Nintendo hope to break even further away from Microsoft and Sony's console offerings with its latest game and accessory: the Wii Fit. But is it worth getting off the sofa for? We get gaming, and exercising, to find out.
The basic premise of the Wii Fit is that you get a collection of games, and more importantly a balance board that you stand on to play them. Suitable for anyone up to 150kg or 23 stone in weight, it's not just for kids and those worried about balance issues shouldn't be. The board is large, sturdy and doesn't move.
Instead you're the one that is expected to move about as by shifting your weight on the board you control movement on-screen.
Based around Nintendo's training interface as found in Brain Training, Eye Sight Training and any other training game the company has created on the Wii and the DS, you have to answer a series of questions like age, height and weight and perform a quick test to show your abilities before your start.
Once your profile is set-up, Wii Fit will tells you your Body Mass Index rating and ultimately lets you know whether you should be using the game more for fun or to try and lose weight. At the end you even get a Wii Fit age (mine's 33).
Having got through the profile element and what seems to be an endless barrage of information screens about what it does and what you have to do, you get to train and have fun.
Training revolves around you setting out a goal, such as loosing a set amount of weight in a set time, while fun is just what it says on the tin. The more you train the more games you unlock giving you a reason to keep coming back for more and just like Brain Training you can do a test to see how your performance is improving, or if you've been partying too hard, how much you’re failing.
For the gamer there are plenty of Wii Sports style games, however for the fitness fan there are also a series of exercises ranging from yoga to circuit training.
The idea of course is that whatever you choose, you get to exercise and play at the same time.
In our brief First Look play we had a go playing football, skiing and yoga exercises. At home we were able to have a better play at a more comprehensive range of games including a hula hoop game that saw us wiggle, a jogging game where we had to put the Wii Remote in our pocket and run on the spot and another one called Tilt that saw you control a ball on a platform that you could move very much like the Victorian Labyrinth games.
Training falls into four fitness categories: aerobic exercise, muscle conditioning, yoga poses and fun balance games.
Like Wii Sports the games or exercises are quick and linear. Those looking for a home workout can try yoga, something we found very hard. Once in position you are then tasked with keeping a red dot centred inside a yellow circle. Sounds easy, but because the system works out where you are standing and what pressure you are putting where, it allows you to perfectly hone your skills.
From here you can then choose to run through a course getting progressively harder as well as the software telling you how to make improvements to your stance.
However where we can really see this working is making exercise fun either on your own or with a bunch of friends after a dinner party (the Wii is after all fast becoming the dinner party board game of the 21st century).
Skiing for example will see you go down a slope slalom style moving shifting the balance from your right to left foot. Making this a fantastic way of getting into practice for the real thing.
Our brief play last year and again this year for Megawhat.tv, the Wii Fit had us aching for more. Now that we've had it in our house and we can say that the fun just kept on coming, entertaining a number of people of all ages at a birthday party as well as in the evening on our own.
This isn't a one to appeal to the hardcore gamer looking to let off some steam, and we can imagine that after a while the quick games and poor graphics will get on your nerves just as Brain Training probably already has.
However like Brain Training for the DS or Wii Sports on the Wii, Wii Fit is going to be a cracking addition to the console.
The only catch? Like fitness training, expect to only want to play this in short bursts rather than hours at a time.
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