Click "Sleep" for a dark background.
Click "sleep" again if text isn't dark.



Just Call It A Game

I've noticed that people are having a hard time calling WiiFit a game. This problem seems to be affecting game enthusiasts, bloggers, message board posters, and TV personalities alike. Perhaps these confused individuals only need to be reminded of the definition of a game to realize that WiiFit is as much of a game as any other.

Does WiiFit have goals? Yes. Players are encouraged to set their own personal weight/BMI goals over time. Does WiiFit have a way of measuring whether or not the player achieves their goals? Yes. By measuring the player's weight and determining their BMI progress can be tracked. Does WiiFit have a scoring system? Yes. The majority of exercises have a 100 point scoring system, while the majority of the balance games support a high score system. Does WiiFit have a primary mechanic? Utilizing the WiiBalanceBoard and the Wiimote, the primary mechanic of WiiFit is "move your body."

The fact that WiiFit is about exercise and maintaining good health is irrelevant. Games like DDR get the whole body moving and have special modes for calculating calories burned. The fact that WiiFit is a collection of "mini-games" is also irrelavant. Games like Wario Ware and Rayman: Raving Rabbids are games that are built out of mini/micro games.

What's most surprising to me is that everyone is quick to admit that there are games within WiiFit. After all, it would seem all too foolish to try and convince someone that the included balance games aren't really games. When you look at the differences between the balance games and the rest of the WiiFit activities, they really aren't too different. Both have rules, penalties, and goals. Just because one feels like exercise while the other is snowboarding down a mountain doesn't automatically discount the former from being a game.

For those who still think that WiiFit is the death of gaming, consider that WiiFit is more of a game than most current gen videogames. Taking the primary mechanic "move your body" WiiFit offers more than 40 different challenges with varying degrees of difficulty. Players get to experience some winter sports, zen meditation, jogging, music-rhythm dancing/boxing, and table tilting action not to mention all of the yoga, strength training, and aerobic exercises. Like Mario Galaxy, featuring highly diverse levels, planets, and challenges, WiiFit runs a wide range of physical interactivity. With each activity, the player uses one of the most complex machines on earth: the human body. In this way, WiiFit's mechanics become the mechanics of life reaching beyond the limits most videogames are trapped by.

Action RPGs like The World Ends With You can't boast over 40 unique variations in its battle system attacks. The game simply isn't designed well enough to make each attack unique and significant. The action game Devil May Cry 4 had to reuse bosses, enemies, and locations, and the single player experience is still relatively short. WiiFit keeps things streamlined so that the player experiences the core, concentrated gameplay. The user interface in WiiFit is simple, effective, and intuitive so that all types of gamers can play the game without trouble.

The only thing that WiiFit doesn't have is story and fancy graphics, and here at Critical-Gaming, we know that story and graphics aren't needed to make a great game. But, if you're really looking for a bit of story from the game, then try making your own. Slimming down with WiiFit stories are popping up all over the internet. It doesn't get better than real life.

« Drebin #1#2 | Main | Finding the Essence »

Reader Comments (3)

So, it's a game then. Big deal. It's not the kind of game I'm interested in. More likely your mother will be playing it rather than going to Curves.

Although the technology it brings to the table may eventually be put to good use in fighting games, indeed.

It seems to me Nintendo focused on bringing innovative hardware this generation, but mostly no good games to put such hardware to good use. It's a shame, because otherwise such hardware is just a gimmick.

Of course it doesn't matter for their huge casual, newcomer public which are just happy of playing Wii Fit or some other beginner Nintendo games. Let's see what happens once the novelty of playing a game for the first time wears off and the Tamagochi-like fad ends.

Long-time game fans, OTOH, are still waiting for ambitious titles that go beyond the mere fun and puerile diversion Nintendo offers. In that direction, I see MGS, Ico, SotC, Portal, Half-Life etc.

June 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternamekuseijin

Nintendo not bringing good games?
I like the gameplay in WiiFit better than the gameplay in MGS4. It's definitely cleaner.

For anyone who thinks quality hardware paired with quality software will fade like a fad, such people need to open their eyes.

MGS, SoTC, Half-life, and even Portal can't match the level of design and the genius of Super Mario Bros. on the NES.

And if you don't think WiiFit, WiiSports, and Mario Galaxy are ambitious in 3 very different ways, then I can't help you.

June 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKirbyKid

"The blog title is intriguing, the banner is nice, the about box thoughtful.

Unfortunately, I can smell a fanatic when I see stupid nonsense statements like this one:
"MGS, SoTC, Half-life, and even Portal can't match the level of design and the genius of Super Mario Bros. on the NES."

SMB "genius" was far superceeded by even Nintendo's subsequent titles like SMB3, Super Metroid and Zelda: OoT. Why be so pedantic? And no, Wii Fit ain't in the same league by a good lightyears.

Best regards, good luck with the blog and happy fat burning. "

edited for language.

Here's the deal Namekuseijin... Don't come to my blog with your caustic internet message board pugnacious edge and thoughtless blanket statements.

If you were trying to make a point in your first post, you didn't do a very good job.

Next time, try not to reference my "mother" in any way. I'm more than ok with you admiting that WiiFit is a game, and that it's not one you're interested in. But leave the rest of your bad attitude comments out of this: "Big deal," "rather than going to Curves."

Yes, the tech in the Wii Balance Board will be great in a properly designed fighting game. I should know, I've been designing one for a few years now. That comment was apt.

If you want to make a statement like Nintendo hasn't put "such hardware to good use" with good games, then you're going to have to back it up. Make a list and we'll debate from there. Otherwise...

You sound like every other whiny Nintendo fan on the net. You have a hard time accepting Wii Fit: "Big deal." You claim that there aren't a lot of good games on the Wii that use the new hardware, but there are many. And then you go on to make statements about how fickle the new "huge casual" consumers are.

You claim that Wii Fit is a "beginner Nintendo game." What a myopic claim. Just consider the design of Wii Fit and what kind of place it can have in a normal person's life. Exercising, and knowing more about one's body isn't a beginner step. Comparing Wii Fit to Tamagochi is rash.

Then you go on to talk about the "long-time [Nintendo] fans" are still waiting for the good stuff as if there's a definite difference between the people who like Wii Sports and Wii Fit and these fans.

You claim that the true fans want games that go beyond a Nintendo "diversion," then you list a bunch of non-Nintendo games. If you didn't sound like you have a chip on your shoulder before this point, then you certainly sealed the deal.

MGS, SotC, and Half-Life have some serious design issues. I can't get into them now, because this is not the place. Instead, I pointed out that Super Mario Bros. is better than such games.

"MGS, SoTC, Half-life, and even Portal can't match the level of design and the genius of Super Mario Bros. on the NES."

This is not a stupid nonsense statement. It's a valid claim, one that I can back up.

The funny thing is, I never said Super Mario Bros. was the pinnacle of design in Nintendo's games. I know that Bros. 3 is better designed.

And I never said Wii Fit was one the same level as Super Mario Bros.
Next time, read a little more closely.

Thanks for the compliments though. As I said before, if you really think you have something to say/prove then post/email me and back yourself up without using my "mother" this time.

June 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKirbyKid

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>