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Yoga Wii Guide

24/12/2009 Specialist Frugal Gamer Guide
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Yoga Nintendo Wii


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Let Anja Rubik guide you through the philosophical basis and practical application for Yoga in this new game for the Nintendo Wii. Yoga for Wii will encourage you to take the right steps to improve your health and maintain a state of good well-being. Supporting a wide range of body positions in conjunction with the Wii's own Balance Board, you’ll be given immediate feedback on your posture and guided through the essential poses in Yoga. Develop your own exercise plan, slow your day down and allow your mind and body to reach a calm state of well-being - all through Yoga for Wii.

After the tremendous Wii Fit arrived to Nintendo Wii consoles in 2007 the fitness genre has been born on the home console. Yoga for Wii attempts to bring a bit of Zen to the workout room and teach you the basics and philosophy behind Yoga. Guiding you through the game is Anja Rubik, top model and Yoga aficionado, although she only appears in brief five minute video clips to dispense knowledge and share experience.

At all other times a 3D Guru guides you round the game and the main bulk of the experience is to be found in the 'story' mode. This is actually a tour of a Yoga temple that one of your chosen guides takes you round. During this tour you'll try different poses and also learn about the concepts behind Yoga. These parts are quite good and informative, leading you to a greater appreciation about the Chakras and how important diet is when it comes to fitness and well-being.

The other modes in the game are Routine and Training. Training mode lets you choose an individual pose to try and perfect - an on-screen Guru shows you the position and you try and replicate it as close as you can. It would have been nice to have had some feedback at this point in the game or audio instructions on how to strike the pose as attempting positions can be difficult with only a visual cue.

Routine mode is a lot less simple than Training as there's a number of routines to participate in and master. These routines are aimed at helping certain health conditions like obesity or arthritis and there are others which concentrate on specific parts of the body. You could, for example, work on your back or heart if you wished by picking the appropriate routine. It's good to see these in Yoga for Wii offer these individual exercises as the Story and Training mode feel a little light on content.

The problem comes from a lack of audio instruction. The visual examples offered by the 3D Guru's and Anja Rubik are fine, but when you're performing more complex poses or if you're new to the world of Yoga then attempting some of these positions can be tricky. It offers feedback visually when you're on the Balance Board but sometimes the instructions seem a little off and discouraging. Having said that, Yoga for Wii is more comprehensive than the small Yoga section on Wii-Fit and does a good job in providing you with the background and history of the practice.

That section is what I enjoyed most - going through the story mode and finding out about the Chakra's, how diet can influence your mental well-being and listening to the calming music. This coupled with the Routine mode made Yoga for Wii a worthwhile experience.

Although Yoga for Wii is visually sparse and lacks the kind of polish we've come to expect from the likes of Wii-Fit and EA Sports Active, it does a decent job in explaining the history and philosophy behind this ancient practice. The Routine mode has a good variety of programs and is very useful in working on a specific area of the body or a particular goal. If you're after a dedicated Yoga game then look no further than Yoga for Wii.

Written by Jan Brookes

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Jan Brookes writes the Frugal Gamer column.

"Welcome to my buyer's guide video game reviews. As well as giving you the low down on the best Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS lite and PSP game I also offer well research alternatives that are Similar, Easier and Harder than the one we are reviewing."

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