Review By: Brittany Vincent
|# Of Players:||1-2|
|Accessories:||Nunchuk, Wii Balance Board|
The Wii has long been established as the go-to system for all things fitness. While this has somewhat changed over time, it is still a prime hub for anything even remotely related to exercise. As such, there are a myriad of games released that encourage you to get up and move. However, one thing said fitness games have in common is their tendency to force you to walk in place in order to complete challenges. Not only is this boring and useless, it’s also bad for your knees. Fortunately, someone at Konami put two and two together to offer an alternative, one that you might actually be able to have a little fun with. This alternative comes in the form of Walk It Out, a Bemani offering (think Dance Dance Revolution) that asks you to, well, walk. And walk you do. Mind-numbingly, and incessantly. But to what end?
Walk It Out throws you into a world of cutesy Wii-centric graphics and today’s pop hits in an attempt to get you off of the couch and sashaying down the halls of your house or back and forth across the living room. As soon as you pop the disc in and get past the intro, you’re tossed right into the action. After choosing a coach who will nag you, er, encourage you to keep going and choosing from the limited customizable avatar options, it’s time to get started. Holding both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, you simply walk. Not to a rhythm, and not in a different manner than you normally would. Now, you can opt to use the Dance Dance Revolution mat or even the Balance Board in order to get from point A to point B in game, but I found the most reasonable and the most enjoyable (if you can call it that) method was to walk in circles around the living room.
In-game, your avatar is shown walking with their head held high, jetting down suburban streets, deserted areas, and decidedly bland environments that are in desperate need of some spice. As you walk, you’re accompanied by some of the most recent "smash pop hits" that you are expected to walk in a paced rhythm to. This never works as accurately as it should, so you’re either punished with a lower score for simply having a slower gait or punished for walking quicker than the game asks you to. It’s not an ideal setup, neither with the Wii Remote or the dance mat. If I wanted to incorporate rhythm, I would simply pop in Dance Dance Revolution. How can you even be expected to do so when walking with the intent of exercising? Not sure I understand the logic here.
As you advance through each area, you can pick up pieces of CDs in order to unlock new songs. And you’ll need to. "Walking on Sunshine" and "Boom Boom Pow" are only good song choices the first couple of times you’re subjected to them. You can find rainbow pieces in order to unlock more goodies, and through earning points and surprises in each stage, eventually you can dress up your surroundings. Purchase a fire hydrant! Put a bench on the side of the road. Exciting stuff. Keep in mind that of course you’re never truly "gaming," or exercising with a digital supplement. These are things you could do simply by opening the door and walking down your street. You’d do less damage to your legs, too, considering you’re really meant to walk in place. That just isn’t practical.
As far as graphics go, these are some of the most abysmal Wii visuals I’ve seen. They’re decidedly dated, with minimal variations in environments as you progress. There is very little acceptable character customization. You can honestly do more with a stand-alone Mii. It’s frankly rather embarrassing. As far as music goes, believe me -- you’re going to get sick of "Walking on Sunshine" after about the second or third time around. It already grates on the nerves simply giving it one listen -- imagine walking "in time" to it several times over for the game’s tutorial.
Walk It Out is no acceptable substitute for actually getting out of the house and walking around your yard. Your neighborhood. At least you can go at your own pace without being penalized. You might make some new friends. You can listen to music that you enjoy rather than music you’re just bearing for the sake of the game. It’s unfortunate that technology can’t improve good, old-fashioned exercise, but in this case, Walk It Out needs to do exactly what the title implies...away from your Wii and back onto the store shelf.
Posted: 2012-01-01 14:48:54 PST