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Wii Fit Plus

Platform(s): Wii
Genre: Sports
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2009

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Wii Preview - 'Wii Fit Plus'

by Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen on June 20, 2009 @ 8:27 a.m. PDT

Wii Fit attracted millions of new players to the world of video games. Now Wii Fit Plus offers a range of new features and enhancements to help players reinvigorate their workouts, along with exercises and balance games designed to keep them fun. Players will find a new dimension to the Wii Fit experience as they easily set their own customized workout routines or choose 20-, 30- or 40-minute workouts based on how much time they have available.

Nintendo seems to know how to make phenomena now. The Wii, with games like Wii Sports to attract an all-new casual audience (and has sparked a revolution, leading both Sony and Microsoft to show off new motion designs coming down the line), has managed to make hit after hit — especially with that little balance board and the included game, Wii Fit. Now, they're hoping to keep the success growing and get more Balance Boards out there for companies to use, with the introduction of Wii Fit Plus, a previous-game-included expansion. (They didn't explicitly mention to me at E3 whether or not it would be sold with and without a Balance Board, but the computers at my local GameStop indicate that it will replace the original Wii Fit and be sold with a Balance Board, at the same $90 cost.)

Wii Fit Plus will immediately use your old save data, if you have any, and build on your progress from there. Don't worry about keeping the old Wii Fit disk because every old exercise will be back, and a few will have some new tweaks — but nothing major. The new routines mode will allow players to run a routine based on how long they have, or run a routine focused on specific areas of the body.

The new exercises include some interesting variants on old challenges, along with new ones. For example, Running's nice, but how about running along a course, trying to avoid getting smacked by swinging balls, and knowing when to stop the challenge? On the other hand, possibly the most fun but most painful exercise yet was the new Segway simulation, which operates very, very similarly to the real thing, right down to your Wiimote handling turning.  Then you realize that a Wiimote doesn't make for that nice support bar of the normal Segway, and the weird, lazy fun of the Segway scooter turns into a rather grueling balance exercise.

The Nintendo rep also mentioned Wii Sports Resort during this, when I pointed out how the Segway scenario had tropical imagery that reminded me heavily of the game. He stated that some of the designs were copied from Mugu Island, the setting of Resort, but also noted that they technically weren't the same place. Apparently, the Wii Fit and Wii Sports series now have stories, sort of.

Wii Fit Plus doesn't necessarily feel like it's going to scream for existing owners to get it again, but on the other hand, it's going to be a great way to get a second Balance Board for games that support it, with new exercises to help justify the purchase. For players who haven't yet made the jump, however, it is going to be a very attractive new package.  The new mini-games that I tried weren't afraid to play with fitness and focus more on fun than pure exercise, bringing the overall quality way up. It's even going to cost the same as the prior title.

 


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