As another new year looms, we approach the time when Balance Boards will be dragged from under sofas and doomed resolutions will be made by fatties across the land. Is anyone going to lose that post-holiday belly by standing on a set of bluetooth-equipped scales and wobbling in front of a Wii? Maybe not, given how thoroughly dull and sterile Wii Fit can be. A few sessions later, the interest wanes. At least that’s our experience of it. Good intentions are soon forgotten when tedious reality slaps us round the face and reminds us we’d be much happier down at the pub.
So now there’s Wii Fit Plus. Not so much a sequel as a revision of the successful, swiftly forgotten original. While turning Balance Board exercises into genuine long-term fun is probably beyond the ability of even Nintendo’s designers, this follow-up aims to resolve issues of long-term commitment by adding all sorts of new customisable elements.
If you’ve overindulged, there’s a program designed to gently work you back to normality. If you want something more strenuous you can design your own routine, adding different types of exercises and specifying a time limit up to one hour. It counts the calories you’re burning off and plots your results on graphs you can compare with any family or housemates you manage to rope into it. The more people you get involved, the less likely you are to abandon it.
There are new activities and minigames, all of which count towards the calorie target, and the whole package hangs together much better than the original version. It’s a more coherent training package, if a DVD and scales can be described as such. We still wouldn’t want to play it for fun, and new minigames like the arm-flapping flight one are even more of a dignity-free zone than the original lot.
While the game is technically improved, we didn’t feel the additions warranted a higher score than the original, as it really isn’t more fun.
Oct 21, 2009