Fit in Six
Without a doubt, I'm a fan of Wii Fit, as it makes working out fun, with entertaining activities, helpful on-screen guidance and a challenge that's manageable and adjustable, thanks in part to its integration with the Wii Balance Board. Its success has encouraged a wave of workout titles on the Wii, and the other consoles as well, and Fit in Six is just the latest entry into the genre, not to mention Ubisoft's latest, as they've embraced the category. This one is built around the idea that fitness is made up of six elements: balance, cardio, flexibility and core body, lower body and upper body strength. The "game" offers up a pile of unique workouts, each rated based on the elements it incorporates, and keeps track of the exercising you do, with points and challenges.
The thing that immediately strikes you once you've got the game started, you've entered your profile info (name, age, sex, height, weight and one of 15 fitness goals, including burning extra energy, better coordination and gaining muscle mass) and you've selected a workout, is the fact that you don't need the Wii-mote. But this isn't a Kinect-like "You are the controller" experience. You don't need the Wii-mote because outside of using it as a cursor to select workouts, you have no real interaction with the game. It simply puts a virtual trainer on-screen to mirror, along with a timer, exercise names and an intensity meter. Thus, it's entirely up to you to say whether you completed a routine or not. Honestly, if most people could trust themselves that way, they wouldn't need trainers, virtual or otherwise.
What Fit in Six does offer of value is a wealth of workout routines, ranging from three-minute warm-ups to 35-minute marathon sessions, with 99 unique options in 11 categories, including kickboxing, fit for life (prepping your body for everyday activities), pilates, cardio and two sets of dance routines. Though there are two guys among the seven people on the cover, and guys throughout the art in the game, there's no doubt who this game is aimed at with exercises like "Stiletto Workout." Despite the gender imbalance, the workouts will be no joke for anyone, especially when you step up to the Pro versions offered for several routines. You can choose to either dig through the 11 categories and find exercises you want to do, or take the Wii's suggestions, as you'll get a list of suggestions for meeting your chosen goal. Either way, you'll likely feel the burn as you try to keep up. That's actually not all a good thing, as there's little explanation of the exercises, so you kind of have to catch up quick once your trainer starts. A short intro would help, as would some indication of what's coming up, ala Just Dance and a repetition count, instead of the somewhat obtuse graphical timer you're given. Complete your timed workout, and you can push yourself by trying to complete as many reps as possible in a set time.
As hard as it is to keep up with the exercises, the dance workouts are even worse, as they can be quite complicated and require a level of athleticism likely beyond the abilities of many who would consider picking up this title. I'm certainly no Olympian, nor a gym rat, but I do quite well at keeping up with even the high-energy dancing of The Michael Jackson Experience. Here, the moves are simply beyond my grasp, in part because the footwork involves agility I don't possess. Perhaps that adds an aspirational element for players to strive for, but to me, it was just frustrating.
One of the least impressive elements in the game has to be the integration with the USB camera that can be purchased in a combo package with the game. Aside from the fact that it's a very low-resolution camera, it's only purpose is to display an image of you alongside your virtual trainer. It doesn't track you, like the camera included in much older fellow Ubisoft exercise title, Your Shape, so it doesn't serve to correct you, and half the time, due to your position, you're not looking at the screen, so you can't really self-correct. The fact that the info on installing the camera is eight times larger than the one-line description of the camera's function in the instruction manual, I guess you can't really expect much. It's a purely optional part of this game, and the benefit is minimal at best.
Controls? I guess if you consider navigating menus to be a form of controls, then yes, the controls work well. Other than that, there are no controls. No use of the Wii-mote, no integration with the Balance Board. If only we had a Vitality Sensor.
Outside of the workout goals set between you and the game, there's nothing to really achieve.
I don't think I've ever been this disappointed in the graphics on a Wii game. Considering that basically everything can be pre-rendered outside of the video captured of the player, this game should look far better than the blocky, pixelated models and settings it offers. The video from the camera is blocky enough (make sure you're in a very well-lit area) but they could have made the trainers more impressive. At least the menus look good.
There's some music in the backgrounds, and clear vocal instruction from the trainers, but nothing about the sound stood out. Perhaps some recognizable music tracks would have helped enhance the workouts, but as it is, the audio presentation is a matter of good, not great.
And in the End...
While the actual workouts offered are pretty intense and could certainly help you stay or get healthy, there's little reason to use this on a Wii, as there's no tracking via a Wii-mote or accessory. Thus, the only advantage over a workout DVD is the fact that the "game" keeps track of the workouts you claim to complete. But the poor quality of the graphics, the lack of instruction and the overwhelming difficulty of some of the workouts takes it down a few notches from more accessible DVD options. Perhaps this is a good option for more advanced, self-motivated exercise enthusiasts looking for a way to keep track of their efforts.