My wife and I have finally set up our Wii Fit. We purchased it a few months ago, because, like the Wii and Mario Kart, if you don’t buy it when you see it, you’re not getting it later. At least, that’s how it is around here, still. We’ve only had it up a week, but, as it’s a “game” we’ll be playing for a while, here are the Lessons Learned, so far.
- Location, location, location. You’re going to need a bit of space for Wii Fit. That’s the main reason it’s taken us several months to set the thing up. My office is too small, the bedroom isn’t laid out conducively, and the living room doesn’t have space for one of our two giant CRT TVs. In all honesty, we probably could have made the office work, but it would have been a tight fit, and I had an excuse to buy a new TV. Fiscal Responsibility, meet your replacement, Reckless Gadgetphillia.
- Beware the BMI. This is, unfortunately enough, not a game for those with a terrible self image. The general uselessness of the BMI measurements in Wii Fit have been well-documented, but it’s still worth mentioning. If you have a lot of muscle, or if you’re honestly big-boned, expect to be treated as overweight of obese.
A couple of years ago my doctor measured my BMI. He said I was just about 25 points. I’d need to lose 3 pounds to get out of the overweight category. Wii Fit has me measured at nearly 34 points, well into the obese range, and my Mii reflects that. My habits have actually gotten better since that doctor’s visit, so I know something up here.
- Oh, the pain! If you don’t already have a regular workout routine (and if you do, I’m not sure why you’re using Wii Fit), expect to be sore. My back hurts, my abs ache, my neck is even sore. Thankfully, it’s mostly all the right kind of sore. At least, I assume it is. The one thing I’m worried about is my right ankle. I don’t think that’s the right kind of sore. I’ll discuss that in the next point.
- A little bit more technical guidance would be nice. I’m wondering about my ankle because it has always given me some issues, but it’s extra touchy now that I’ve taken up the jogging game on Wii Fit. In that, you’re supposed to jog in place and keep a steady pace for however long of a course you choose.
The game pretty much assumes that you’re capable of jogging in place. I’m clearly not so proficient. I keep a steady pace, or what feels like a steady pace, but the game seems to think I’m switching between really slow and really fast for the length of the course. Thus, my score is low at the end, and the gamer in me rebels.
Then there’s my ankle. I lift my legs and swing my arms as if I were jogging, but my ankle slowly protests more and more, and I really don’t feel winded like I expect to. I’m a stereotypical gamer who can’t run a hundred feet, or climb two flights of stairs without feeling winded. Maybe I’ve built up some endurance since starting back up at Wal-Mart and just didn’t notice. Regardless, I wish there was a little more guidance during the run than being told “You’re not keeping a steady pace.”
- A little bit more fitness guidance would be nice, as well. I love the times when a screen pops up at the end of an exercise and says “Try these together!” They’re little mini-workouts and they give me some actual guidance on what to do next, rather than just poking around in the dark. So far, I’ve found two. There need to be more. I wish every exercise had one of those attached to it. I wish there were an option for “Help me develop a routine.” Something, anything. As it is, I just feel like I’m stabbing wildly in the dark and hoping that I’m doing it right. Going from no exercise to some exercise is great, but I know there’ll come a point where I’ll need to go the next step and start doing specific exercises.
- Yoga is actually rather enjoyable. I’m reminded of the recent Onion Radio News about a man gently breathing out his last vestiges of manhood every time I start up a yoga pose. The truth is, though, that they’re surprisingly challenging. With any luck, a bit of practice will allow me to finally touch my toes without bending my knees, a feat I’ve not been able to accomplish my entire life.
- I’m a little bit worried about the balance board. The box says the thing can hold 330 lbs. and I’m only around 265, but I’ve heard some distressing cracking noises all the same. I haven’t seen anything give way. It’s only been a week, and I trust Nintendo’s craftsmanship better than that, but the noises weren’t figments of my imagination. I wonder if they’re the thick-carpet feet we’re using that are making those noises. I dunno.
- I feel like I need to purchase a regular scale. I realize that a person’s weight can change throughout the course of a day, but I’m a little bit confused by how that all works. This isn’t exactly Wii Fit’s fault, but the game is really responsible for the thought. When we’re working, we usually exercise relatively immediately after work at about 9 am. On my first day off, I waited about twelve hours after waking up before exercising and taking a body test at about 7 pm. That should even it out, right? I guess not. I was told I’d gained something like 4 pounds. Then, three days later, I tested again at my usual post-work time, and I’d lost 4.5 pounds. I’m confused.
- Edit: Unlockables! I hate unlocakables! I don’t know how I could have forgotten this. There are certain games where unlockables are not a bad thing. Any game where there are levels, or the locked content is secondary to the gameplay, I’m okay with. But, in a game like Wii Fit, I don’t understand the point of locking down certain games until a time limit us reached. I get the harder difficulties being locked. But individual games? That’s just poor form.
There are a number of things I wish were added. If this were a Sony or Microsoft product, I’d expect them to be fixed in *** Fit 2, but Nintendo doesn’t always (heck, rarely ever) puts out a sequel on an existing system, so I’m not sure there’ll be a Wii Fit 2. Maybe someone will come up with a third party version. I’d certainly buy it.