standing knee, and downward facing dog. Heart-pumping aerobic exercises include advanced step, rhythm boxing, and free run, while the balance games include soccer heading, ski jump, tightrope walk, and penguin slide.
Wii Fit uses graphs and charts to keep track of daily activity, lets users input data from non-Wii Fit exercise, and players can set goals for reducing their weight and BMI. Up to eight players can create and keep a personal profile in the game, letting family members check one another's progress and form friendly competitions.
|ESRB Descriptor||Comic Mischief|
|Number of Players||1|
|Game Special Features|
Average review score based on 3,409 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
The Nintendo Wii is the most inexpensive of the current generation of gaming consoles. It provides motion sensing controllers and 480p graphics. We tested the Wii before its launch day (I'm a game reviewer), and we had our own unit in our home the morning of launch day. Here are our findings.
The Wii is designed around a menu of "channels". There is of course the game-playing channel, where the Wii will play any Wii or GameCube game. Simply load the disc in and go. There is a Mii channel where you set up a profile and avatar to connect to all your game playing. The Photos channel lets you look at photos on your TV. Other channels for news, weather, and online shopping require an interent connection; the news and weather were not actually working at launch time.
The system does NOT have a regular network cable port, which both the PS3 and XBox 360 have. Instead, it works with built in wireless or with a USB network adapter. I am a firm proponent of wireless - less clutter! So I am thrilled that they offer wireless automatically. With the PS3, you have to pay extra for the 60 gig unit to get this built in. The XBox 360 requires extra hardware as well.
It's hard to generalize gameplay on any console - it really depends on what games you buy. That being said, the comes-with-it software of Sports is really quite fun and is about as basic as you can get. You swing at baseballs, lob tennis balls, bowl, box and play golf. A "fitness" mode puts you through a variety of tasks and then calculates your fitness age, sort of like how Brain Age keeps track of your mental age. If you did both every day, you could aim to be as fit mentally and physically as possible!
In a world where video games = couch potato, it really is quite amazing to have a game where it natively expects you to move and be active. You don't lounge back and gain pounds here while playing games. Boxing can be quite strenuous, jabbing, blocking and weaving in real life. Tennis involves quick reflexes and strong arm movements. Bowling might be the most relaxed of the sports, but even there you are standing, moving, swinging. You get your heart going at least a little, and get some exercise. My boyfriend had a sore arm after playing for a number of hours, in a good way, as he would from exercising.
The 480p resolution is certainly not high def 1080p like the other two systems. It's something you accept when you're paying such a low price for the console. But really, it's not that big a deal. I still play the old Zeldas and love them for their gameplay, even though you can't see the pores in Link's face. If they are going for the cartooney characters and environments, 480p is DVD quality and is quite good. If you really, really crave high definition super realism in your games, then the Wii might not be the best choice for you. However, if you're fine with playing games with a more impressionist / cartooney look to them, the 480p can show that quite nicely. For example, there aren't fans in the stands for baseball - there are colored blocks.
Nintendo has always been known as a "Kid's Console" - but I really do think with the Wii that they have become a "Family Console". It's not just kids who will enjoy this. Seniors can have fun bowling without knowing anything "Tricky" about how to use a video game unit. It's very intuitive. Moms can easily play with their kids, each with their own Wii profile. Adults having parties can have fun passing the controllers around.
No dressing, no driving, no excuses
Excellent combination of aerobics, strength training, yoga, and games
Great results, if you're consistent and dedicated
Good motivator; it tracks your progress day by day
Personalized Mii is fun to create
The "encouraging words" can get very old very quickly
A bit unstable for yoga poses requiring one-leg balancing
Time wasted introducing, scoring, encouraging, and transitioning
Nintendo's lawyers have been all over this. Before you start, you have to watch two warnings TWICE.
Overall: The best full body workout for just pennies a day!
I first tried the Wii Fit at a neighbor's. My husband was skeptical, but I bought one. Today was my 100th Day! I've logged over 140 hours, and I still hop on it 1st thing in the morning.
Since starting the Wii Fit, I lost 14.6 pounds, dropped over a size, my lipid profile dropped 29%, my blood sugar is back to normal, my bone mineral density improved, & I just feel better generally. My internist loves my Wii Fit almost as much as I do! My posture, balance, flexibility, and stability have also improved. I know because my Wii Fit tells me.
A quick overview:
The Body Test: You have to take The Body Test or you don't get a stamp on your calendar. Standing on the balance board, your Body Mass Index, Weight, and Center of Gravity are measured. You can also take two of about 6 balance tests. Wii chooses them more or less randomly. You do get credit for all the exercises and activities you do.
Yoga: 15 poses, easy > "you've got to be kidding". Best done on an uncarpeted surface. Even then, the balance board is jiggly. You'll need a yoga mat.
Strength Training: 15 workouts designed to work on specific muscles and paired to a yoga pose. I try to do these first. For me, they're the hardest. If I wait, I won't do as well on them, if I have the energy to do them!
Aerobics: 3 of activities @ 3 difficulty levels -- Hula Hoop, Dance, and Running. Hula Hoop sounds easy & fun. Not totally so! The balance board measures shifts in your center of gravity to determine if the hoops keep spinning or fall off your Mii. Try that for 10 minutes! Dance is my favorite. I do Basic Step & Advanced Step twice. Add 6 minutes of Hula Hoop & you have 20 minutes of aerobics. I'm not a big fan of running, so I've only done the easy one a few times..
Balance "Games" - These are fun, but they're a lot more than games. They are tests of your body-mind coordination, agility and accuracy.
Take Soccer Heading: a bunch of Miis line up & kick soccer balls TOWARD you (not right at you). 80 balls in beginner & 120 in advanced. Mixed in are soccer shoes and panda heads. You earn a point for the 1st soccer ball you head. Keep heading them w/o missing one -- or heading a soccer shoe or panda head -- & you earn more points for each header, up to 10 points for the 10th and subsequent balls. Heading a soccer shoe or panda head costs points (1 & 3) and ends your string. In theory, you could earn 755 points as a beginner (1155 in advanced). That's a perfect score. Thing is, you'd have to head EVERY soccer ball and miss EVERY soccer shoe & panda. You have just a fraction of a second to decide which is which and how far to lean to head the right one. It gets harder & faster; then they're kicking two things at a time! In 359 tries, my best scores are 397 @ beginner & 180 @ advanced. Pro beginner; amateur advanced. Champion? I don't even know the cutoff score
First of all, remember that this is *not* a "game". Its a way to get your 40 minutes of daily exercise without making it feel like a lot of work.
What this means is that you probably won't buy this for your under-11 year old. Before you start the "game", you are asked for an objective ... in terms of how many pounds you want to gain/lose. Whether this question is meaningful for your child depends on many factors - and other reviewers question the use of the BMI measure for kids, anyway.
The only true game component of this are the "Balance Games" which turn your balance board into a snowboard, or into a tightrope, etc. However, I don't expect kids to return to this game everyday just to play. In short, its not a replacement for Wii Sports.
So, how does it fare as an exercise regimen?
Not very well so far. I use an elliptical for aerobics, and a [...] machine for strength training, and I can't see myself as shelving those two in favor of this toy. With the elliptical, I can adjust the resistance, get feedback on my calorie burnout, and can determine how long I want to keep going. Best of all, I can even watch TV, listen to music, or read a magazine if I care to.
With the Wii Fit, the cutesy graphics are good, but once the novelty wears out, I'm guessing the chinks in its armor will begin to show. My TV is taken up by my virtual Mii running along, I get to listen to canned music, and there's really no way I can read along.
Strength training is purely isometric exercise based (such as push ups). So, if you're fairly fit and need to work with additional resistance, this is not the place to come find it.
Yoga is where it truly shines. I tried the breathing exercises and a few of the postures, and the instructions were fairly detailed and easy to follow. I expect that I'll use this as a cheap and convenient personal yoga instructor for months to come.
The final aspect worth mentioning is core muscle control and balance. I particularly enjoyed learning how my body is balanced, and it does highlight whether you tend to favor one leg over the other. I can see this as being a worthwhile tool as part of a physical rehabilitation or therapy regimen.
To summarize - if you have trouble getting motivated to exercise, or get bored by exercise machines at home, or can't get to a gym, and you don't care about its limitations, then this is for you.
For those who are really serious about losing weight or getting fit, either setup a home gym or get a gym membership. This will be fun, but will likely be a large waste of your time. The biggest problem would be the inability to set up a sequence of activities that you could run through one after the other. Having to navigate menus to start up the next set is distracting. There is a Favorites tab that lets you get close to achieving this - but I haven't tried it enough to see if its a good replacement.
I'm still in the "novelty" phase - so I'm going to try and make this work. I like the way it tracks your weight/BMI, which is much better than the paper and pencil approach I use currently. However, as stated before I expect to use it more for the balance and yoga portions, *after* I've completed my aerobics/strength activities on more conventional machines.
Bottom line - as with every Wii product, the apparent "shortage" drives up demand and makes this seem more desirable than it should.
As long as you are aware of its limitations, you're in the best position to determine whether this is for you.
If you are already in great shape, chances are you won't be challenged enough by the Wii Fit, but then again, you likely feel comfortable jogging around the block or going to the gym. For those of us less athletic, the Wii Fit is a solution that will get us on our feet and on our way to enjoying that neighborhood run.
I joined the Wii Fit Mommies group on Cool Mom Guide to get a feel for what to expect, as well as watching YouTube videos. I wanted to make sure that the Wii Fit would meet my needs for a simple way to begin being more active and build my cardiovascular and muscular strength, while in the comfort of my own home. Being significantly overweight, sweating and flopping around in front of people is a huge reason why I avoid activity in the first place, so eradicating that barrier alone does wonders for my motivation.
I love almost everything about the fit so far. I love being able to track my weight and BMI effortlessly. I love warming up with the balance games and yoga, and moving on to the strength training and aerobics exercises. As you work, you unlock additional activities and advanced levels, which keeps it fun.
I was sore in my shoulders the first few days, and my hips hurt from the step routine-especially the advanced routine, which I *love*. But I haven't experienced anything that keep me from turning it on and trying again the next day. If anything, it feels good to know I am moving my body in new ways and making it stronger. I've used it every day except on Saturday, which isn't avoidable since it's the only day I get to visit my son at the youth program he is in three hours away.
The other night my entire family and our close friend competed against each other for the high scores in the balance and aerobics games-we had so much fun! It was great to see the kids getting involved and having fun exercising-and knowing I am setting a good example by trying to improve my health is priceless.
I know in time, if I stick with it, I will "outgrow" the Fit, but by that time, I will be in good enough shape that continuing my workouts outside my home will not be paralyzing for me.
The only things I think would improve the fit are these:
-It would be great if we could download more activities or levels once the ones on the disc are unlocked. Even if I had to pay for them it would be worth it to me.
-I wish it changed it's expectations a bit based on age. For example, my 5yo can't stand still enough to do the same balance tests as adults. And because she is so light, she practically has to throw a hip out to have the Fit recognize that she is keeping her hula hoop up.
Overall though, it was purchased with the intention of helping me meet my fitness goals. Not only is it doing that, but it has become a fun activity that brings my family together. I am extremely satisfied and highly recommend it to anyone else considering it.
Okay, I just received the Wii Fit today and had it set up in about 2 minutes. I really didn't know what to expect but after reading numerous other positive reviews and talking to store employees who had the Wii Fit, I was pumped with anticipation and excitement.
I am a lazy couch potato who is slightly over weight and I am not motivated to go to a gym and sweat my buns off with other people, or for that matter, take my clothes off in front of other people. I don't want to pay the price of a gym membership because I will be throwing my money away, might as well put it in a slot machine. I also don't want great big expensive pieces of exercise equipment because they will just end up collecting dust or becoming clothes hangars - another waste of money. However, I do want to get into some kind of reasonable shape because I cringe and I hate what I see when I am trying on clothes and it's time to take matters into my own hand.
I did my first 30 minute workout with the Wii Fit and I am super impressed!!! I can't praise it highly enough! It is so interactive and so fun and it got my attention big time. I was winded and sweating at the end of 30 minutes. The weight and BMI numbers are just about bang on and it had me pegged to a tee. It starts you at a beginner level and it shows you where and how you can improve and as you go along, there are little rewards. Some of the activities are done with your own personal trainer which can be male or female, you choose, and they talk to you. Some of the activities are like games and they are so colorful, interactive and fun. I hate running, but in the running game you follow another Mii but you don't run ahead of the Mii and she took me through some really nice scenery and there were other Miis around watching or running and dogs running by, a scale of where you were on the running circuit and a finish line. That was so much fun, I did it twice. I am looking forward to when I am stronger and I have earned the right to run longer. Yoga is difficult and my balance is terrible. I am looking forward to improving my balance because in my real day to day life, I have been known to do face plants and that is not fun and can be very dangerous. On the strength training, I was not able to do one pushup. I was surprised!!!
I think this Nintendo product is a godsend. I am going to use it faithfully, it is exactly what I needed to motivate me. While it's not cheap, it is in comparison to a gym membership or good quality work out equipment both of which would not get used in my home. Also the Wii Fit takes up very little room, it's very portable, and I can work out on my schedule 24/7. I know it's only been a day, but they had people like me in mind when the made the Wii Fit. Way to go Nintendo. I highly endorse this product. Anyone thinking about getting a Wii Fit, all I can say is, you won't be sorry, I'm not.