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Stop Sitting, Start Walking
One of the big problems with so-called exercise" video games is that they tend to be too focused on an individual, rather than open to a group of people. That's why, cute graphics aside, "family" exercise games on the Wii often seem to generic and boring to bother with. Which isn't the case with Walk It Out!. And after a few minutes playing it you will agree.
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Follow The Walk
Those looking for an exercise game that won't give you a headache trying to keep up should start walking. Because that's what Walk It Out! is all about. The game begins by giving you a breakdown of what it can do - using full motion video which looks surprisingly good for the Wii. The game is of course graphic-driven, featuring characters walking on various landscapes and trails, but the opening provides a bit of information and a push that this is driven for families to participate no matter what age or gender.
You also get a choice of how you want to walk - using either the Wii remote and the Nunchuck controller, a Wii Balance Board or Konami's DanceDance Revolution matt (not so much a plug for Konami as a sensible thing to do considering the popularity of their DDR titles). Not choosing either of these means no playing period - so the Wii Balance board it is this time.
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The first thing that happens is that your character is chosen and saved as a profile before being given a tour by being asked to walk while one of the songs on the game plays out. This walk gives you the chance to try out the features, which basically involve walking in time to the beat and scoring musical points as you do. The game screen provides a view of your character moving around the track as the music plays, tied in with information screens displayed on the head-up display.
As you walk, your point of view can be changed using the trigger on the Wii remote. There's little reason to stay dead centered behind the character when you can fly up into the sky or at least angle it a bit to make the view more interesting. Movement of your graphic character and the "notes" being accumulated stay smooth and stutter-free throughout.
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With the basics taken care of, the actual game consists of walking (hence the title) but you're moving through a world that not only changes as you accumulate points but opens up new areas to explore. There's 20 licensed music tracks competing for attention with 100 others so getting bored won't happen soon either aurally or visually. Charts and graphs are available to display how you've done and are doing. These provide a running account of such things as the calories being burned, the distance traveled, steps taken and the like. Of course not setting up an account makes this meaningless.
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The little bonus games that are encountered along the way also help to keep the game from becoming monotonous, although to some extent that's the whole purpose here - not having to think too much and just walking along rather than having to jump left, leap, squat, etc. While I used the Wii Balance board to start, just going with the Wii remote and Nunchuck makes for a sedate but pleasant experience for the older set and shouldn't be discounted.
The game lets you get a big mindless if you want, not an insult at all compared to other exercise titles that can give you a headache trying to keep up. Certainly there's things happening onscreen to notice and be aware of, but the overall experience is light and tension free. For those looking for a sedate but successful method for exercise - one that the whole family can join in on - Walk It Out! definitely fits the bill.