Wii Fit Plus
The release of EA Sports Active highlighted one of the original Wii Fit's most glaring flaws--its pacing
In between counting the millions and millions of dollars Wii Fit undoubtedly made them, Nintendo probably paused with anxiety about how to follow the original hit excer-game up. Do you create an entirely new batch of workouts, knowing you've picked some of the best already? How do you satisfy the millions of customers who purchased the original Wii Fit while still making an attempt to reach out to even more customers?
- The new games are even more fun than the original Wii Fit's, the new exercises are strenuous (in a good way), you can create Miis for your pets, you can also make babies out of your Miis
- The custom routines are too short, it's still very difficult to get keep your heart rate up throughout a workout, high scores don't save in all modes
With a decent amount of fun new minigames and more intense exercises, Wii Fit Plus is worth paying $29.95 for. As far as fitness coaching goes, however, other titles have passed it by.
Nintendo found the answer with Wii Fit Plus. Replacing the original Wii Fit in the Balance Board bundle, while selling for $29.95 standalone, adding a sizable amount of new content--more than a DLC update's worth--it's enough to make purchasers of the original dust off their board and curious customers willing to take the plunge. While it's a great value and a fun game that will surely get you off your couch, you should be aware it's not the best gaming workout option anymore.
The user-interface in Wii Fit Plus is largely the same--the game still boots u p to show all of your registered Miis in front of a chart that tracks their BMIs. From this menu, you can still choose to take a body test or engage in exercises and activities. What you'll notice is that just about every facet of the game has everything it had before, along with a handful of additions, and all of them are welcome.
The body test has been modified to include one standard fitness test, and another that taxes your brain alongside your bulk, so that your Wii Fit Age represents your mind and body, instead of just the latter. There are three additional yoga and strength exercises each, and all of them are among the most strenuous activities in the game. Can you make your body into a V shape while sitting on the balance board or lay your body completely flat two feet above the ground while supporting your body with only one foot? Wii Fit Plus will test your body a lot more than the original did.
Where Wii Fit Plus improves the most over the original is in the 15 new Training Plus games. In the same vein as the balance and aerobic games in the original, these aren't activities done in sync with an on-screen trainer. Rather, they're minigames, utilizing Miis, in which your actions on the board (and occasionally with the Nunchuck and Wii Remote) allow you to play minigames like riding a Segway scooter or engaging in a snowball fight.
Some of the balance and aerobic games in the original, like Ski Jump and Tightrope Walk had their charm. And you'd be surprised at how fun it is to do a simultaneous step dance in front of a crowd. A majority of the games, however, were duds, requiring little in the way of physical exertion, and showcasing bland visuals. The Training Plus games, on the other hand, include a lot more dynamic movement, as well as very inspired backgrounds. Some of Training Plus' highlights include leading a Mii marching band in a minigame that's more playable and visually impressive than Major Minor's Majestic March, mimicking martial arts movements in a minigame that's as fun as it is culturally insensitive, and juggling while balancing in a fun circus-style activity. There are even some games that hint at Nintendo's ability to make the Balance Board work with their established franchises. The platforming elements in Obstacle Course and the flying mechanics in Bird's Eye Bull's Eye could easily be the genesis of Balance Board-based Mario and Kid Icarus titles.
The release of EA Sports Active highlighted one of the original Wii Fit's most glaring flaws--its pacing. Whereas EA Sports Active quickly transitions from one activity to the next, Wii Fit would shoot you out to the menu after every single activity. Nintendo has attempted to make the workout process more streamlined in Wii Fit Plus with a handful of custom routines, as well as the ability to make your own from scratch. While both are commendable additions, when you consider that EA Sports Active has dozens of workouts of varying length and intensity, it's apparent the Wii Fit Plus doesn't add up when it comes to creating the ultimate gaming workout. Depending on how EA's Active follow-up turns out later this year, the divide could grow even larger.
I enjoyed the original Wii Fit as both a fitness tool and a fun minigame collection when it first came out. EA Sports Active eventually supplanted it in my workout routine, but I'd still take part in some of the minigames amongst friends. With Wii Fit Plus, I won't be utilising the calorie-counter or custom workouts--both are done better in EA Sports Active--but I will enjoy the many new, well-produced minigames. It comes down to this--EA Sports Active is a better fitness game, but Wii Fit Plus is more fun. Your enjoyment and fitness needs should determine your purchase.
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