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September 01, 2009

The New Fitness Revolution

With the success of Wii Fit, fitness games were here to stay. But so far there have only been two major releases in the genre, the previously mentioned Wii Fit and EA Sports Active. Everything else has been shovel ware, made to jump on the bandwagon. That's going to change this fall however.

Not only are both of the fitness game juggernauts releasing follow-ups, but Ubisoft is jumping into the game with what looks to be a serious attempt at innovation within the genre, Your Shape.

I feel oddly connected to this new genre, having played both of the major releases in it for over 30 days straight. Some of you may have followed my EA Sports Active 30 day challenge, but I also played Wii Fit everyday for over a month. So I thought I'd use my knowledge of the genre to weigh in (pun intended) on some things I'd like to see in the next batch of fitness games.

  • Tips for dieting - Active was more targeted toward woman who want something to do at home instead of going to their aerobicize class then it was the pudgy video game nerd. So I can understand it not having this. But there was no excuse for Wii Fit, which was targeted to the whole family. Having never dieted before playing either of these games, I was overwhelmed. Simple tips on how many calories you should have a day would have been very helpful to me.
  • Balance Board weigh-ins - The balance board is right there in front of my TV. It can measure my weight. So why am I going into the bathroom to use the scale? I want the balance board to automatically weigh you everyday you play the game and adjust the workouts accordingly. If I haven't lost much, ramp up the difficulty a bit. If I've lost a lot, slow it down a little and let me rest.
  • More activities you can do while watching TV - Wii Fit had a walking activity, that would use clicking sounds from the wiimote speaker to keep you in time while you watched TV. Active had nothing like this, and I quickly became bored staring at my digital representation and mimicking it the same ways everyday.
  • Lots of different schedules - Active's 30 day challenge was a great place to start with the game. But the second you finished it, it was hard to start again. I want 30, 60, 90, and 120 day challenges, maybe even a year long one. If you start off on the 30 day routine, it will seamlessly continue into the 60 day one once you finish. It'd be much easier to motivate yourself to keep going this way.

Some of the new games are already implementing changes that I'd like to see. The new version of EA Sports Active is supposed to allow more specific body area targeting workouts, and Your Shape is attempting to do away with the controller which I whole heartedly approve of. Still, these are some suggestions I would like to see implemented.

We'll see what happens when these games come out. I never reached my goal weight, and haven't been exercising for awhile. Though I've kept a diet up so I haven't gained anything back.

I'm deciding whether Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active: More Workouts (terrible name), or Your Shape is the most right for me. I'll probably do another 30 day challenge with at least one of them, so keep an eye out on the 30 day challenge tag so you can follow along.


iodine said...

I'll summarize my comments from the 1up post. Fitness games are a great place to start out. However they're limited because all they offer is a cardio workout. I believe you need a balance of cardio and weight training to get the real benefits of being fit (endurance, power, and shape). Fitness games should be viewed as a window into the real world of working out.

yanglyn said...

Wii Fit makes you do toning stuff too. Like sit ups and push ups and etc of the like. I believe there's some pilates stuff too.

Alex R. Cronk-Young said...

Yeah, there is definitely more then just cardio. Active has muscle stuff as well. I lost almost 20 pounds doing Active for 30 days, and these games will just keep getting better.

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