Yesterday we covered Wii Fit Review: Getting Started & The Aerobic Activities. Today’s instalment covers the Balance exercises.
The Balance exercises are by far the most attractive, because they’re quick, fun, and easy to play with friends to see who scores best. Just about every time we’ve started up Wii Fit, it’s the first section we choose, and often the only one if we’re in a hurry. The activities include:
- Ball Heading: your Mii is on a soccer pitch, and you stand still while a bunch of computer-controlled Miis kick footballs at you. Score points by heading the balls – as you dip left and right to reach the balls (or to avoid the amusement of being kicked in the head by flying boots or, bizarrely, toy panda heads), the Balance Board accurately moves your Mii to match. In my very thorough focus group (me and my girlfriend), boys are great at this, and girls suck.
- Skiing: Nintendo have really gone to town Wii Fit’s winter sports, doubtless because in real life these events involve little more than balancing on a board (although it’s curious that they haven’t bothered with any surfing games). You can slalom on skis or on a snowboard (for which you flip the Wii Fit Board 90°), and release your inner Eddie The Eagle on the ski jump. (Will we ever get tired of referencing Eddie The Eagle?) All three events are very sensitive to your shifts of weight – way more than in real life skiing/snowboarding – and so are quite a challenge. While these activities are moderate fun, it’s clear that the future should bring us a really cool Wii Fit Winter Sports pack with far more challenging larks on ski, snowboard, luge and bobsleigh.
- Table Tilt: more of a parlour game than a sports sim, you must shift your balance to guide balls around simple obstacle courses; as you move, the on-screen table pitches around and gravity does the rest. Fun for a while, this quickly gets easier with practice and so won’t be a long-term activity.
- Tightrope Tension: this is silly, and not just because I’m rubbish at it. It involves doing a stepping-on-the-spot action on the Board as you watch your Mii walk a tightrope, but there’s a poor feeling of connectedness in the game and it quickly gets boring.
- Balance Bubble: like the ski games, this is an activity where very small shifts in weight count for a lot. Your Mii is floating in a bubble above a river, on which you have a bird’s-eye point of view, and you have to shift weight to fly your bubble down- river between canyon walls, avoiding pesky bees and rocks as you go. Fairly easy to ace this one if you learn the course, it’s still good family fun.
- Penguin Slide: I like this one, for no other reason than I love seeing my cute Mii in a little penguin outfit. The game involves leaning from side to side on the Board to make your Mii-Penguin slide atop an iceberg to catch fish. More mindless fun, and you have to be a little wary of breaking the Wii Fit Board as you try to make the little bugger bounce up for the big fish.
- Zazen: This is the last Balance Exercise game to be unlocked, and it’s a very disappointing climax. It simply involved sitting very still in a Lotus position on the Balance Board, gazing at an on-screen candle. If you move, the candle goes out, end of game. But in reality it is extremely hard for a big fat Westerner to sit cross-legged on the tea-tray of a Balance Board (is it easier in Japan? Is that racist? I have no idea), and this really belongs in the Yoga category. So dull, I won’t be clicking on this one again.
- Complete review
- Wii Fit Review: A Month After Living With Wii Fit
- Wii Fit Review: Getting started with the Wii Fit and the Aerobic exercises
- Wii Fit Review: After A Month: The Balance Activities
- Wii Fit Review: After A Month: Does It Boost Your Sex Life? & Scores (77%)
Ian Winter runs HomePage.