A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there isn't anything in this game that should raise an eyebrow. In fact, consider yourself fortunate if your children want to play this game as it's one tough exercise-based video game. That said, some of the songs that play contain mildly offensive lyrics including words such as "hell" and "damn."
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What's it about?
Not only are many parents thrilled about the popularity of fitness-based video games, they're often the ones partaking in the fun. One of the newest titles designed to get you off the couch and on your feet is Majesco's JILLIAN MICHAEL'S FITNESS ULTIMATUM 2009 for the Nintendo Wii, the first game to combine a celebrity fitness trainer with the innovative Wii Balance Board accessory. For the uninitiated, the Wii Balance Board (which ships with the mega-popular Wii Fit product) looks like a white bathroom scale and can measure a player's weight, body mass index (BMI), and movement when standing on it.
The star of TV's The Biggest Loser (and many instructional DVDs) dares gamers to partake in a number of rigorous exercise routines -- each with multiple difficulty levels and workout lengths. We meet Jillian as a boot camp instructor before gamers select what kind of exercise they'd prefer based on personal goals, such as weight loss or strength training.
Is it any good?
While the somewhat crude graphics are not much to look at, the motion-based fitness activities are varied and challenging. These include running through an obstacle course, balancing on logs, rowing a boat, hitting punching bags, hand-pumping a train car along tracks, and crossing monkey bars, to name a few. While most of the Wii Fit exercises take place in an indoor gym, Fitness Ultimatum 2009 makes players feel like they're in an army training camp. To motivate gamers, they can also customize their character, measure progress with statistics (measuring calories burned, weight, and game performance) and take note of Jillian's many fitness tips including how to exercise while traveling, watching what you eat, and maximizing your workout.
If you already own a Wii Balance Board and want a different kind of workout, Jillian Michael's Fitness Ultimatum 2009 is a good buy – but you'll need to be self-motivated to keep up with the pack. If you were thinking about getting the Wii Balance Board, this might be your motivation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Nintendo Wii video game console is evolving into an interactive fitness tool -- and it's considerably cheaper than paying for a gym membership. Should more of these companies take advantage of the Wii's motion sensing controls and Wii Balance Board to create and market fitness games -- or is it diluting Nintendo's brand with hardcore gamers?
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