You’ve got to ask how much more Nintendo can do to engender itself to the masses? After the release of Wii Fit, the answer is very little. If the Kyoto-based wunderbrand hadn’t done enough to drag gaming to the mainstream with its wily sell of motion-sensing controllers and Apple-inspired looks, it has now set its sights firmly on converting the last vestiges of civilisation with a game that purports to make you fit. Run the last part of that sentence through your head a few times and try and fathom the kind of sales such a game is going to achieve.
But is it any good? First impressions are good, and so they should be. Wii Fit comes complete with an all-new peripheral, the Wii Balance Board, a chunky, pressure-sensitive mat (for want of a better word) that you use to interact with the various games on the disc. Hardcore gamers will, perhaps quite obviously, decide early on that Wii Fit is simply yet another collection of minigames albeit this time with a rather impressive gimmick accessory.
In one sense, they’re right, it is basically a series of more energetic set-pieces designed to stimulate various parts of your body, cleverly blending the fitness aspect in against lectures on posture and your centre of gravity. Nintendo would never boast that Wii Fit is the handy alternative to getting out there and breathing oxygen in a kickaround, but it doesn’t have to. Bamboozled with images of gym equipment, personal trainers and yoga exercises, Nintendo doesn’t have to do anything, your mind does all the work.
Yet, there is something to be said for a few of the activities. Taken in context, this really isn’t an excuse to stay in but a useful prompt to take on more meaningful exercise. There’s nothing like having a good foundation to build on and Wii Fit is clearly to be a prod in the right direction for an audience of all ages.
Most importantly, it’s fun. Nintendo have taken a very inclusive approach with their new console and Wii Fit is no different. Graphically, it’s a simple, uncluttered game that hasn’t moved a lot further on than Wii Sports over a year ago. But it remains accessible and that’s half the battle won. Synch the Board with your console and you’re away, the most complicated bit is putting the batteries in. Then you’re off to explore the various training games which include aerobic exercises, balance tests, yoga and muscle exercises in the hope of improving your Wii Fit Age.
If you’re not minded to get fit or even attempt at meeting health halfway, the Balance Board is sufficient an idea to enliven any party. Nintendo aren’t stupid. Although the games on offer in Wii Fit aren’t going to set the world alight, the Balance Board is going to find itself in a lot of homes overnight and the potential is obvious. Several of the activities included such as Ski Salom and Ski Jump are a tantalising hint that the best is yet to come. DLNY
Don’t be a chubby, lazy bastard forever. Buy Wii Fit here.