Stay fit without Wipeout

Stay fit without Wipeout

Believe it or not, by now most of us who made new year’s resolutions to exercise and eat right are already falling off the wagon. To pull you back on the wagon – actually, to knock you in the head – there’s Wipeout, an obstacle course game for the whole family.

Rated E10+ for everyone 10 and older, mainly because of more difficult hand-eye coordination, this game is based on the ABC network reality television game show by the same name. Wipeout ($20-$27) is made for the Wii and Xbox Kinect. The Kinect version is called Wipeout in the Zone ($8-$50). Playstation has WipEout but it’s a futuristic racing game with several versions and unrelated to this obstacle course game for Wii and Xbox.

The advantage with the Kinect version is your body is doing the work. The Wii game requires little movement other than the wiimote and nunchuck. The balance board can be used for some of the competitions. Still, with both versions, getting your timing right – jumping, rolling, running, crouching – is critical to success. An untimely head duck might mean bodily harm. Timing of motion is everything.

So grab your Wiiremote and nunchuck as we did and compete alone or with up to four players. “Play the Show” and get ready to dash, squat, smash, punch, dodge, crash and laugh your way to Wipeout champion. Levels of difficulty are unlocked as you play the game. In addition there is a “challenge” mode that can be played solo, instead of playing the show. For the A-type, super sportsman/woman, “challenge” mode is a good option and allows you play without having to wait and watch game-controlled competitors in the “show.”

As is typical of Wii, this game allows character selection right down to the outfit and is presented in cartoon style. It’s cute and fun. Kids like picking their players.Your cartoon character then lines up at the obstacles – fence fling, rug run, ball bounce and so forth. The difficulty of this game is the mote and nunchuck coordination. “A” on the mote, which I held in my left hand, is for jumping; the joystick on the nunchuck in my right hand controlled walking, running, turning, crouching and level of jumping.As the business-suited male commentators and voluptuous female talking head announced the first competition, I struggled to make my character do anything – walk, run or jump. Ultimately, I ran a few paces, got hit in the head by a plank and crashed into the mud. Through the fence fling, rug run, big balls and others, the result was the same. I either got hit in the head by a flying object, which propelled me into the mud, or I missed a jump, as in the big red ball jump, and slid off the side of a ball and into the mud. The commentators made remarks about me not being in the dictionary under athlete as well as other snide remarks. And clearly, if I were really “playing the show,” I’d be dead.

The whole event made my 10-year-old boy laugh, which I guess is important. Why is it that kids love seeing their parents unable to achieve? Although he wasn’t any better at playing the game than I, we both enjoyed the challenge and ribbed each other about how horrible we were.

I’d like to think that my body would move faster than my fingers, and therefore I’d have greater success with the Kinect Wipeout in the Zone game.

If you have Wii Fit, I’d skip Wipeout. Fit provides more exercise and has more “achievable” challenges. However, Wipeout in the Zone on Xbox is a likely winner. Stay tuned to know.