Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... Wii Fit Plus. There are also more routines that are extended and there are more options to customize workouts according to your needs. I... more
Can Wii Fit Plus make Mii Fitter?
Wii Fit Plus - Game Only (Wii)
Member Name: KLockwood75
Wii Fit Plus - Game Only (Wii)
Advantages: Healthier than sitting on the sofa, can exercise at home, good range of activities
Disadvantages: Not that much different from Wii Fit, easy to get bored with it, lack of new aerobic activities
* Getting Started *
The format of Wii Fit Plus is exactly the same as Wii Fit - on putting the disc into your Wii for the first time it accesses all your existing Wii Fit data (weight loss graphs, Wii Fit ages etc.) and finds your original Mii. Therefore, you don't have to do any additional setting up and can get started straight away. You start off, as usual, in the Wii Fit Plaza with whatever Mii characters you have set up - we have two slightly chubby ones for my husband and I - standing under the graph that shows your BMI and 'Fit Cash'. You then simply click on your own Wii and you are redirected to your personal calendar showing when you've used the Wii Fit with the 'Body Test' and 'Training' buttons underneath. You can also access your individual progress graphs from this screen. You can also register profiles for your babies or pets to allow you to weigh them using the Wii Balance Board, although I haven't done this for either of my children.
* Body Test *
The Body Test is the same as in the original version of Wii Fit in that it weighs you, tests your centre of gravity and then sets you two challenges which enable it to calculate your Wii Fit age. My Wii Fit age varies greatly depending on what challenges it chooses to set me - this morning I was 26 (8 years younger than my real age) but I have been as old as 50! There are several new challenges on the Wii Fit Plus as well as all the ones from the original Wii Fit - these new challenges seem to focus a bit more on mental agility as well as physical agility as you are asked to click on numbers in order while maintaining near-perfect balance, shift your weight to select lower or higher numbers and predict the direction of sliding blocks to shift your centre of gravity around them. The new challenges do make the Body Test a bit more interesting - for a while anyway - and there is also the opportunity to practice any that you have struggled with within the Wii Fit Plus area. You are also given the opportunity to select your weight loss goal and determine how much weight you would like to lose over a period of time - and then, if you're like me, the Wii Fit tells you off when you fail to achieve that goal. Personally, I still have the same reservations about the Body Test and Wii Fit's obsession with daily weighing as I had with the original version, so I usually only do a Body Test once a week (at the same time of day) and track my weight that way - I honestly believe that weight fluctuates so much during the day, and from one day to the next, that weighing yourself every day is not a good idea.
* Original Wii Fit Activities *
All the original activities from the Wii Fit still feature in this game and the set up on screen is just the same. I am not going to spend a lot of time going over the four original categories as they are exactly the same as in the original Wii Fit but I will do a brief summary. The first of the original categories is Yoga and this contains a variety of Yoga-themed workouts where you use the Wii Balance Board to practice various Yoga positions such as the Warrior Pose, Standing Knee, Chair and Half Moon. I still find that these are good for stretching and flexibility and I've noticed a real improvement in my ability to do these poses since I started doing them regularly to the extent that I can even stand on one leg without falling off the Wii Balance Board these days! There are three additional Yoga poses on Wii Fit Plus. The Muscle Workouts are good for developing muscle strength and targeting areas of your body that you wish to improve. Again, there are an extra three Muscle Workouts included on Wii Fit Plus. The Aerobic Exercises are cardio-based and include Step, Hula Hoop, Rhythm Boxing and Jogging. I still enjoy these workouts, although I never do the Jogging one as jogging on the spot in my front room seems a bit pointless to me. The final one of the original categories is the Balance Games - I find that I play these a lot less on Wii Fit Plus as there are newer, better versions of my favourites in the new Wii Fit Plus section.
* New Wii Fit Plus Activities *
The new activities are grouped under a new category heading, entitled 'Training Plus'. Predominantly, these are balance / coordination / rhythm type games rather than cardio workouts although some of them do burn a reasonable amount of calories. These range between completely new activities and enhanced versions of the Wii Fit Balance Games such as Table Tilt and Balance Bubble. My personal favourites are; Rhythm Kung Fu (where you copy moves on screen in sequence), Tilt City (where you use the Wii-mote and the Balance Board to tilt platforms and drop coloured balls into matching coloured tubes), Obstacle Course (where you walk and 'jump' on the Wii Balance board to dodge swinging balls, cross sliding platforms and jump over gaps - bit like playing Super Mario for real) and Perfect 10 (where you move your hips to hit numbers adding up to 10, 15 or 20). Big Top Juggling and Rhythm Parade test your rhythm and coordination - Rhythm Parade is a real challenge for me as you need to march in time with the characters on the screen while performing tricks with your baton at the same time. I can either march or twirl my baton, I just can't do both. The funniest game to watch other people play is Birds Eye Bulls-Eyes where you flap your arms to fly your bird through the sky and attempt to land on targets. There are also a couple of longer games - Cycling and Segway Circuit - where you get to explore the virtual island hunting down targets.
* Additional Features *
Along with the new activities, the other big change from the original Wii Fit is a new area called 'My Wii Fit Plus'. This allows you to select routines featuring three activities designed to work on a specific area. The majority of these are based on fitness / toning, but there are also some designed to work on improving your relaxation skills and your mental agility. For example, the 'Hips and Behind' workout features the Single Leg Extension (Muscle), Step Plus (Aerobic) and Standing Knee (Yoga), whereas the 'Over-Indulged' workout features Jogging (Aerobic), Rhythm Boxing (Aerobic) and Lunge (Muscle). You can combine any of these routines to create a workout personally tailored to yourself. I think that these are a good idea because they eliminate some of the wasted time between activities that characterised the original Wii Fit as they follow on from each other automatically, and it does help you to understand which activities complement each other. You can also design your own workout using the Yoga and Muscle Workout activities. Additionally, this area contains a calorie check so you can compare the amount of calories you've burned to food items. So, the 139 calories I burned this morning equates to 40g of liver pate. I'd have to burn 242 calories to justify a small doughnut. Calorie burning is calculated in what the Wii Fit calls METS.1 MET is apparently equivalent to the energy burned sitting still and the amount of METs increases according to the intensity of an activity. The Wii Fit uses the MET rating of an activity (i.e. 4 METS for Super Hula Hoop) and your weight to calculate the amount of calories burned.
You can also add additional information to the progress graphs such as your daily step count, any additional exercise and your waist measurements. In theory, I think this is a great idea as it should allow you to use the Wii Fit as an overall log of your exercise and weight loss progress. However, I do find it frustrating that you can't go back and add step counts / additional activities to previous days - I don't always want to turn the Wii Fit on at the end of a busy day and, as you can't add data retrospectively, it just doesn't get logged. I do like the way it calculates the calories burned through additional exercise though as this gives me a good idea of how well I've done overall.
* Cost *
The RRP for Wii Fit Plus is £19.99 but you should be able to purchase it for less than this. The current price on Amazon is £14.91.
* Final Thoughts *
Wii Fit Plus is a valuable extension to Wii Fit, although it's usefulness depends completely on how often you want to use it. Like the original Wii Fit, it's likely that many people will get bored with it after a while and the balance board will end up stashed in a corner gathering dust. As a short-term exercise / weight-loss aid, I do think that it has a lot of benefits as it allows you to set a target and then encourages you to meet that target. Buying it definitely encouraged me to get back to using the Wii Fit regularly (for a while at least) and it is a form of exercise that is relatively easy to fit in to a busy lifestyle. I also think that the ability to create personalised routines or target specific problem areas is a great addition. For me personally, some additional aerobic workouts or a couple of new Step routines would have been a good addition to this title and would probably have prolonged my interest in using it regularly. I am much more into cardio work than toning (although I really should do some more muscle / yoga workouts) and I do find myself getting bored with doing Step and Hula Hoop all the time. However, I am doing the Couch to 5K running programme in addition to the Wii Fit, so hopefully that will fulfill my cardio cravings and I can use the Wii Fit Plus to tone up and improve my balance.
Overall, I think I would recommend Wii Fit Plus to fans of the original Wii Fit but, if you didn't like Wii Fit, then you won't like Wii Fit Plus either.
* Also posted on Ciao under my Brownie_Queen user name
Summary: Makes exercise more fun for couch potatoes