Feet on Wii Fit

By Spencer . July 12, 2007 . 8:07am

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Everything about Wii Fit relies on the new scale size, Wii Balance board. When you stand on it, it feels solid, like a tiny plastic footstool. Besides the yoga poses there were a few mini games to play. In the skiing game you have to bend your knees forward to speed up then suddenly stand up when you are on the edge to make the skier on screen jump. While you are in mid-air you need to keep your balanced centered. On the top right hand corner there is a meter with a red dot that moves around as you shift your weight. If you want your skier to land the jump you need to shift your weight so the red dot is in the center.

 

In the soccer game players turn into a goalie and hit soccer balls with their head. Controlling this game was really simple, you just shift weight left or right to hit the balls and dodge the cleats. Alternatively to moving your body you could “cheat” by lifting the opposite leg off. For example if a soccer ball was flying towards your right hand side you can lift your left leg off the board. Since your foot isn’t there is more weight on the right side than the left the Mii on screen rapidly moves to the right.

 

The most impressive mini-game in the collection was like Marble Madness controlled by the balance board. By shifting your weight you can guide the marbles into holes. The first stage has only one marble, but later levels have multiple marbles to move around. The marble game was done in a time attack style where you earn extra time by completing a level, once time runs out its game over. During Nintendo’s press conference there was one more mini-game, a DDR-like step aerobics game where you step on and off the balance board in tangent with the other Miis. It wasn’t playable, but it looked like it was fun.

 

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While the Wii balance board is a novel idea, the only thing that felt like a game was the marble maze. Adding in Yoga poses is a neat idea, but I’m not sure if that is going to convince people to plunk down money for the Wii Fit package (game + balance board) plus 4AA batteries to power it. I was told Nintendo has more plans for the balance board in the future besides Wii Fit and this accessory opens the door for something unique.


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  • Bring Back Old School Siliconera

    Part of my problem with the Wii accessory idea is that the remote was supposed to replace the notion of additional controllers. But no, we need the nunchaku analog, and then we need the Zapper. That’s not all we need! Give us a board too! Overall, the remote has simply started a slippery slope to more accessories.

  • http://nihongoninja.wordpress.com Kakashi

    Nice, but I think that the Wii is getting too many unnecessary accessories. For example, those tennis rackets, spatulas for Cooking Mama, etc.

    The next big thing will be a Star Wars game where you can “control” a lightsaber. I’ve heard that the Lego Star Wars game will have that feature, but it will be predefined motions. :(

  • rowd

    If they actually *tried* to use this for a game, it could be really innovative. Just like the wiimote, something that can sense your center of gravity has a lot of potential. Sensing your lean to control your movement in an FPS? Standing on your toes to initiate a jump in a Mario game? Seriously, if developers just sat down and *thought* for a moment they could come up with some really good ideas.

  • Bring Back Old School Siliconera

    @ Rowd: Well, that’s really what the eyetoy did for PS2. The same ideas you describe were found in stuff like Eyetoy: Play and Eyetoy: Antigrav. Furthermore, Sony’s camera forced precision and movement, whereas the weight board allows for cheating (people have already described an exploit with the soccer game). Overall, it’s an idea that’s been done before, and I don’t see anything exploding on it any time soon.

    And I’m still pissed that I have to pay for more Wii accessories. The remote was supposed to change all that.

  • anon

    Hmm… A great idea, and something that I would like to learn more about. Given the costs of yoga classes or a gym membership for a single month, this could be a very affordable way to track and improve personal fitness over time — especially if the “games” included with Wii Fit are effective and well designed.

    Kudos to Nintendo for trying something different.

    @Bring Back Old School Siliconera:

    I don’t understand why you feel a “need” to buy so many accessories… The Wii remote is required and many games also need a Nunchuck, but other accessories are entirely optional.

    Specifically, the Wii Fit board is an accessory that will probably only be used for a small number of fitness-based “games”. Nobody needs to buy Wii Fit, and most standard games will probably never use or support the balance board. Some people will love the idea of a casual, interactive home fitness program that can provide a variety of exercises and track your personal progress. Others won’t. Make your choice to purchase accordingly.

    Aren’t all of the other accessories mentioned above just plastic shells that can be snapped onto the Wii remote and Nunchuck to improve their appearance? If so, there is no reason to buy any of them unless you *really* believe that a snap-on plastic extension will make the game more enjoyable for you.

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