Monday, August 25, 2008

Let Me Hear Your Body Talk (Mine Says "Ow")

First the bad news: Once again Nintendo has failed to reliably stock its products in an amount even vaguely on par with demand. Now the good: This time I didn't have to personally commit to sleeping on the sidewalk or breaking and entering since I can just mooch off of my boyfriend's Wii Fit. I love relationships!

I was originally a little apprehensive about using the Fit primarily because I feared that the device would announce my weight each time I stepped on it (likely in a mocking tone while someone makes pig snort noises and/or moos in the background) and my weight is something I am only prepared to acknowledge once a week on Friday morning after a night of no liquids and a morning of peeing as much as I can. This is how I avoid going crazy over the theoretically insignificant fluctuations of a pound or two which might otherwise cause me to curl up into a little ball to watch an infinite loop of my imagined future 300lb self creating shock waves as she wobbles down the sidewalk. Luckily, the system allows you to easily skip the little step where you get weighed and have to spend years in therapy. Hallelujah.

Early on in the Wii Fit registration process (after cringing at your BMI but before you shed even one measly calorie) the game lets you pick a trainer. Your only choices are "girl trainer" or "boy trainer" which I thought would be highly disappointing -- how could the designers at Nintendo hope to create the dream trainer look for ever girl in the world with just one avatar? By making that avatar look exactly like my Olympics boyfriend Ryan Lochte, that's how! There is evidence that Ryan may be a bit of a douche (what is it with these swimmer dudes?) but as a trainer he's perfect. He constantly tells me how great my balance is, looks smoking hot (you know, for a digital representation of a hot dude) and encourages me by lying about how impressively strong my abs are. Still, a nice expansion to the standard Wii Ft might be a program that ups the trainer encouragement so that I can hear Ryan tell me over and over again how skinny and irresistible I am (a SUPER nice expansion might be him telling me exactly what he'd like to do with my well toned body...).

Though I'm sure I usually seem like a polite demure young thing I play video games the way my dad watches baseball. I jump off of the couch. I scream. I curse at the screen. Someday I will have kids who find Mommy a little scary when the console is on just as years ago Lil' Brianna felt like Daddy was replaced with an angry beast every time the Dodgers took the field. Save the joy of ogling Ryan it is fair to say that my first date with Wii Fit was a little rocky. It is possible that there was even more yelling than usual. The words "stupid fucking machine" may have been bandied about. My boyfriend, G, may have used the term hissy fit. I am, however, proud to say that I did not cry (G is likely proud to say that he did not laugh out loud at all of my pouting and thus avoided a fat lip/bloody nose/detachable penis). While I was able to stop the machine from announcing my weight to the entire room I could not stop it from picking up on how much I hate being bad at things. And lord was I bad at hitting soccer balls with my head, and running in place, and hula hooping. Especially hula hooping which I failed at despite wearing the national uniform of girls hula hooping on Wii Fit: panties and a tank top. I can only hope G has the self restraint to resist making me one more of the legions of girls swinging their scantily clad hips on youtube.

The Fit is a surprisingly good work out. At first most of the exercises (save the wailing and complaining) seemed unnaturally obsessed with my center of balance. Scoring for yoga, strength training and balance activities were calculated based on my ability to distribute my weight in a way that keeps a red dot in the correct area. The only sport that I can fairly claim even intermediate knowledge of is yoga and I was shocked to find that this method forced me to do the poses more accurately than I would have in a class or if I were to ever get off my lazy ass and do yoga on my own at home.

Due to the possibility that I might throw the wiimote at my boyfriend's head I eventually had to quit my workout in favor of brunch and dress shopping. An afternoon of stress-free bliss far away from obsessing over my center of gravity and Ryan tsk-tsking my uncontrolled attempts at slalom skiing was just what I needed to chill the fuck out and accept that Wii fit is only a game and no matter how often Ryan frowns at my pathetic attempts at athleticism I will not suddenly balloon to a size where TLC will make an hour long documentary about me trying to get out of bed in route to gobble down a 5lb bag of M&Ms (mmmm chocolate-y!). I rushed home to a gin and tonic and the most time devoted to hula hooping outside of 1958. I woke up early the next morning jonesing for some more hula action even though my lats were killing me(look at that! I just used a sporty sounding shortened name for a muscle group! I blame the Fit for that! Soon I'll be flexing in the mirror, willingly eating "goo" and telling everyone about how much I can bench).

Let's momentarily pretend that this real review of the game and not just me pontificating on my nerdy reaction to physical activity so that I might make some suggestions about how Wii Fit could be improved (you know, in addition to the brilliant Trainer Compliment Mode that I recommend above). Firstly, I know this has been mentioned all over the internet but I would really like it if the software included some sort of training routine. Moving from one exercise to another requires a lot of back and forth with the wiimote and the software which unnecessarily interrupts your workout. The need for a mode that walks you through a good 30mins of continuous exercise seems so obvious that I'm shocked that the smart folks down at Nintendo HQ failed to include this in the first release. Barring an update that allows me to work out without the wiimote ever present in my right hand I could use some sort of wiimote holster, in addition to freeing up my hands for balancing, grasping and wiping my brow this would also make a smashing addition to my panties and tank top work out look. A holster always adds that certain spark to an outfit -- I'm shocked we don't see more of them on the red carpet.


TFGamer said...

Nice move getting a boyfriend with a Wii. No longer is the qualification "must have car", now its must have Wii fit!!

Nice Review!! =) said...

I am proud of you no matter what boyfriend says! Tell him that this opens up countless gift giving opportunities. No more guessing your size or trying to remember what it was you were saying you wanted last month. A new Wii game and a modified holster. Done.