Wii Fit Plus

   30/10/2009 at 09:28       Phil May       4 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Wii Fit Plus, Nintendo, Wii Fit, Balance Board, Bloater
Let's make no bones about it, I'm not really the target audience for Wii Fit Plus.

I have this theory that Fitness and Brain Training games have evolved from a peculiarity of social interaction, a psychological need to impress others partly fuelled by the need to get laid as often as possible in our relatively short lifespans. In order to achieve both of these seemingly insurmountable goals, we must make ourselves as unique and attractive as possible.

Sure, I'm no prize but I like the fact that I can run for a bus without dying of heart failure, or stand on my hands and walk around the room to impress my toddling daughter. No mean feat for an old codger. But if there's one thing I can't stand, it's being nagged - particularly when the nagger is a large chunk of plastic backed up by a slightly smaller chunk of plastic which you fit inside a medium-sized chunk of plastic, hoping that the triumvirate of plastic will turn you into an Adonis.

Sliding Wii Fit Plus into the Wii's glowing little slit, I forgot to blank out my old save from the previous version of the "game" - and this was my first mistake. Wii Fit Plus went to town on me, slipping out all those inadvertently sarcastic and nasty little phrases it uses to prick your conscience into putting down that third apple yum yum and reaching for a couple of sunflower seeds instead.

"Well look who it is!" the game proclaimed. If it had a voice, it'd be a bit like the voice Rimmer uses on Red Dwarf in that episode where he discovers that Lister has seen his future, and in his future he gets blown to bits.

"Why its Peej! We haven't seen you for 482 days! Been on holiday have we? A world tour perhaps? Somewhere nice I hope?"

It's hateful. It's the 21st century equivalent of being stuck next to someone on a bus who won't shut up about how well they're doing, and how they've paid their mortgage off 20 years early and will retire at 49.

Wii Fit Plus rambled on. "Well as you're obviously so confident that you didn't need me for the last 482 days, shall we weigh you and calculate your BMI? I'm sure it's going to be super-impressive! I mean you haven't needed me, so you must've been keeping ultra-fit in some other way, and eating so healthily that you have no fear of stepping on the scales!"

(At this point a lot of the unspoken conversation between me and Wii Fit Plus went on in my head, but you have to trust me, if the fucking thing could speak this is what it would be saying!)

I took everything off. My clothes, removed my fillings, went for a pee and a poo, shaved the tiny remnants of hair from my head. My eyebrows - I can live without eyebrows. Cut my toenails, had a good cry because tears have got to weigh SOMETHING surely. Picked the tasty black goo from between my toes and gave myself a good going over all over with a pumice stone to remove a few grams of skin flakes. Now I was ready for the weigh in.

Here's where things get even more depressing than being nagged by a machine. Not only does it nag you, it ridicules you too.

"Oh dear. Well that's not good is it?" said Wii Fit Plus. "It looks like we've been a bit...naughty while we've been away, doesn't it Peej? A wee bit naughty, taking liberties with the cookie jar and secretly scoffing maoams while sitting on the toilet. Oh dearie dearie dear dear dear." The flaming thing clucked on like this for a while, before turning my Mii from a relatively svelte looking baldybonce to something that looked like Humpty Dumpty crossed with Mr Creosote.

"There, that'll fucking teach you to put ME in a cupboard with your Force Feedback Steering Wheel, your Guitar Hero guitars and your Dreamcast fishing rod and light guns, you heartless bastard! Now I'm going to make you WORK, and at every point during your excruciatingly painful next few weeks, I'm going to take every opportunity to make fun of you."

As with Wii Fit, the "plus" version then puts you through a few tests to determine just how bandy-legged, fidgety and utterly useless at standing still you are. It then gives you a random fitness test, now enhanced with mental agility tests (Fuck you Dr Kawashima!!!) so you get a swift summary of the state of your body and your mind.

"Your Wii Fit age is...(drum roll)"

And Wii Fit teases you. It makes you stand there on that sodding huge piece of plastic like a complete goon, while it pretends to strain itself working out the complex calculation of your Wii Fit age vs your actual age. The trick here is to set yourself up a profile telling the thing you're 128. Stupidly I put my actual age in, instead.

"Your Wii Fit Age. Are you ready for it? Is that your final answer? Do you want to phone a friend to hold your hand while you cry about it? Your Wii Fit Age is...56! That's 15 years older than your actual age! Hahahahah, oh just you wait till I tell my mates down the pub later on what an old clapped out codger you are. Hahahahah, oh this is priceless!"

Again, in my head Wii Fit Plus continued to make me feel 10 millimetres tall, hooting with chilling electronic laughter before letting me get at the exercises and games that would allow me to start clawing my way back from the knacker's yard.

So what else is new?

Wii Fit Plus features everything from the original Wii Fit, with a few added extras that probably should've been in there in the first place. Firstly, you can now tailor your fitness programme to your own needs. Want to concentrate on a particular type of fitness? Work on your delts, your abs, your Qs? Wii Fit Plus lets you chain together various exercises into a programme that works for you - meaning you can go through each of your chosen routines in sequence rather than just randomly picking and choosing the ones you're good at (assuming you take the thing seriously and want to mix things up a bit).

As before, each exercise you perform successfully (if you're brutally honest with yourself and the game, and don't cheat) will give you a couple of coins to drop into your fit bank. Your total is calculated at the end of your routine, and you're given a rough idea of how many calories you've burned.

Rather depressingly (and everything about Wii Fit Plus is depressing, unless you're the sort of person who really doesn't need the thing in the first place) Wii Fit Plus gives you a list of foods and their common calorific values. So at the end of a workout you can really cheer yourself up by finding out that you've just spent an hour jigging around like a numpty and have burned off enough calories to compensate for the grapefruit segment you ate for lunch, but will need to do another hour to burn off the two sultanas you sneaked from your kid's lunchbox, and another hour for the gobstopper you found down the back of the sofa (plus ten minutes for the fluff it was covered in).

Can you do these sitting on your arse? Er...no

Gamers will want to know what all the new fitness games are like. Sure, there are new yoga and muscle workouts and several new unlockables once you've spent a bit of time getting fit, but the fitness games are where most people will spend most of their time - and there are some doozies here that cross over with Wii Sports Resort in a couple of places.

Ignoring the crap stuff you'll get a lot of fun out of:

Skateboarding:

Want to know how Tony Hawk's Ride will play? The Skateboarding section of Wii Fit Plus gives a good approximation and though it's not exactly easy to ollie something you're not allowed to jump on, stetching and bending your legs will give you enough skateboardy moves and action to play through the challenges. It actually works superbly.

Dipping one foot off the board "scoots" you along, leaning from side to side turns the board, and bending / straightening your legs allows you to ollie. The game leads you through simple slalom sections, jumps and then a half pipe and surprisingly, like real skateboarding, can help you get a bit of a sweat on offering up a proper full body work out and balance exercise.

Snowball Fight: Again a good exercise for your waist as you stand on the board, and lean from side to side before using the Wiimote to "fire" snowballs at opponents. Like a weird kid-friendly Time Crisis, you are in cover behind a fence and must lean left and right to pop out from behind cover, to pelt the opposition. Quite fun but gave my other half chronic motion sickness for some reason so be warned.

Cycling:

More or less a direct lift from Wii Sports Resort (where it was bloody annoying), Cycling is a bit like the jogging from the first game. To pedal you run on the spot on the board (taking care not to make your board creak and groan like ours does rather alarmingly for some reason) and use the Wiimote to steer. Guiding your bike through various checkpoints, standard cycling allows you to pick and choose your route whereas later on you'll unlock expert mode which is tougher and requires that you pedal your nuts off as fast as possible to get through the gates as quickly as you can.

Segway Challenge:

This is a bit bonkers and I'm not really sure how it can be classed as a fitness game but Segway obviously thought it was a good idea to endorse this section. Clambering onto the Wii Fit board, you use the board like you do a real Segway, leaning forward to go forward, and back to go backwards or brake. Tilting the Wiimote steers your Segway. It's virtually interchangeable with the Cycling exercise, only this time you're popping beach balls before nasty little moles pop up and knock you off your Segway. Get all the beach ballsin the quickest time for maximum points. Sneakily, you can recruit a pup to help you grab the beach balls with a press of the A button on the Wiimote. So of the new stuff, this is probably the least likely to make you work up a sweat.

Circus juggling:

You've never truly demeaned yourself until you've had a couple of your friends (in Mii form) throw juggling balls at you while you're balanced on a giant ball yourself. The trick here is to stay atop the ball by leaning left and right on the Wii Balance Board, while using the Wiimote and Nunchuck to toss balls into the air as they're thrown at you. Keep as many balls in the air as possible by "juggling". Watching someone else play this while hooting derisively at them is far more satisfying than actually taking part (and my other half will attest to this).

Kung Fu:

This is probably the most fun exercise of the lot. With Wiimote and Nunchuk in hand, and standing on the board, you must follow the prompts of other Miis in your Dojo, performing simple Kung Fu moves in time with their movements. Punches, kicks and leg lifts start quite simply at first, but the game's a bit like a rhythm action experience rather than a fitness game, so timing is everything. This is good fun, a bit like the boxing from the first Wii Fit but with an added twist. It also allows you to vent off all that built-up aggression from having Wii Fit Plus take the piss out of you at the weigh-in.

All of the Wii Fit games are still in there too, but Plus adds enough new ones to keep things interesting. In fact, for the price it does exactly what you'd want it do - adds enough new stuff to stave off the boredom. But of course it goes without saying that most of you (like me) will probably be ruthlessly determined to make a go of it before sticking the little plastic bastard back in the junk cupboard for another 482 days till Wii Fit Plus Plus comes out.
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NewYork - on 30/10/2009 at 13:54 wrote:
 
Wasn't EA Fitness supposedly a way better fitness title than Wii Fit? I wonder how this compares.
 

peej - on 30/10/2009 at 14:22 wrote:
 
I think a lot of what's in this has been designed to address what EA did with EA Fitness. There's a more serious slant to the stats and measurements in this, but I'm not quite sure why they had to stick more feckin' Brain Training into Wii Fit just to try and tick all the casual gamer / Fat Sun-Reading-Housewife boxes.

Nevertheless I bet this tops the charts for a few weeks if not longer.
 

Trip SkyWay - on 31/10/2009 at 06:56 wrote:
 
Can you use the balance board on Wii Sports Resort's cycling? I always thought it seemed a bit odd cycling with your arms.

Brain training stuff sound like an odd fit, but I reckon I might buy this when my body is back in working order. It is dirt cheap.
 

peej - on 02/11/2009 at 09:07 wrote:
 
Nope. And rather annoyingly you can't use the WMP in this either.

The cycling in this is a direct lift from Wii Sports Resort's cycling though, so if you spot this any cheaper it might be worth picking up - even if you never intend to use it as a fitness proggy, the game section in this is worth the entry fee for some balance board shenanigans.

Kung Fu's turning into a bit of an obsession now. Damn that shit gets quick in the enhanced mode.
 


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