The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Wii are not amused

Well, the latest acquisition for our Wii is WiiFit. I generally stand with the reviews:

  • The balance (Yoga) and strength training seems reasonable.
  • The basic idea is sound.
  • The implementation sucks.

All the little details scream that nobody thought this through. There’s no 15-30 minute workout. To do 30 minutes of work requires doing 15-20 different things, each of which takes several clicks to start. So 20 minutes of exercise takes 40 minutes. Lame. Where are the pre-built routines? (Strength, Flexibility, etc?) There are only two trainers (Male and Female) instead of a variety of personas (like a supportive instructor, drill sgt, etc). The games have a few good ones, but are mostly lame. And again, you waste about 50% of your time, since most of the games take 30-90 seconds, then you have to go back to the menu.

I’ll probably go through it at least to see all the various strength & yoga exercises, but I could have gotten those from a book. For $5, instead of $90.

If WiiFit inspires people to actually exercise it would be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. But I think it will wind up being wasted money for most people, since it will give them the illusion of working out.

Update: OK. After having done (and watched) a bit more, I think part of the issue is that the Wii unlocks things slowly. One of the things that it unlocks is doing longer duration (time or reps) exercises. And it also gets less chatty fairly quickly. That helps. Also, you can see the Consumer reports initial thoughts.

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Written by taogaming

May 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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10 Responses

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  1. I got it on Friday and so far we’ve been happier with it than you have been. While it’s true that there are a lot of interruptions; well I was going to have to pause anyway. It’s not like I can bang through 4 sets of strength training without 30 seconds between each one. I find the log in time (the weigh in and balance tests) more annoying because of the stupid talking. But as long as you keep hitting ‘A’ it goes reasonably fast.

    More importantly, since getting it Friday night everyone in the house (> 2yrs) has gotten over an hour of credits, and we are all enjoying trying to beat each others records. Now the true test will be if we are still using it heavily by the end of the summer, but for now it looks promising.

    As for the cost, I have a BMI/Scale digital scale that I bought about 6 years ago for $50 that my kids recently broke. I decided not to buy another one as I knew Wii Fit was coming out. Honestly, if it did nothing more than simply recording and graphing our weights every day I’d say it was worth ~$75. The extra content is worth far more than the remainder, so I’m sure the cost is worth it. Plus, Skiing, and a better boxing workout than the game with Wii Sports.

    Lou

    May 26, 2008 at 8:50 pm

  2. Haven’t tried Wii Fit yet– expect I’ll do so this week. But if you’re looking for a (slightly) less expensive Wii acquisition, I can’t recommend Boom Blox highly enough for family and party play. It packs a ton of varied gameplay into a simple set of basic mechanics. And in single player, getting a gold medal on the puzzles is a satisfying challenge. I only wish it were available on the 360. Run, do not walk.

    Peter Sarrett

    May 27, 2008 at 12:12 am

  3. I trust your opinion Peter, you are a professional after all. I just ordered it.

    Lou

    May 27, 2008 at 8:31 pm

  4. I trust your opinion Peter, you are a professional after all. I just ordered it.

    Lou

    May 27, 2008 at 8:31 pm

  5. Peter,

    Do you think a know-it-all 8 year old would like Boom Box. (The aforementioned kia8yo has apparently requested it, so I guess between her and you its a definite buy, but I figured I’d check).

    Brian

    May 28, 2008 at 7:11 pm

  6. I second the opinion on Boom Blox. It’s like Jenga – with EXPLOSIVES! It’s a great use of a simple physics engine. There’s a variety of different single and multiplayer game styles, and you can create and share your own levels. If anyone who has the game would like to see a level I created, register my friend code (8450 8398 4154 6169) and email me yours.

    Chris Esko

    May 28, 2008 at 8:37 pm

  7. I second the opinion on Boom Blox. It’s like Jenga – with EXPLOSIVES! It’s a great use of a simple physics engine. There’s a variety of different single and multiplayer game styles, and you can create and share your own levels. If anyone who has the game would like to see a level I created, register my friend code (8450 8398 4154 6169) and email me yours.

    Chris Esko

    May 28, 2008 at 8:37 pm

  8. Okay, Boom Blox totally rocks. I’ve played through 25% since it arrived Friday and many multi-player games. It makes great use of the Wii controller, requires a little bit of strategic thinking, but mostly just plays very very fast and very fun. My friend Mark and I must have played the final shuffleboard contest 6 times in a row Saturday night. That’s a strategically complex little map. Thanks for the recommendation Peter. And Chris, once I get my Wii wireless hooked up, I’ll be in touch for your maps.

    The only complaint I have is that it is a little too hard for my kids. Greyson (age 6 as of yesterday) has been able to make it through the first dozen adventure puzzles, but he just doesn’t have the hand-eye coordination yet to position the cross hairs as precisely as needed. Charles, age 4, not only struggles with that, but he also can’t throw the ball at a fast enough speed, so they are a little frustrated.

    [On the other hand this may be a premature assessment, I taught Greyson how to play GHIII before leaving for the Gathering so that he could practice. He started off playing Bass on easy at 6% note accuracy. Now, 6 weeks later, he is trying to get past Knights of Cydonia on Medium. He was about a week away from making Hard at age 5! They sure learn fast those kids. Interestingly he has to play like Jeff Healey with the guitar on his lap because his hand’s can’t reach around the guitar neck.]

    [[Petter, a reaction I’m sure you get a lot. I told Greyson about your job and he shouted, “That’s the Job I WANT when I grow up!!!]]

    Lou

    June 2, 2008 at 9:20 am

  9. What did you tell him I do? Because I’m sure your version sounds even better than reality!

    Peter Sarrett

    June 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  10. What did you tell him I do? Because I’m sure your version sounds even better than reality!

    Peter Sarrett

    June 5, 2008 at 3:13 pm


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