Everyone knows Wii Fit was a brilliant idea, and Nintendo is certainly banking on it by selling millions of copies around the world and then creating yet another best-seller. If the first one sold more copies than the über-popular Halo 3, why not take it for another round and make all those exercise enthusiasts happy? But, the question is… will previous Wii Fit users purchase it again, or will they just resign to what they have? And are they really that keen into exercising or did they just purchase it with hopes of staying more fit and improving their lifestyle?
I know I hadn’t been using it for over a year now. After the novelty and my willpower wore of, I went back to my rather sedentary life, leaving Wii Fit behind. Did I do the right thing? No. Would things have been different with Wii Plus? Maybe. And that’s what I want to explain today.
My biggest complaint with the previous Wii Fit was the lack of discipline. You had complete freedom to decide which exercises to do, and if you didn’t know much about workout routines, you were pretty much out of luck. You couldn’t really focus on strengthening a certain area of your body or becoming more agile at certain things because the game just didn’t tell you what to do. It simply gave you a list of activities to choose from, and it’d count the amount of time you spent doing each of them. That’s about it. However, everything has changed for the better in Wii Fit Plus. The “Plus” in the title is definitely well deserved, as it’s everything Wii Fit was, plus a lot more.
The improvements in this offering, starting with the numerous workout routines now available in the game and your ability to customize your own routines, plus all the new activities included in the title, make Wii Fit Plus a worthwhile “re-purchase”. I say “re-purchase” because it really is just like Wii Fit but better. Once you have this one, you won’t need the other disc at all, as it includes everything the other one had plus more.
For those unfamiliar with Wii Fit, you should know the game does a good job of measuring your body weight and BMI (body mass index). The first thing Wii Fit does is have you select your Mii and then ask you a few questions about yourself, your height, and then it calculates your weight by having you step on the neat exercising device – the Balance Board. If you already owned Wii Fit, it will simply import your data, have you pick your Mii, and re-calculate your weight and BMI. A few exercising, balance, and lifestyle tips later (especially if you didn’t own the game before), you’ll be launched into the Wii Fit Plaza, where you’ll be able to do a body test or start training. The body test is an interesting feature that tries to figure out how fit and agile you are. By doing a few agility, balance, and/or mental tests, it’ll let you know if you are where you should be health-wise and how old you are in Wii Fit years. I admit it – Wii Fit said I’m 13 years older than I actually am, and I am a bit out of shape. What’s more, it said I’m too thin and turned my Mii into little more than a broomstick! Way to start…!
Luckily, the training should help improve my overall wellbeing, and this time I believe it will, as long as I keep up with it. Just like before, you can train by practicing a variety of exercises of different categories: Yoga, Strength, Aerobics, and Balance. As you know, they each have different goals, so you should pick what’s right for you or mix it up a little bit. It’s never good to do too much the first time around, but rather a balanced training that you can consistently increase as you become more fit. The difference with the first Wii Fit is all exercises are unlocked right off the bat, and the only thing left to unlock is the different levels of difficulty within each. There are also six new strength and yoga activities, plus a whole new section called Training Plus that contains 15 new workout activities.
Most of these 15 additions are really fun and well done, as opposed to some of the balance games in the first title, which were a bit inconsistent controls-wise. Some of the new activities are Rhythm Kung Fu, Island Cycling, Snowball Fight, Bird’s Eye-Bull’s Eye, Obstacle Course, Tilt City, Big Top Juggling, Segway Circuit, and reworked versions of Balance Bubble and Basic Run. Undoubtedly, my favorite this time around is Obstacle Course. Like Mario would do, you’ll be challenged to hop over gaps, rolling logs, and run and jump from one platform to the next as they move from side to side. The game is controlled by alternating steps on the Balance Board and leaning forward momentarily to jump. In the snowball fight, you’ll be hiding behind a panel and the goal is to pop out at the right time by shifting your weight to the right or the left on the Balance Board and then point and shoot the snowballs with the Wii Remote. These examples show how active controls can actually be fun in some cases. They are actual games that take Wii Fit one step closer to that line drawn between exercise software and a real game.
In My Wii Fit Plus, one can plan out a workout. This is the biggest and most valuable addition to the title, as it lets you decide what you’d like to improve and then gives you an actual routine to achieve that goal. Whether you want to perk up your overall figure, focus on arms and shoulders, exercise your hips, or achieve a relaxed state, Wii Fit Plus Routines have what you need, involving a mix of Yoga, Strength, and Balance exercises. You can even combine the different routines to get in shape just the way you want it. On the other hand, if you want to select your own exercise routine from scratch, choosing from the multiple exercises available in the Yoga and Strength categories, you can do so as well by selecting “My Routine.” I’m not sure why you can’t pick any activities from the Balance Games or the new Training Plus categories, but at least you can select some from the other two, which I guess will engage you into a more serious workout anyway.
Wii Fit Plus also keeps track of your stats like it did before; it measures your progress and tracks the amount of exercise you do, representing it on useful graphs that help you see if your fitness routines are paying off. Also, the game knows the workout value of each exercise within the game, measured in METs. Therefore, when you exercise, the game calculates the amount of time you practiced each activity, estimating the amount of calories you burnt while doing it. By clicking on the Piggy Bank, which used to only keep track of your exercise time, you’ll now obtain other important data like the amount of calories that were burnt and the amount of exercise you’ve done since you started playing Wii Fit. As always, if you workout outside, you can also add up those activities to your stats.
In addition, you can now keep track of your pet’s health. Well, it’s simpler than that. You can create a profile of your dog or cat, customize their Wii look, and then measure their weight, creating their own progress graph. Weight doesn’t tell you a whole lot about their health, but if you keep track of it and compare, you’ll probably know how he/she’s doing. This is certainly a bit of a gimmick, but having just added a little puppy to my family, it felt good to make him part of the game and have him hang out with the other Miis. If you want your friends to participate instead, they can also create their own profile or simply test the game without creating one. You can even select “Multiplayer,” which lets you take turns doing different activities.
As far as presentation, Wii Fit Plus hasn’t changed much at all. There are two trainers, the same chatty Balance Board that guides you through the menus, and even the same environments from the previous games and other Nintendo franchises such as Wii Sports Resort. I’m talking about Wuhu Island, a cute, tropical environment that’s both inviting and relaxing at the same time. Definitely a good fit for this game’s appeal. Sounds-wise, same thing, relaxing trainer voices invite you to exercise in peace, and lighthearted and soothing music achieves for the same effect. However, the more active / fun-oriented the game is, the merrier the music will be.
To sum it all up, Wii Fit Plus is worth the cash. If you never owned the game before, you can buy it with the Balance Board for 100 bucks. On the other hand, if you already have the other game, you can just buy the new disc for $20, which is not a lot to pay for these valuable improvements. Sure, your old Wii Fit game will become a mere drink coaster when you grab the new one, but you can also just trade it in or give it to that niece who just bought a used Balance Board. It’s all about being creative, right? My only gripe is that this game is everything the first Wii Fit should have been, and it took a second try to make things right, taking a toll on our pockets. If you’re not too mad about that and are willing to shell out the extra money, you should definitely go ahead and improve your Wii Fit experience right now.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.7 Graphics
Same graphics as Wii Sports, Wii Play, and the old Wii Fit – simple but cute, plus they include Miis and Wuhu Island! 4.0 Control
The Balance Board and the Wii Remote make a good team in Wii Fit Plus. The game seems to track movement correctly. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Soothing and motivating trainer voices, relaxing tunes when needed and more upbeat when it’s time to step things up a bit. 4.8
If you take things seriously and practice a daily routine, this game will be the most useful one you’ve ever played. Staying fit is important so you don’t have to feel guilty when playing all the other games!
4.2 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.