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Review: Wii Fit Plus

Posted on 18 January 2010 by nicolespag

Wii Fit Plus

Rating – E for Everybody
Price – $20 if you own the Wii Fit original, $99 for first time users
Genre – Fitness
Publisher – Nintendo
Date Released – October 4, 2009

Wii Fit Plus is the expansion pack that builds upon the original Wii Fit from Nintendo.  This new and improved version adds some of the features that were glaringly missing in Wii Fit.  Namely, the absence of a way to string together exercises.  In the new package, you can choose from preset Wii Fit Plus Routines that target specific needs or use the My Routine feature to build your own yoga and strength routines.

In the Favorites menu, the user can choose the top 10 from 3 different lists: Frequently, Recently and Rarely.  Wii Fit plus has added some simple tracking for calories, MET’s and fit credits. To make the most out of the balance board, Nintendo has added 15 new balance games.  Another fun addition, but not integral to exercise, is the option to add your pet or child to the body test section.

In this series of reviews for the Wii Fitness games, I will use the following 3 criteria:
Ease of use – Is a user able to jump right into using the program?
Engageability – Is this a program that a user can stick with?  Is there enough variety in the routines to combat boredom?
The Schwarzenegger factor – How fit can you actually get with this routine?

Ease of Use -
Wii Fit Plus steps a user through the entire process using the cute little animated Wii Balance Board who vaguely reminds me of Clippy.   I almost expect him to ask me if I need help writing a letter.

The menus are well laid out and intuitive.  The large colorful buttons are easy to navigate with the Wiimote.  Just like in the Wii Fit, the exercises are slowly revealed to the user after the user passes certain milestones. This helps prevent a new user from getting overwhelmed in the beginning and lets them ease into exercises as well as the program.

Engageability –
The most engaging exercises in the Wii Fit Plus are the balance games.  With 15 new games, there are plenty of ways to keep a user honing their balance skills.  The Segway Circuit is a fun jaunt on the beach on a Segway where the user has to lean on the balance board and steer with the Wiimote.  There is a skateboard arena, cycling course and obstacle courses as well as snowball fights and rhythm kungfu. Of course, the yoga and strength are still available to do individually, but they are best used in the routines.  While the routines are a vast improvement over the original Wii Fit, the flow is still broken by the trainer talks and the scoring at the end of each exercise.  This not only breaks the flow, but makes the whole exercise routine longer.

Since I have always had a problem sticking with an exercise routine, I thought playing games would be a good way to do it.  I enjoy playing the balance and cardio games.  But as an exercise platform, the Wii Fit Plus just couldn’t keep my attention long enough.  I had no motivation to continue the routines, due mostly to the breaks in flow and the same routines each day.

The Schwarzenegger factor –
So is winning Mr. or Miss Universe in your future by using just he Wii Fit Plus?  Well if you added a bunch of weights and some steroids, possibly, but doing this exercise regime alone probably won’t do it.  The cardio and balance exercises can actually help you lose weight and if you can stomach the endless interruptions, the yoga and strength workouts are pretty good.

Overall – This is what Wii Fit should have been in the first place.  Although the addition of new balance games and the ability to create routines is a big plus, the time it takes to actually transitions from one exercise to another is a big let down.  I felt like I could never really get into a rhythm because I had to stop, wait for my score, wait for the trainer to praise me and if needed, add or remove the nunchuck.  I think this is a great game to get people started or let them have fun while getting some exercise and losing weight.  I don’t think it is for a serious athlete wanting a different type of workout.

I do have to mention that we have a reader that reported she really likes the Wii Fit and lost 50 lbs after her baby.  It does work.  There are also many forums and groups, like The Wii Mommies, that help with motivation and tips and tricks.

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