Players: 1-2 (Depending on activity)
Nintendo Wi-Fi: None
With “Wii Fit Plus” Nintendo re-offers players a unique way to become active and introduce exercise with a gaming approach.
For owners of the original Wii Fit, Plus offers 15 *new* activities (some are new takes on older ones), 5 new balance tests, 3 new exercises in the Strength and Yoga categories and a lot of new improvements and additions overall.
Improved Controls: The responsiveness and sensitivity of the Wii Balance Board, Wiimote, and Nunchuck within this edition of Wii Fit have been tweaked and are now much more accurate and precise; perfection!
Something For Everyone: Wii Fit Plus offers 5 categories of exercises and each category provides players with a plethora of different activities to engage and master. Strength, Aerobics, Yoga and Balance Games made up the 4 categories of the original Wii Fit; new to “Plus” is Training Plus, which mixes elements of the previously mentioned categories and masterfully disguises them in the form of games.
No More Guess Work: Wii Fit Plus now shows players the number of estimated calories burned after each exercise and labels them with a “MET’s” rating (1-5), which represent the intensity of each activity. The higher the rating; the more intense the exercise and hence the more potential for calories burned per activity.
Get in a Routine: Plus also offers the addition of performing exercises in succession through a new feature called “My Wii Fit Plus”. Here players can choose preset and custom work out routines based upon what aspects of their “Life Style”, “Health”, “Youth” and “Form” they would like to improve. As you complete an exercise within your routine, you are then lead into the next exercise and so on until the routine is finished; thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the exercises by eliminating the down time between them, which was one of the bigger gripes about the original Wii Fit.
In addition to the routines, you can set a daily calorie burning goal through the action of choosing one of many food icons, each representing a predefined number of calories based on the USDA National Nutrient Data Base. These calorie burning goals can be tracked regardless of whether you’ve set up a routine or just want to exercise free style.
Presentation: As was the case with Wii Fit, Plus also excels in the area of presentation whereby the animated onscreen balance board walks you through and explains all of the prominent aspects of the title at start up and then offers you the finer details on things the farther you get into the game. Aesthetically speaking, the different menus and screens are clean, well designed and easy to navigate which make getting to the activities quick and effortless.
If you’ve played the original Wii Fit title and have save data from the game, the balance board in Plus will then guide you through all of the additions in Wii Fit Plus. This gives the newcomers a different and unique presentation from those who are already veterans of Plus’ predecessor.
Nothing Lost: If you, like me are an owner of the original Wii Fit and are worried about all of the recorded time, tears and sweat that you put into the previous title being lost forever, worry no more. The very first thing you’ll see as Wii Fit Plus starts is the balance board character acknowledging your previously saved Wii Fit data and then offering to import that info into Plus; making for a very seamless and smooth transition between the two games.
Routines Gone Wrong: “My Wii Fit Plus Routines” and “My Routine” both offer activities from only the Strength and Yoga categories. Why we are limited to only those two categories seems a mystery as it only serves to undermine the whole idea of creating a custom workout without being able to access exercises and activities from the other three categories.
Box Art: How will Nintendo be able to trump the lady in the Yoga pose from the first title? With three new people doing equally unappealing exercise poses. Why couldn’t we have just received the European cover art instead?
More Multiplayer Activities: Adding more simultaneous multiplayer activities or implementing them into the new or pre-existing exercises and games really would’ve added another level of fun to an already entertaining title; something which I hope to see in Wii Fit 2.
Limitless Routines: Being able to create custom workouts without the category limitation seemed like a no brainer, don’t make the same mistake twice.
Roam If You Want To: Something I’ve thought about since Wii Fit is adding the ability to customize your path around Wuhu Island in the Free Run mode found within the Aerobics category. Being able to customize what paths you take and where you can go on your run would make a great addition to Free Run and increase its replay motivation by giving each run some new and different vistas. Another great addition to the Free Run would be an optional “MP3 Player” mode in which your Mii could put in some earphones and allow the player to listen to MP3’s from their SD card while running. Perhaps even add a generic MP3 Player interface with the ability to customize the order of the tracks or shuffle them before starting the run.
Real Time: Having the option of the Island reflecting real time and season changes the way that a title like Animal Crossing does would really add some more dynamic to the game, optional holidays to be reflected would be nice too. The Mii’s clothing could also change based on the seasons and conditions as well. Offering some activities that are exclusive to different seasons as well as implementing real time weather conditions based on the current Forecast Channel readings could really make this a more engrossing fitness game.
The Verdict: Worth Owning
Wii Fit Plus is most aptly named as it’s not a sequel but rather Wii Fit with many new additions and improvements justifying the “Plus” of its new title. Think Wii Fit version 1.5.
Newcomers to the Wii Fit franchise will undoubtedly find Wii Fit Plus along with the Balance Board as a fun and inventive way to experience video games and burn some calories while they do.
Owners of the first title will certainly find the new activities under Training Plus to be a lot of fun and an upgrade worthy of it’s $19.99 price tag. “Training Plus” adds a new dynamic to exercising with some of the activities by putting a new emphasis on coordination and memory. A few of the notable standouts and sure-to-be favorites of Training Plus are: Obstacle Course, Skate Board Arena, Island Cycling, Rhythm Kung Fu, Driving Range, Bird’s Eye Bull’s Eye and Big Top Juggling. Within many of these new activities, Nintendo shows the potential success for new titles based around the game play mechanics of the aforementioned contained within Training Plus; much as they did within Wii Sports Resort.
Current Wii Fit owners will not need their copy of the original game upon the purchase of Wii Fit Plus since it already includes all of Wii Fit and offers no backwards compatibility through the game saves. Once your data has been imported to Wii Fit Plus, any exercise you do in the original Wii Fit will not be reflected in Plus.
While many may scoff at such a verdict for a mere “Wii exercise game”, I might remind those who do of the old adage “Don’t knock it, until you try it”, when you do it may just make a believer out of you. Where Wii Fit Plus and it’s predecessor really excel is by offering physical activity in the guise of fun games. Wii Fit Plus also offers more traditional exercises with varying degrees of unlockable difficultly to those that are serious about getting into better shape and living a healthier, longer life; what could be more important?
The Verdict: Worth Owning
About the Author: Jason Tanner is life-long video game enthusiast and a new contributor here at Nintendo Everything. He also writes for his own Wii game review site at: Wiivolution Now.