Fitness game challengesWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jillian Michaels Fitness Challenge 2011 (D3 Publisher)
New storyline action combines with the regular exercise element in Jillian Michaels’ latest exercise video game. This version does not include a Nintendo DS version as the 2010 installment did, but gives players the option of using the Wii MotionPlus controller. The controls work well, but there seems to be a response delay in the game, so getting the timing right can be a challenge. Players can still customize their own “resolutions,” which creates a great sense of accomplishment.
These resolutions are quick and relatively easy to set up, but the execution and control response still lacks a bit. Game developers keep the handy camera angle rotation and the difficulty levels are easy, medium and high intensity.
The new mission mode includes added urban environments combining action and exercise fairly well. After the basic training that includes stretches and warm-ups, players can get out and save the world from an evil processed food corporation. The 14 new exercises include side lunges, hip twists and planks. As in the previous installments, players can totally bypass any movements because the game puts players on the “honor system” to complete the exercises.
The overall entertainment value is a bit lacking here. The environments and planned actions lack that driving purpose beyond the basic fitness goals. Competing against Miss Michaels as a fitness standard would add more depth to the festivities, but she can motivate at times — with scolding while offering some guiding information (**, rated E for alcohol reference and mild violence).
Nickelodeon Fit (2K Play)
This Wii exclusive fitness game has all-ages exercise fun with Nickelodeon stars Dora the Explorer, Diego, Kai-Lan and The Backyardigans. Players of all ages can engage in 30 different exercises developed by physical education and exercise science expert Dr. Jackie Goodway. Players can monitor progress and even customize routines. The only catch is it’s a one-player game, so players have to continuously hand off the remote — not ideal especially when little ones struggle with that strap. Still, the graphics are sharp and the playable characters match up with other stars of the corresponding shows. The helpful game text and voice commands provide easy instructions. Players can use the balance board, but make sure young ones do not jump on it. (***, rated E for everyone).