It’s been over a week since I bought a Wii and just under a week since I bought a Wii Fit. I’d like to share just a few brief first impressions (not a lengthy review but a bulleted list of likes and dislikes).
Wii: Likes & Dislikes
- Active, physical involvement in the games
- Something fun to do with my husband besides the obvious
- Great fun when friends & family are visiting
- Opportunities to play over the Internet
- Internet connectivity for news, weather, etc.
- Graphics at a maximum of 480p with the component cable I was lucky enough to find on sale for $19.99. Not much better than the 480i graphics with the composite cable that came with the Wii. I’m not saying they suck; I’m just saying HD graphics would be preferable.
- Music is, well… not bad, but it gets old fast. It would be nice if the system and each game would play different music sometimes or have better, less “canned” sounding music.
- The number of nags you have to click through to do anything. “Remember to wear the wrist strap” Click A. “Make sure there’s enough room around you” Click A. “Hold down the A and B buttons on your remote.” Okay, already!
Wii Fit Likes & Dislikes
- Balance board. As a gaming peripheral, it’s a marvelous invention.
- The ski jump and ski slalom games. I bought the Wii fit mostly for these.
- Even more exercise than you can get with the Wii alone.
- Measuring, charting, goal-setting (imperfectly implemented, but good per se).
- Being told I’m overweight when to the world, I’m normal.
- Not being able to set a BMI goal. The Wii tells me I’m overweight because my BMI is around 25, but it doesn’t let me set a goal for a lower BMI; it only lets me set a goal for a lower weight. At 5’10” and 175#, I don’t really need to lose weight.
- The number of nags you have to click through to get to anything you want to do. This is even worse that with the Wii in general. There’s all these little fitness tips and cheerful banter you have to click through, such as “Winter’s almost gone, so it’s a good time to take some of the weight off our bellies” and “Good morning! Do you feel refreshed?”
- The emotional roller coaster of positive and negative feedback it gives you. You make it through the slalom, no matter how badly, and the graphic shows your Mii with its ski poles in the air (Yay!) and the caption says, “Goal!” But the very next thing you see, if you didn’t do a near-perfect run, is your Mii hunched over, panting, drooping, sad-eyed, like a big LOSER! A sore, petulant loser at that. It’s ridiculous. Best to ignore it and enjoy the game. I’m certainly not slumped over like my Mii!
- A word about step aerobics. I’m a singer with lots of music and dance training. I played tenor drum in a marching band as a teenage. Like Gene Kelly, “I got rhythm.” Now don’t you tell me that my steps are “OK” but not “Perfect” because I don’t keep in step with the other Miis! Urgh! I’m telling you, the movement of the Miis is OUT of step with the music. The only way for me to move ahead and unlock the advanced step aerobics was to step with the other Miis, which felt very dysrhythmical! Can I get an Amen?
All right, I know it sounds like I don’t like the Wii Fit because my dislikes were longer rants than my likes. But I really do like it overall. I love the slalom and ski jump. I haven’t actually skied in years (decades), but I love the sense of freedom I get from “skiing” with the Wii Fit. Which brings me to a final “like” which applies greatly to both the Wii and the Wii Fit: the opportunity to play all these different games without having to haul out all this different equipment. The opportunity to jump from playing “virtual” golf, tennis, bowling, baseball, boxing (Wii) and aerobics, yoga, balance games, and strength training (Wii Fit) all in one place with minute changes to the “actual” world must not be underestimated. Think of all the tennis balls you don’t have to go chasing and collecting! It’s no replacement for the real world, but it’s damn cool virtual one.