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Book Review - Wii Fitness for Dummies

12th July 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

Whether this is your first time hearing of this or not, you'll likely be thinking to yourself "What's the purpose of the book?". I wondered the same thing when I first saw it. After giving it a read, I found that Wii Fitness for Dummies is informative, and actually very practical for the average consumer. But your decision to actually purchase this book will largely depend upon your circumstances and how savvy you are with gaming.

    The entire guide is written with the collaboration of two certified personal trainers who appear throughout in black and white photos to demonstrate exercises in action. The beginning is quite promising: it starts by praising the Wii for its efforts at bringing exergaming into a mainstream genre, effectively changing the outlook people have on games. I really appreciated the statement that highlighted the fact that most skeptics probably never even gave it a try to begin with, since that's mostly what it boils down to nowadays. The writers acknowledge that not everyone has the time to devote to a fitness-oriented lifestyle. Early on, there's an assurance of the validity of the guide with a section entitled "Why You Need This Book". It's outlined that the main goal is to provide you with a "solid understanding" of how to perform exercises. And I think this is something they've been able to achieve over the course of this book.

    Wii Fitness for Dummies is divided up into four parts: Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active, Jillian Michael's Fitness Ultimatum 2010, and "The Part of Tens'. In so doing, readers can easily skip to the section they're most interested in without having to read the book in its entirety. Each chapter begins with a sometimes-humorous comic that play on stuff you'd expect. There's a lot of detail in each section but what helps break up the text well is the fact that there are lots of black-and-white images taken from the very games they're discussing. On occasion, you'll observe charts that present information on the different exercises you can undertake. 

    You'll likely find (as I did) that Part 1 contains the most useful information of the 4 sections. In addition to detailing relevant info on how to get most out of Wii Fit Plus, there's also practical info on Balance Board maintenance, how to hook up your system, and other good stuff. The two authors offer a lot of tips throughout their consideration of each game - some very useful, and some just really obvious. For example, you'll be provided advice on how to change your account password in Wii Fit Plus if you happen to forget it, and even how to get more challenge or variety out of the challenges you're asked to perform. 

    The final section of the book discusses supplementary information, including what accessories you can purchase to enhance your fitness experience. There's also a list of 10 other fitness games on the Wii that they recommend. They make mention of games like Active Life: Outdoor ChallengeGold Gym's Cardio WorkoutDanceDanceRevolution and Daisy Fuentes Pilates. Much to my surprise, they even suggested people to go and give Walk It Out a try, which I thought was great.

    Overall, this book will appeal most to parents who may be a bit rusty when it comes to gaming, or families in general who want to make Wii a group activity. If you're an avid gamer, I can't say that this is a worthwhile investment. Because even with all of the useful tips, there's lots of information that will be seen as common sense, to the point you may think the writers are insulting your intelligence. But the thing is, this book isn't geared for you, since you're evidently not a "dummy". If you are lacking some knowledge when it comes to the Wii, however, you'll find this book to be a great resource to help you understand the benefits that come with making use of this excellent system. I think the current retail price is a bit high, but if the book sounds suitable to your needs and you can find it for $15 or less, pick it up.

Feature by KnucklesSonic8