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Review of The Biggest Loser Challenge


The Biggest Loser Challenge

Reviewed by Nutwiisystem on November 17, 2010.
Summary: A must-have for fans of the TV show looking to lose a little weight themselves with the help of Bob and Jillian.

One of the nice things about video games is that they let you experience things you otherwise couldn’t. Most of us will never fly into outer space or face down a major league pitcher throwing 99 MPH. Similarly, most of us will never be invited to the real Biggest Loser Ranch for personal training sessions with Bob and Jillian. But The Biggest Loser Challenge comes remarkably close.

The scenery in the game should be familiar with anyone who’s seen the TV show. The opening screen is an exterior shot of The Biggest Loser Ranch, and throughout the game you’ll see familiar settings, from the gym to the Pool to Bob’s Yoga Pagoda and Jillian’s Boxing Ring.

The Biggest Loser Challenge is basically an exercise program where you can set up a regular schedule of exercises (anywhere from 2 to 6 days a week) over a course of 4, 8, or 12 weeks.

When you start the game, you’re asked to create a new profile. You enter your name and if you have a balance board your weight is displayed (warning: unlike other Wii exercise games, this one doesn’t conceal your weight, so anyone in the room can see it).

After this, you have the choice of selecting from one of 10 preset programs. These include:

  • Boot Camp: A 4-week detox program, perfect if you’ve taken a break from exercise and want to kick back into shape.
  • Marathon Man: A 12-week program at a very intense level of difficulty.
  • New You: A 4-week program for beginners.
  • Super Weight Loss: A 12-week program designed to help you lose weight fast.
  • Slimming Weight Loss: An 8-week program designed to help you tone and trim weight at a steady pace.
  • Enlightenment: A 12-week program with a focus on Yoga routines that help you destress.
  • Belly Buster: An 8-week program focused on slimming, toning, and strengthening your stomach.
  • Beach Buns: An 8-week program to help you tone and shape butt and thighs.
  • Armed and Dangerous: An 8-week program focused on building upper body strength in your arms and chest.
  • Fighting Fit: A 12-week program of box-fit routines to help your agility, coordination, and stamina.

You can also allow the program to create a personalized program for you . This is where things get pretty neat. The first step is for you to go through a 30 minute “fitness test”. This basically runs you through a series of different exercises at 5 different levels (light, moderate, challenging, hard, and intense). You perform the exercises as best as you can. The system will use the Wii remote and/or the balance board to check if you’re doing the exercises.

At the point where you can’t do any more, the system will automatically end the test and recommend that level for you. I really liked that the levels were really accurate–“challenging” really meant challenge, and “intense” really meant intense. For me, by the time I got to the challenging levels, I was already out of breath and sweating.

Once you have an intensity level set, you enter your gender and your birth date. Next, you go on to the “Body Analyzer”. This is where you verify your weight, and then enter your height, neck size, chest size, and hip size. You then select your target weight.

Finally, you’re ready to set up your daily schedule. You select the length of time you’re able to work out each day (from less than 20 minutes to over an hour) and then choose your trainer. Unlike the previous encarnation of this game, you can choose Bob, Jillian, or both of them.

They’ll take you through one sample workout session. It consists of different routines, basically reps of different exercises each a minute or two in length. You have to follow the on-screen image of Bob or Jillian as if you were looking at them in the mirror. A countdown clock will show you the amount of time remaining for each exercises. One nice touch is that you see a figure in the background that is the exact body shape and size you entered before (which I prefer over the first game, where you had to choose a former contestant to be your on-screen character).

Once you finish the sample workout, you can decide how often a week you want to work out (anywhere from 2 to 6 days), and then the duration of your fitness program (4 weeks, 8 weeks, or 12 weeks). Optionally, you can turn on calorie tracking, so you can enter the number of calories you eat every day.

The first time you start your exercise routine, a new “health and lifestyle task” will appear on your calendar. This is where you can customize that on-screen character to look like you. You can adjust its ethicity, its age, its starting weight, and even tweak features such as its eyes, eyebrows, nose, ears, lips, and jaw. You probably won’t get it looking exactly like you, but you’ll definitely get it “close enough”. It’s neat seeing yourself (with your exact body shape) in the world of The Biggest Loser.

After this, you’re ready to begin your routine. A calendar will show you the upcoming workouts that are scheduled. Workouts range from core exercises to circuit training to specialized workouts like “box-fit” or yoga. Every now and then there’ll be a challenge game. You’ll also have a regular weigh-in, just like on the show, which will use the balance board to measure your weight.

The training exercises are basically core, calisthenic, boxing, and yoga exercises. There are a lot more exercises available since the first game (I counted 117). They range from jumping jacks to jump rope to boxing to lunges and twists. It’s a very complete set of exercises.

The challenge games are based on challenges shown on TV: Slipstream, Boom or Bust, Light Cycles, Sprint and Slide, and Punch Clock. As in the first game, you’re not actually doing the actual movements of your on-screen character, but you’re doing an exercise routine, following a small image of Bob or Jillian. The more accurately you do the exercise, the better your on-screen character will perform in the activity. Like the TV show, you go through rounds of competition. It’s a fun way to add a little variety to your exercises.

From your personalized workout menu, you can view your calendar and choose ad-hoc exercises or challenges (which are added to your daily total).

The Profiles and Settings option allows you to run the Body Analyzer again, or view achievements and trophies. You can also choose additional exercise equipment to use in your workouts (either a stability ball or a resistance band. I didn’t see free weights as an option, even though the advertising material said they’d be in there).

There’s also a “Health and Lifestyle” option which lets you view recipes, get tips and advice from trainers and former contestants (these are also randomly displayed for you throughout the game), and calculate your Biggest Loser Know Your Number “KYN” HeathScore.

Some other thoughts about the game:

  1. There are options which allow you to exercise with someone else. This is great motivation when you get tired of exercising by yourself.
  2. The motion controls were mostly accurate, with a few glaring exceptions. For the life of me, I couldn’t get my motions to register for exercises like jumping jacks and jump rope. By now, I’ve come to realize that this is just something endemic in Wii games.
  3. As with most exercise games, you need a lot of room, especially for exercises which use the balance board.
  4. The game is definitely more affordable than other games such as EA Sports Active 2 or fitness games on Kinect, yet makes you sweat just the same.
  5. One thing that some may find a little annoying is that the game will often tell you to switch the Wii remote from the left hand to the right hand and back. I realize this was in the name of precise controls, but after a while it just got a little tiring.
  6. One thing I really liked was that the encouragement that Bob and Jillian shout out isn’t just empty platitudes as in other video games, but they actually teach you proper technique and form.

All in all, this game provides a very solid and complete exercise routine which you can use to lose weight. I admit I would have liked to see some more “video game elements” in the game to make it more fun (e.g., being able to actually control the on-screen character in the challenges), but at the end of the day this title is a traditional exercise and fitness title, nothing more, nothing less.

If you’re a fan of The Biggest Loser TV Show and have always felt you could use a little personal training from Bob and Jillian to lose a little weight yourself, this is definitely the Wii exercise title for you.


Rating:
4.5 of 5

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14 Responses to “Review of The Biggest Loser Challenge”


  1. Julie says:

    How do you feel about this game compared to the older Biggest Loser game for Wii?

  2. steve says:

    Hi Julie,

    This new version looks and plays much like the old version. Graphics and motion controls are spotty at times, something which I found is par for the course for the Wii. But the familiar voice of Bob (and the introduction of Jillian) make up for a lot of that.

    They did add more exercises to the mix (most notable the yoga and the box-fit), more challenges, and an on-screen avatar that one can actually make resemble oneself (unlike the first version where you had to pick an 800-pound contestant). The weekly schedule and personalized workouts are a bit improved as well.

    I’d say if someone was happy with the first version, there are enough modest improvements in this version to warrant getting it. On the other hand, if one didn’t like the first version, I doubt the improvements they made would be enough to convince them to like this version.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Robin H. says:

    Will you review Zumba and EA Sports Active 2?

  4. keith says:

    Will the biggest loser game allow any other options for the weigh-ins, or is the balance board 100% necessary.

  5. Brittany says:

    Keith,

    Judging by what I’ve seen you have the option to not use the Wii balance board with the game, but I’m not sure how weigh-ins work otherwise. It may be a thing where you weigh yourself and tell the game.

  6. Kristen says:

    I got this game for Christmas and it is absolutely fabulous. I chose to do one of the preset programs and am a week in. Muscles hurt that I didn’t even know existed. I can’t wait to see how my body changes by using this game. Enjoy!!!

  7. Ashley says:

    I just bought this game last week. I have never seen the show The Biggest Loser, but I have seen Jillian and I find her quite motivational. I also chose it because it seemed like it would be more fun than a more generic workout game. I immediately set up a personal profile and it is amazing how closely it resembles me. It really motivates me to see “me” on the screen. I like the exercises and I like that you can tailor it to your preferences, e.i. workout in the pagoda or by the pool. As you said, the difficulty level is very accurate also. I have taken one of the challenges and it was fun. Overall, I am enjoying the game.
    I have a few complaints and questions though. After taking the fitness test I created my character and chose the recommended workout schedule. However, I have not figured out a way to change the schedule. I want to workout four days a week, but on certain days I am too busy to do workouts. I have not figured out a way to limit my routine to specific days. I also don’t see a way to view previous days in the calendar. Are there features that allows you to do this? I am also wondering if there is a way to upgrade your daily workout. On the weekends I have time to do a longer workout, but I limited it to 20 minutes because that is all I have time for on the weekdays. Sure you can add an extra routine, but then you go through two warm ups and two cool downs. Additionally, I am confused by the trophies/awards. Do you earn anything by unlocking them? It would be cool if it opened up another area of the game or something. Maybe they are just a motivational tool, and that is neat but they don’t include anything about them in the booklet, so I am unsure. Another complaint I have is there does not seem to be a way to eliminate specific exercises from the routine. Two years ago, I tore a ligament skiing. I can’t do the exercises that require a lot of jumping. Rather than do them wrong and lower my score, I would rather replace them with exercises I could do. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an option to do this. Another thing I found wrong, was the fact that the 20 and 30 minute routines are not actually that time length. After I chose and finished what was supposed to be a 20 minute routine, the stats at the end said it was 26 minutes. The same thing happened for a 30 minute routine. I have a tight schedule and if I choose a particular time for a routine, it is because that is all the time I have. I don’t want it to be 20 minutes give or take 6 minutes. Another thing which could have been improved is when you complete the routine the screen just abruptly goes to the stats. I think the trainer should give you some encouragement or some feedback about your performance for the routine before just switching to the next screen.
    Even though it sounds like I have a lot of complaints, these are just areas where I have questions or feel like the game could have been improved. Overall, I am really enjoying doing the workouts.

  8. Chris says:

    My wife an I just started playing this but she accidentally skipped past the character customization. Is there a way to go back and edit your character appearance after the fact?
    Also, where can you enter activities outside of the game? For example, if we go for a run, or bike or otherwise?
    Thanks.

  9. Heather says:

    I purchased this back in January and have been using it for 9 weeks. I have lost a total of 17 pounds and am VERY happy with the results. Not only does this assist with your weight loss goals it helps with toning. You choose how often you want to exercise and for how long. My body hasn’t looked this good since my college days (I graduated 14 years ago). I would suggest this for everyone!!

  10. Paulina says:

    Hi everyone! I have this game, but I’m from Mexico, I’d like to know how I can change the language from english to spanish. I really need help!!

  11. rilee says:

    I am on my second week with this game, i am really liking it so far. the only thing is, is that it keeps telling me I have a new health and lifestyles task and to click on todays next activity. when i click on it, it tells me to make a character, I have done it 20 times now. The other day I couldn’t even do my work out because it wouldn’t get past the task. as i was looking through my calandar today it said the same thing. is this a glitch or am I completely missing something?

  12. Ramses says:

    Paulina, encontraste como cambiar el idioma? Does anyone know how change the language?

  13. Bii says:

    Ashley did you figure how to change the time? I accidentally put in 20 I thought I put in 40, the screen says my program will be 15 minutes. although my first 40 minute program was 50+. I don’t get it.

    • Breanna says:

      Hi if i do an extra daily work out on top of that from my treadmill am i able to add it on my daily excercise burned on the game?



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