Let Plus subtract the pounds
No matter how hard we try, we just don’t seem to be good enough for Nintendo. First they imply we’re not clever enough, thereby making a certain Dr. Kawashima a worldwide star. We thought all our problems were solved, but apparently with big brains comes big bellies, and so last year Wii Fit became an even bigger hit amongst the self-deprecating masses. Now, Wii Fit Plus forces us to reconsider our looks and overall lifestyle choices,and who knows, after working up a huge sweat in this, we may have Wii Personal Hygiene to look forward to next year.
As the title suggests, Wii Fit Plus isn’t a game built from the ground up, but rather an old instalment with a couples of new additions. Despite the surprisingly effective exercises and games featured in the previous instalment, it ultimately felt like a shallow experience with clear weaknesses that needed adjustment. That, and it has left a lot of derelict gyms about town.
If you don’t own Wii Fit already, be prepared to lose pounds in more than one way. Those who do however, don’t have to face the horrible prospect of a poor credit report for another hi-tech giant sanitary pad as Wii Fit Plus comes both bundled with the Wii Fit Balance Board and stands alone.
As soon as you insert the disc, the incredibly peppy Wii Balance Board mascot springs to life on screen and practically barrages you with the new features. It wasn’t long, however, until the sleek presentation turned Wii Fit Plus into a functional exercise tool and more into a clear cut board meeting when it gave me a long calculation of how METs work. To put it simply, METs works out how many calories you burn in each activity. Before Wii Fit only relied on BMI, yet with this constant recording of how many calories have been burnt in a day, it’s very easy to get caught up in the activities and get motivated.
Of course, it’s the new activities which players be drawn to first, and Wii Fit Plus does a good job in extending the range of activities from before. The yoga and muscle categories each have three new poses and exercises aimed for advanced users, but the real focus is put into Training Plus. Loaded with 15 new activities, Training Plus does its best to add to the previous Wii Fit games, as well as bring something new to the table.
Wii Fitclassics such as Table Tilt and Balance Bubble give players a severe run for there money with new courses littered with troublesome obstacles, and those who choose Jogging Plus are quizzed on their surroundings at the end of their run to test their observational skills. The 12 brand new games are a complete blast to play and make great use of all the Wii accessories bundled together (Hell, there’s even a reason to attach that cheap plastic golf club replica onto the Wii Remote). Games like Skateboarding prove to be incredibly fun and the Time Crisis-esque ‘Snowball Fight’ allow users to easily get drawn in without even realising they’re shedding the calories. All the activities are great fun to play, yet some are clearly going to get overshadowed by others. I mean, why go to the golfing range game when you can drive a Segway Scooter around a beach commanding a puppy to blow up balloons stolen by moles?
Games where stepping rapidly on the Balance Board, however, proved to throw some problems my way.’Cycling’ involves steering with the Wii Remote whilst jogging lightly on the Balance Board, and if my bike ever hit a grass verge, the bike would clearly slow down. It’s only after stepping quickly for 3 solid minutes that you realise it can’t respond quick enough and just leaves your bike looking like it’s dissolving in a vat of acid. The same problem occurs with the Mario inspired platform-’em up ‘Obstacle Course’. These problems don’t completely ruin these particular activities, but do prove to be a nuisance for those who are playing to achieve high scores rather than shed the pounds.
Drive a Segway Scooter around a beach commanding a puppy to blow up balloons stolen by moles
With so many activities to choose from however, some players could become lost in the ocean of fun and not know which exercises cater for their needs. This is where the Wii Fit Plus Routines come into play. These routines fall under four different categories; ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Health’, ‘Youth’ and ‘Form’, and not only focus on important body parts such as Arms, Hips and the Tummy, but can also find activities for those who are having back and shoulder pains, whose who have gorged themselves stupid or just wish to relax. If none of these particularly appeal, you can even make your own customised workout. Although you can mix up your workout with up to an hour of yoga and muscle activities, it’s a shame that you cannot add any aerobic or balance exercises to the regime, yet it still proves to be a useful feature.
One of the strengths that came from playing Wii Fit was that playing with others proved to be very motivating and other players would strive to beat others high scores in activities for both the good of their health and their ego. Nintendo have decided to build on that good old family feuding with the multi-player mode. This doesn’t mean you have to shell out on multiple balance boards, but rather take it in turns on nine different activities to be crowned King/Queen of the Weight Concious. Even your dog or cat can join in the fun with the new register pet feature. Assuming your pet can actually stay still for a few seconds, you can weigh them, comparing your BMI to theirs and have a big laugh whilst they sulk in the corner getting used to the idea that they’re the four legged joke of the household.
Although a few new features prove to be slightly gimmicky, Wii Fit Plus does well in adding something new to the series whilst not neglecting the previous instalment. It’s more versatile, rewarding and motivating than the original and proves to have fewer niggles and gripes. Let’s hope that the slight nuisances of shallow routine customisation are sorted for Wii Fit Plus Alpha Turbo HD Remix.
The Bad: Creating routines excludes balance aerobic exercises, Balance board doesn’t work so well with activities needing rapid stepping, You can’t weigh birds
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