Wii Fit (Wii) Review

By Adam Riley 20.04.2008 43

Review for Wii Fit on Wii

Nintendo took Japan by storm on the DS with Brain Training and now it has managed to create the equivalent for Wii in the form of the Wii Fit package for the more health-conscious folk out there. With the game and Wii Balance Board peripheral already nearly at the two million mark in Japan after only being on the market since December 2007 and showing no signs of slowing down just yet, Nintendo has a hot property on its hands. Now the board has been reinforced for the Western world to support more than the original 135KG weight limit and the craze is about to be unleashed across Europe this coming Friday (25th April). Is it really worth investing the asking price over?

Before you unpack the Balance Board and crack open the Wii Fit box and pop the disc in your Wii, it should be noted that Nintendo has seen fit to increase the Board's capacity to 150KG, which is a massive 23 stone 8lb. The company obviously has hopes to attract as wide a demographic as possible, so anyone can join in the fun. After sticking in your four complimentary AA batteries, the game asks you to press the Board's sync button, as well as the one on the Wii console so everything works as it should do. What is on offer in terms of presentation right off the bat is the standard whites and pale, pastel colours that aim to relax players and create a peaceful atmosphere, which is maintained during play by the ambient tunes looping in the background (some of which sound like Zelda efforts from days gone by!) as well as the softly-spoken professional voice actors. It may seem like a simple set-up to many, but the approach works wonders and is so inoffensive that it will ultimately appeal to anyone that chooses to pick this up. Plus there is the cute element of an on-screen animated Balance Board that moves around, talking in a squeaky, computerised voice and proving to be something that younger people will take a liking to also.

All in all, everything glows with the usual Nintendo professionalism and the routine addition of Mii characters adds more familiarity, tying this together perfectly with all the key Wii 'Touch! Generations' titles released in the past year. This time each Mii seemingly has more facial expressions than ever before and has a more well-defined body, with its shape actually changing dependant on your actual real life weight as your measurement is taken by the Balance Board, meaning as you get thinner, so does your Mii. For those of you that are actually unaware of what the Balance Board is and does, it in essence looks like a set of bathroom scales, except has lots of tiny sensors deep inside that can not only gauge your weight extremely accurately, but also detect even the slightest of movements in your whole body, all via the way your weight is distributed through your feet. It truly is an ingenious, and very sturdy, device that, as with the Wii Remote, will have players in awe at the sensitivity included. Remember how when first playing Wii something as simple as rotating the controller and seeing the hand pointer on-screen slowly spin round was so impressive? Well, during the loading screen there is a pale green hue that moves about as you gently shift your weight by tilting from side-to-side or front-to-back and the resulting effect is equally as remarkable.

So even before getting into the meat of the product it proves to be quite a positive experience, meaning that the rest certainly has a lot to live up to! Thankfully it does just that and more, since rather than piecing together a quick, shoddy effort, Nintendo and the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto have painstakingly crafted a fantastic piece of kit that has something for everyone. It needs to be remembered that this was indeed Miyamoto-san's brainchild, with him conceiving the idea from merely tracking his weight over time in an effort to get himself in better shape in general. This is by no means a rushed job and is more a labour of love from one of the best game designers in the Industry.

The game is broken down, just like with Brain Training and Sight Training, into a special daily test section and the training arena. Each day the Board measures your weight and compares that against your height to work out a Body Mass Index rating, and then mixes in your actual age to provide users with a 'Wii Fit Age', with the various graphs and charts on offer helping people track their progress over time. It even lets you log outside activities as well, so if a user played an hour's football that day, that time can be added to the log and is taking into account accordingly. As the programme says, if the Wii Fit Age is much higher than your actual one, then it appears the body in question is weaker than it should be, so clearly aiming to bring down that age is imperative for success in Wii Fit. Included as part of the Wii Fit Age are the results of two specific tests chosen depending on the previous day's outcome, with examples being 'stand perfectly still', 'move to hit targets', 'shift your balance according to the on-screen prompts' or 'walk on the spot'. These are simply a formality at the end of the day, though, with the main game focus being on the forty or so activities found within the training section.

The training part is again split into four sections: Aerobic Exercises, Muscle Workout, Yoga and Balance Games. Each aims to improve posture and awareness of how to walk properly in an effort to straighten the spine, remove unnecessary stress from the body, increase balance and ultimately lose weight and tone muscles. Once the male or female trainer has been chosen, they patiently take players through the appropriate steps required for the exercise activities as they could lead to injuries if carried out using an improper technique, whilst the more 'fun' side is merely explained by on-screen text as they are much safer. On the Aerobic front there are the likes of Hula Hoop, where rotating your hips in a perfect circle repeatedly keeps the hoop around the representative Mii spinning until another hoop is thrown into the mix, at which point the player must lean left or right, as appropriate, to make the Mii tilt and grab the new hoop before continuing with the frantic gyrating. Other examples include Step Aerobics and Jogging, with the former being a simple set of step-on and step-off the board actions either to the back, left or right, with timing being essential to a good final score, mimicking the movements of the other Mii characters in the dance auditorium. The latter actually just requires the Wii Remote to stored in a pocket, translating the up and down jogging movements into the game, making the on-screen Mii run faster or slower. A friend can join in with this as well, in case you feel lonely...

Muscle Workout involves exercises such as doing press-ups with your hands on the Board, stomach crunches whilst lying down and having your feet touch the Board each time you 'un-crunch' in time with the timed whistles in the game, plus various other tasks that not only strengthen muscles, but help users maintain a good centre of gravity, thus improving balance (an on-screen gauge shows your current balance during certain activities to aid with monitoring this aspect). The Yoga element is probably the toughest for any casual users taking on the Wii Fit challenge and, as the warning messages point out, it is wise to have someone or something sturdy around in case balance is lost and inevitable falling over occurs. There are some really simple tasks such as standing still and practising deep breathing, but the majority of the others will really cause pain and aggravation to begin with. The key is to watch the tutorial for each Yoga pose before attempting it yourself, using the trainer as a sort of mirror image guide. Balancing on one leg, tucking the other foot high up against the inside of the standing leg, then stretching both arms above the head, clasping the hands together and staying in that awkward position whilst trying to breathe deeply and calmly is NOT something that can be achieved after just a few attempts, despite what the promotional video of that rather attractive oriental woman leads us to believe! Loss of balance is indeed inescapable to begin with...But the sheer enjoyment of trying out new poses, or just perfecting old ones, will usually be enough to keep players coming back time and time again for more punishment, with the eventual breakthrough success leaving you with a marvellous sense of achievement.

Finally, there are a slew of Balance Games, and although many are quite limited, they are thoroughly good fun nonetheless. Leaning left and right to make your Mii head oncoming footballs whilst dodging flying football boots and...Panda heads...is a riotous laugh; tilting platforms around to roll ball-shaped Mii characters into holes is Monkey Ball-esque in how frustrating it is, yet immense fun all the same; moving your centre of balance to guide a bubble safely through a perilous ravine without touching any outcrops is nerve-wracking entertainment; and the skiing games are sheer brilliance that should definitely be expanded into full games eventually (kudos to Bandai Namco for being quick off the mark with We Ski...). Briefly, there are two ski games to start with. The first one has players crouching low to change their centre of gravity and pick up super speed before quickly straightening their legs at the correct point along with ski slope to take off high into the air and then keeping their legs perfectly still to keep flying as far as possible. The second, though, is more taxing, and thus rewarding, with players again expected to crouch low, but this time gently lean left and right to guide the Mii through gates along the course, aiming to finish without any misses and in the quickest time possible. It proves to be much harder than it sounds, but is exhilarating fun through and through!

And after all that, the added beauty of Wii Fit is that it is definitely not meant to be a solo experience, since it can be accessed by up to eight different people using the just one copy of the game, with each person having their own profile and the Board simply having to readjust itself for a few seconds in order to keep a fair track of each person's progress. Throw in how the Fit Piggy accumulates all the minutes poured into playing to unlock lots of other activities and there is definitely a whole heap of reasons for players to keep coming back each day. Not only that, though, but seeing your exercise efforts actually paying off each day is going to impetus enough for those seriously considering losing weight or even toning up. Okay, obviously it is simple enough to cheat the system if you so desire, but that can be done with many games and is definitely a pointless 'exercise'. Thankfully there is the 'fun' element to Wii Fit as well, and family members will come back at times purely to have just one more go on the Ski Jump or to see how quickly they can cross the treacherous tight rope and hula hoop like crazy to beat that previous high score. There is so much on offer in the package that the asking price is definitely not an issue, especially given how the Balance Board technology is being added to many forthcoming game releases at the moment, meaning it will not lie unused when taking a break from fitness...Do not underestimate the draw of Wii Fit.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Simply put, this is one of the best packages on the Wii and something that everyone should at least try out, whether you are a fitness fanatic or not. Nintendo has crafted an easily accessible programme that offers up not only exercise options, but a whole heap of motion-related fun that can be enjoyed by friends and family alike. Whether or not players actually lose weight, improve posture or tone muscles is entirely up to them and their will power to do so whilst using Wii Fit as a supplemental device. Welcome to Wii Fit, the next phenomenon...









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (16 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Great stuff Adam, monster review! I'm glad it lives up to the hype and is a worthy package. Looking forward to getting hold of it, I've been anticipating it for months.

Should be a diary feature of it coming soon, so keep 'em peeled...

So, it sounds like a good game on the balance of things. But how well will it fit into my collection.

Hilarious Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

I'm so board of your puns James.

Oh dear.

Great way to set the tone of the comments guys Smilie Smilie

We already know this is going to be huge after the reports of pre-orders selling out like crazy. You just have to wonder how many records it will break in launch week. Quickest selling game of all time in the UK? Could very well be...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Meh. I may just be ignorant but I don't think I can be persuaded to get this. It's

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

It's certainly not going to be for everyone, just as some don't like Wii games with too much motion control in. However, I was a major doubter...seriously had no interest in playing Wii Fit AT ALL. Yet now here I am giving it a 9/10 rating. I was pretty floored by how impressive I found the whole thing.

I reckon you should go to one of the roadshows if you can...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I live in Cornwall. What's a roadshow? Is it something to eat? Smilie

Maybe one of my gullible "buy game that's hyped" friends will buy it and I can try it out. Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Hmm - does sound better than I thought it would. Excellent review btw.

Though definitely seems to be one of those try-before-you-buy kind of games. I really do hope that Nintendo come up with a load of inventive follow-ups that take the board beyond basic fitness.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Sounds great, cannot wait. Will this get more than Mario Kart I wonder Smilie

Very much looking forward to this.Smilie Looking forward to actually doing a little exercise for once. Smilie

Wow! Thank god it is as good as it sounds!

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Good review, well done c3.

May pick this up once I've got bored of Mario Kart online.

I'll be honest though, thats not likely at the moment...

Sounds pretty good. Smilie My Mum wants it, so I might split the cost with her. Smilie

The thing you have to remember with the price of

In all honesty, I think I'd even hesitate to buy Super Smash Bros Brawl if it was

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

If I knew there were some awesome Balance Board related games coming out in the future, then I'd consider splashing out - mainly because now is the only time I'll have a significant wad of cash for a good few months.

But thus far, we know nothing. Correct? So ningn dinero efectivo de Strat Man.

Tom Barry [ Reviewer - Editor - Resident Sim-Racer @ Cubed3.com ] 

We Cheer and We Ski are coming from Bandai Namco, the latter of which is meant to be very good. Nintendo also has ten games in development for the Balance Board, with Miyamoto stating he might even make a Mario game that uses it. Reggie hinted at the possibility of a 1080 or other snowboarding game as well...

With so many Boards sold already, Nintendo will obviously be supporting it. Heck, even Square Enix has shown interest in supporting it! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

There're also a few other random third party games using it...Don King's Prizefighter uses it for training mini-games if I recall correctly.

That is indeed correct. I foresee many different games making use of the Board in certain ways, purely because it's selling so much and to such a different audience that developers will see it as a great chance to tap into that 'non-gamer / casual' market.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I heard that there is going to be a few skateboarding games for the Board alsoSmilie

Conduit FC: 0431-6660-0908

I believe Activision will definitely get behind the Board with the Tony Hawks games, just as it's bringing a new Call of Duty to use the Wii Zapper. Or perhaps EA will make the new Skate spin-off for Wii using it...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I was put off by the price tag, so i wasn't going to get it. but my Mum saw an advert for it and now going to buy it win-win

That's the beauty of it - Wii Fit is going to appeal to such a wide demographic that even those who wouldn't normally spend such a large amount of money on a game will likely get to play thanks to friends/family that are not normally gamers, but love the look of this fitness device...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

It's another cheap cash in by Nintendo. If only the profits went towards bigger projects. The profit margin must be disgustingly huge. I can't imagine it cost more than a million pounds to make. To think it will sell more on launch day than Halo 3 is insane though. Wii Fit will be a slow burner like most Wii games because most people who own one won't even know of its existence or care to buy it on launch day.

Excellent review Adam. Smilie

I really want this now. It looks really good fun and sounds really good. Unfortunately, it's just to expensive for me.

I will most likely pick it up in the future though, if it comes down in price.

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