Despite its effective structure, Wii Fit U feels more like an expansion than a direct sequel. It even goes so far as to incorporate all of the same techniques from its past games without introducing new yoga poses or strength exercises. You can even import your data from your old Wii, making the lack of new content even more obvious. This is fine for newcomers. For others, though, you get stuff you already mastered instead of being rewarded with more advanced techniques. If you want more yoga in your life or additional strength-training exercises, you’re better off hitting the gym or mimicking yoga routines from YouTube.
Not everything is the same, however, and Wii Fit U does include a few notable additions that make it superior to its predecessor. For instance, the revamped Personal Trainer mode now lets you customize your workout plan by duration or calories burned, letting the game come up with different activities that keep things fresh each time you start a routine. The GamePad also makes it even easier to work out since you no longer need to strain your neck looking at the TV while in the middle of, say, a triangle pose. You can also turn the GamePad into a mirror and have it record your movement to see what you look like compared to your instructor. And thanks to the additional screen, you can work out and indulge your inner slacker by watching TV at the same time.
The Fit Meter further enhances your fitness regimen by keeping track of how many calories you burn when engaging with the game. Sure, the meter is just a cute little pedometer with your Mii’s face on it, but it sends that information over to your game and adds it your daily records. You can also challenge yourself to traverse the distance of famous cities or climb notable landmarks, which turns the mundane act of walking into in-game achievements.
Feeling more like an afterthought, however, is Wii Fit U’s online features. In short, they let you join communities to see other players working towards the same goals. This could have easily been used to add some competitiveness to your workouts--letting you challenge other players to meet certain goals or burn X number of calories. Instead, all you get are useless Miis that populate your games and talk about how much fat they've burned.
Part of Wii Fit U may feel more like an expansion than a sequel, but the addition of new games, GamePad support, and even the Fit Meter expand the core regimen and provide a more complete workout experience. Its continued relaxed approach to fitness makes it not only approachable to couch potatoes, but it also provides enough challenge and insight to make gym bunnies break out in a sweat. Whether you own a Balance Board or not, you owe it to yourself (and your body) to give Wii Fit U a try.