I checked my packing slip and the only date I found on it was the ship date of 05/15/2008. Did anyone else who ordered their Wii Fit through Walmart dot com get theirs a day early? I have to admit I was very surprised as the wording on the web site made it sound as if I would not get my Wii Fit until some nebulous date after May 21, 2008.
This is the Wii Fit box. It opens from the top. The white part you see on top is the carry handle built into the box, yes, it is heavy and does need a handle.
As you can clearly see the balance board fills the entire length of the box and the other stuff sits in the middle. So, what's in that other stuff?
As you can see the cardboard accessory piece is chock full of stuff. Aside from the box that holds the game disc we also have four AA batteries (get rechargeable batteries fast), the balance board manual and four circular things.
Those four circular things are extensions for the feet of the balance board. They are there in case you have a thick or deep carpet on your floor. The snap onto the four balance board feet and raise it off the floor so that the carpet will not interfere with the balance board.
An interesting note was in the balance board manual. You can only sync one balance board per Wii (so much for two-player balance board games) but you can sync up to 10 controllers. The book did not mention if that meant 10 Wii-Remotes or four Wii-Remotes and six other items. When in use the balance board takes up the fourth slot in the controller line-up.
As you can see, the balance board itself is wrapped in plastic and placed between two cardboard protectors. It's a simple matter to pull of the protectors and remove the plastic.
Once you unpack it and flip it over you will see this:
There it is, the battery compartment for the balance board. See the little red button? That is the sync button. When you get ready to play Wii Fit you have to begin by syncing your balance board to your console. No worries, the Wii will walk you through it.
I did not have a lot of time today to play with my copy of Wii Fit though I did make a profile and go through a few minutes of each area.
Wii Fit begins by having you pick out a Mii. You then enter in your height and age. Stepping on the balance board allows the Wii to weigh you and calculate your BMI or Body Mass Index.
Nintendo makes sure to notify the users that the BMI information can be misleading for small kids and for muscular folks. Back when I was in the service BMI was used to check for overweight soldiers. If someone failed the BMI they would be "taped". The tape test would be used to see if the person was fat or just muscular.
I remember one guy in my unit over in Germany would always fail the BMI test. Some guy from another unit would be there to do the tape test and tell him to take of his shirt. One look at this guys cut physique and the taper would just laugh and tell him to get out of his office!
Wii Fit also tests your COB or Center of Balance. Yes, there is a reason why it is called the balance board!
Because of the way the balance board is designed it can tell if you are leaning left, right, forwards or back. It uses this information to help you attain a better posture. Better posture leads to better health.
After showing you your basic at rest posture it gives you the opportunity to learn where your proper posture lies. This is done by standing on the balance board and shifting your weight until you get a small dot within a small circle.
After all of the initial testing is done Wii Fit saves your profile and gives you an opportunity to set a goal and a time table for reaching it. I chose a BMI goal. My BMI registered as 23.7 and I set a goal of 22 within 6 months. We'll see how I do.
Wii Fit also provided me with a Wii fit Age (what's with Nintendo and their ages?). My wife laughed uncontrollably when it said I had a Wii Fit age 10 years older than me. Yeah, thanks! Oh, don't worry, she will be doing the Wii Fit routines right beside me. I figure working out together will be good for both of us.
I'll be honest, I did not know what to expect from the Yoga aspect of Wii Fit. My wife used to be heavy into yoga and I went to a few classes with her (back when we were still dating) but I have not been very flexible since high school. A little back injury here, a little triple-double-decker sandwich over there... you get the picture.
The Yoga is very low impact though I lack the ability to do some of the poses. You are scored on the poses based upon how well you can maintain your balance.
Keep your balance good and steady and you earn more points. Depending on how many points you earn will affect your final score and whether or not you get labeled a Yoga Master or an unbalance slob. (I made that second part up.)
Some of the poses involve you standing on both feet others have you balance on one. Some of them have you with both feet on the balance board while others have you with only one foot on.
Wondering how the balance board can tell if you are properly balanced? Think of the balance board as for separate scales. Since the Wii already knows how much you weigh and can tell how well balanced you are based on how much or your weight is distributed across the multiple sensors.
I did not spend a lot of time with the aerobics games yet but I did try one; the hula hoop game.
Let me tell you right off the bat that I was bad at this one. Very bad. I had no problem keeping my hoop spinning by circling my waist but I just could not get the hang of catching the rings being thrown at me.
I think I caught one ring a few seconds before the game ended. Yeah, I'm pitiful.
I did not even give these games more than a cursory look. So I can't comment on them yet.
I hear there is a skiing game coming out for the Wii that will use the balance board as an optional controller choice. Until then you can satisfy your skiing desire by playing the skiing balance games.
I tried the downhill one and the ski jump.
You lean left and right on the balance board to turn and you lean forward to go faster. Lean too far and you go to far to that side. I'm not a skier myself but if the full blown skiing game is as good as the mini-games I will be buying it!
So far I am impressed with the quality of the balance board and the game. As you spend more time working out the game rewards you with credits. Get enough credits and new parts of the game unlock.
I know some folks do not like unlockable content and they may wonder why Nintendo would choose to do so in this game but it all makes sense. Do you really want a newcomer to try an exercise that may be beyond them before first teaching them the basics?
I will be writing more reports on how I'm doing with my Wii Fit routine so stay tuned!