The Biggest LoserESRB:
Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Digital calorie counter
Digital exercise manual
Camera functionality (DSi only)
Building on the success of Wii Fit, fitness and wellness games are becoming more and more common. Typically these games are found on the Wii thanks to its motion controls, but here THQ brings us The Biggest Loser to the Nintendo DS and DSi. How does The Biggest Loser on the DS stand up to its competition? Read on to find out.
I hope you like blue and yellow because there’s an awful lot of it in The Biggest Loser DS. Given the nature of the title, there is really not a ton to discuss visually. Bob and Jillian are faithfully recreated and take on a semblance of their true selves. The menus are well laid out and very easy to navigate with the stylus. I like it better than the Wii version although I found myself trying to double click some items when I had to hit the okay button to get to where I was trying to go. The exercise animations are more snapshots than true animations but they do give enough of a proper idea of how to do each exercise.
Similar to my comments about the visuals, sounds are probably less integral to the experience than normal games. The occasional voice over by Bob or Jillian is present, just less than what you get with the Wii as you would expect with the DS. Their comments come mainly in the exercise portion of the game and are meant to be motivational, sometimes in a harsh way. Try quitting an exercise to get what I mean here. I found the repeating theme music a bit grating after a while which I just ended turning off. You also have the option of turning off the voiceovers if you choose.
The Biggest Loser makes the jump from TV to the DS and much like the Wii version of the game, The Biggest Loser on the DS is less a game and more of a tool to help with accomplishing someone’s goal of weight loss. The game is organized into four sections: calendar, exercise, healthy eating handbook, and progress.
Similar to the Wii version of the game, The Biggest Loser DS centers around logging calories consumed and burnt through exercise. The calendar enables you to log this information each day. Probably the most impressive feature of this title is the calorie counter. Having this sort of tool in DS form is fantastic. It can be carried around in a purse or laptop bag and can be easily accessed at any time. Having done weight loss programs myself in the past I would always have to rely on a website or some sort of calculator. The Biggest Loser DS makes it all quite easier. The calorie counter not only breaks items into easy to find food groups, but it also includes dining out options for many well known restaurants. This is a great feature that surprisingly didn’t make it into the Wii version for some reason.
Exercise can be accessed through the main menu or calendar. Routines are grouped into complete circuits, upper and lower body, and cardio workouts. You can also customize workouts which is an excellent feature to have. Unlike fitness and wellness games on the Wii, which take advantage of the motion controls, The Biggest Loser on the DS merely provides a description of each exercise, an animation on the top screen of Bob or Jillian doing the exercise, and a timer. It’s rudimentary compared to what’s offered on the Wii but hey, it’s portable and works well enough that a person can follow the exercises relatively easily.
Beyond the calorie counter, the healthy eating handbook also offers tips, a calculator, quiz-like mini games, and a cookbook containing what looks to be over 50 recipes. I love this feature! The Biggest Loser tracks your progress in both weight and BMI. Personally I’m not a fan of BMI since I don’t believe it factors in body type but it’s there for those that want to use it.
The best way to describe The Biggest Loser on the DS is as a weight loss and healthy eating tool. I found more value in the calorie counter, calculator, and recipes than I did the exercise portion of the title. There are far better exercise options available to you if you own a Wii, but I give this title credit for being portable. The Biggest Loser on DS is not only an excellent complement to the Wii title but also a tremendous tool for tracking one’s calories.