A common criticism of the hobby of videogaming is that it leads to sedentary lifestyles, although there are certainly benefits, such as improved hand-eye coordination. Nintendo’s revolutionary Wii console proved to be a godsend for those hoping to improve that particular aspect, and a further combatant of sedentary gaming lifestyles was the exercise game Wii Fit, released in Japan towards the end of 2007 and in other regions the following year. In 2009 Nintendo released in all regions an enhanced version of the game, Wii Fit Plus, which proves to be a solid exercise game.
When registering a new account for Wii Fit Plus, the game gathers statistic from the player and ultimately calculates their approximate biological age, tracking Body Mass Index (BMI) as well, and requesting daily checks of these stats and making a chart based on the user’s progress. The games themselves come in a variety of types, such as sports games, yoga exercises, aerobics, and so forth. Completing a round of one of these games contributes to the player’s exercise time (with at least thirty minutes a day a good benchmark, the game itself indicating when players have reached this amount).
Many of the game’s activities also make use of the Wii Balance Board, and therein lies Wii Fit Plus’s primary flaws, since the board tends to be finicky about maintaining good balance, which can certainly be tricky for shaky individuals. Some yoga and aerobic moves also require a good deal of space around the balance board, making such exercises in a small or moderately-sized room somewhat tedious. There are also a few exercises where keeping an eye on the television screen can be difficult, especially if the player needs to mirror the trainer’s movements, although the gameplay, being ever so central to an exercise game, doesn’t leave too much room for improvement otherwise.
The menus and controls in Wii Fit Plus are generally easy to get a handle of, although the aforementioned issues with control during some of the exercises can be a slight burden.
Since Wii Fit Plus is an exercise game, the lack of story is generally excusable, and the localization is easily top-notch, Nintendo usually maintaining a nice track record in that area.
The music is more than adequate, although there are some silent parts and other areas that rely a bit too much on ambience, but otherwise, Wii Fit Plus is generally easy on the ears.
The game is easy on the eyes, as well, making use of Miis the player can create in the Wii, along with decent scenery, although there are some bland textures at points and some jaggies.
Finally, odds are that players will be using the game for exercise for a good amount of time, and playtime is consequentially infinite. Ultimately, Wii Fit Plus is a nice improvement on the original Wii Fit, with a nice variety of exercises, progress monitoring, and nice sound and graphics that accompany the experience, although there are admittedly some issues with regards to the somewhat finicky controls. With far more going for it than against it, the game is a sure fit for players seeking to avoid falling out of shape.
+Nice variety of exercises with progress monitoring.
+Great music and graphics.
+Plentiful lasting appeal.
-Some exercises require lots of space.
-Can be hard to view the TV during some moves.
-Controls can be nitpicky.
The Bottom Line:
An enjoyable exercise game.
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Game Mechanics: 8/10
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Playing Time: Infinite