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Wii-Fit is Nintendo's offering to the exergaming world. It offers a motion sensing balance board. This aims to build of Nintendo's success with the Wii, but struggles hard to not feel like a fad-gadget. With Wii-Fit Plus around the corner, I wonder whether we'd be better off going back to the Gymn.
It had been a tough summer for me. I had recently become unemployed and didn't have much in the way of funds. I spent most of my time at the gym prior to getting the chop at work, but at GBP35 a throw, it was the first expense to be cast out into the cold.
So, while I was looking for work, I was gradually getting fatter (as happens when you're unemployed). Don't knock the lifestyle until you've had cheese and onion crisps for breakfast, I lived like a rat king.
Bits and pieces of freelance crept in, but the whole weight/money situation had adversely knocked my confidence. Wii-Fit was out and it had got a positive reception. I had time on my hands - enough to convince myself what a wise investment Wii-Fit would be and how the board would be a chunky, white placebo to cure my flabbyness. I wound the bucket to the bottom of my wallet and just about managed to haul up GBP70 from the depths - still one of the most expensive 'games' I've bought, only topped by an import copy of Body Harvest on N64.
Then a five-minute jog around some awful virtual island, finishing off with a tree-hugging yoga cool down.
Week one, there I stood in front of my TV with diary and pen behind me on the sofa. The diary was bustling with workout routines; five minutes of press ups followed by a couple of minutes squats. Then a five-minute jog around some awful virtual island, finishing off with a tree-hugging yoga cool down. Initially, I felt the old muscles I had tickled at the gym stretching out again and the endorphins came flooding back. Except for the jog that just plain hurt my feet.
A mild sweat had been worked up and I tried really hard on my diet. At the end of the week, I weighed myself and the comedy Wii Board on screen commented that I had gained weight. Cheeky pig. It seems Nintendo doesn't account for weekend sessions out with your friends. Or 18 inch pizzas in the taxi on the way home from Birkenhead.
The second week was a concerted full-on effort. Salads, stomach crunches and pointless balancing games. By the end of the third week I had lost the weight gained from the first week, but mentally felt fatter and more useless than ever.
The novelty of Wii-Fit had worn off. It was hard to keep motivated with the routines as there was no scope to push your body, save doing the same routine for five-minutes longer. Plus, the little tart of a Wii-Fitness board was jogging on a treadmill, mocking me and refusing to give me a new calendar stamp, or something.
If anyone has motivation to continue this kind of thing then let me know how. Honestly, I'm dying to know. How can you put up with such sterile and bland exercise practices? The best thing about going to the gym is the variety. OK, there might be no variety if you're stuck doing the same routine every day, but you can easily change that by asking the instructor for a different routine or working on a new body part.
I'm a male in my twenties and I want to bust my guns, dammit.
There's also the social aspect. You can marvel at the unfit old guy who can lift more than you, or perv at the girls - little realising that they can see your idiot reflection in the wall-to-wall mirrors. What was the alternative on Wii-Fit? Literally a faceless instructor who provided the voice of Underground Ernie on CBeebies.
The Yoga however was an interesting twist, it was good to practice some moves and see how it works. But I'm not a single mum in my mid-forties. I don't want to feel my chakra gates opening or Buddha's divine logic sprouting from my head. I'm a male in my twenties and I want to bust my guns, dammit.
It's all entirely my own fault, looking back. I knew exactly what I was getting into, but I'm pleased I did. It was a great experiment into whether this kind of platform actually does have a market and how effective it actually is on the body. The only pounds I lost though were from my wallet, but still, nice try Nintendo.
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