i wasn’t expecting a whole lot from personal trainer: walking for DS, but i was interested in seeing how it would compare to the very well-designed pedometer-related activities that are built into the 3DS. the game deserves credit for being the predecessor to the 3DS’s robust features, but although it feels like a distinct experience, it’s also a much shallower one.
the game’s main focus is to record the number of steps you’ve taken every day, but unlike the brain age games and wii fit, there’s no sense of trying to steadily “improve”. the designers attempted to solve this by measuring your “life rhythm” instead, but the lack of a self-improvement motivator proves to be critical and the game suffers from not having a similar built-in sense of progression. as a trade-off the game does a decent job of instead emphasizing the communication aspects: the game comes with two “activity meters”, and the daily reports replay the number of steps recorded at each moment of the day, which does succeed in encouraging conversation among people using the same cartridge. there’s really not much outside of the core measurement and the various charts that you can view, though. in the only other mode of significance you basically spend the steps you’ve walked to unlock useless factoids about subjects ranging from whales to tomatoes, which is about as exciting as it sounds. the game does have the added feature of allowing you to track your dog’s steps (and the activity meters come with a clip so you can easily secure it to your dog’s collar), and it does have the distinction of being probably the only DS title in which you can create a mii (or import one from your wii system). the game also has some barebones wi-fi features, where, as with new super mario bros. 2‘s worldwide coin total, you can see what the total number of steps all players (apparently 111,279 people) have accumulated.
overall this is a fairly basic package, and with a bit more effort could have been slightly more worthwhile. as it is, i lost interest in logging my steps pretty quickly, although, somewhat surprisingly, my partner found it more entertaining for longer (probably b/c he liked showing off how much more he walks than i do). the game is slightly less of a curiosity than the DSiware title sleep clock: record and analyse your sleep patterns (which was never released in north america), but not by much, but it’ll be interesting to see how the upcoming wii fit u‘s activity meter compares.
train your feet with these personal trainer: walking links:
- official site. includes an iwata asks feature
- the game comes with two activity meters, but the cartridge can hold data for up to 4. you can buy additional meters for $14.95 each at nintendo’s online store.
- if you’re curious about the animals you can get compared to in the game, see this thread at gamefaqs. apparently if you walk a ton in one day you can get compared to a pegasus, haha.
- overview at nintendo.com
- the game wasn’t widely reviewed when it came out, but here’s a review at nintendolife.com
- entry at wikipedia