While reading, it's useful to keep in mind our previous review for Wii Fit. Everything that we said for that game, goes for this one too. The reason for this is Wii Fit Plus isn't a sequel. It's more of an expansion pack, which includes everything that the first game had as well. If you were one of the squillions who picked up the original, you may think this title is worth passing up, but Nintendo have cleverly priced it quite low. The standalone game has a RRP of merely AUD $29.95, although the Balance Board pack is a little more expensive than the previous one at AUD $159.95. So, do the additions make the game worth investigating for Wii Fit gurus, and how does the product stand by itself for new adopters?
Wii Fit Plus has some new features that enhance both sides of the original Wii Fit. That is, to say the exercise side, and the balance-game side, perhaps with a greater emphasis on the latter. There are fifteen new balance-games, and six new exercises (three yoga and three muscle workouts). The new exercises include exercises intended to stretch your spine and tone your triceps and hips, and see you performing the 'Grounded V' in yoga, and the weird but punishing 'Balance Bridge' in the muscle workouts. They're all useful exercises, and well explained, although their small number makes it clear that they were perhaps an afterthought in light of the other features.
You mightn't be too far wrong in describing Wii Fit Plus as a mini-game collection, as that's certainly where the focus seems to be at. Of the fifteen mini-games, fourteen use the balance board, and all of them will make you look like a complete idiot. In a good way of course, if there is a good way. 'Birds-eye Bulls-eye' sees you flapping your arms like mad as you pretend to be a bird and fly from checkpoint to checkpoint. 'Perfect 10' sees you swaying your hips to choose numbers that must add to ten. 'Obstacle Course' puts you in an environment reminiscent of a Mario game, and lets you run and jump along to see what the poor plumber's had to put up with for the past two decades. We also had some fun with a gallery-shooter in the form of a snowball fight.
Bicycle and segway mini-games see you using the balance board in conjunction with the Wii Remote as a steering wheel, and this works fairly well. However, you're sure to work up a sweat in 'Cycling' as you're encouraged to explore the whole island in which game is set, and the only way to do that is to stomp away on the board like crazy. The most addictive games are probably 'Table Tilt Plus', a variation on the balance-game present in the original, and 'Tilt City', which sees you tilting the Wii Remote and your feet on the Balance Board to send fireworks into their correct holes.
Obviously, all of the games are designed to make you exercise while you're playing them, which we have no objection to at all, given the title's premise. Jogging and cycling aside, the mini-games give you new ways to exercise that are indeed pretty fun, and fun to play with friends in the game's new Multiplayer mode (which lets you take turns on the board). These games alone are worth the asking price, and if you're after a decent balance-board based mini-game collection, they fulfill that role pretty well.
Of course, there are some other new features we haven't mentioned yet. You can now check how many calories you've burned after each activity, which is a useful feature. The game even allows you to set 'calorie goals' for yourself. You can see how many calories certain foods contain, and you can choose to burn as many calories as a piece of cake or a chocolate bar. Unfortunately, there is no option for an entire cake or three pizzas and a cheese wheel, so we had to make do with the options present. You can also take part in pre-made routines that focus on different goals, such as losing weight off of your tummy or improving your posture. You can also create your own custom routines, which can be loaded whenever you want. These are all useful and sensible additions to the formula. What isn't so much is the ability to weigh a pet or baby by standing on the balance board with them. Seconds of fun.
In terms of its presentation, Wii Fit Plus looks no better or worse than its predecessor. It's still got the same ultra-basic style that's been utilised for the Wii X franchises, which is pleasant enough. The same helpful voice instructions and relaxing music from the first game are present. There are some vague nods to Mario in the design of the 'Obstacle Course' levels, but overall, it's a very clean and easy-to-use package.
If you're considering picking up Wii Fit Plus, we should warn you not to buy into the hype. (If there is any this time around. We know this thing sold like hot cakes last time.) This title alone is not going to make you thin overnight. Nor is it going to make you fit by itself. This, like every other fitness game out there, whether they purport to be a be-all and end-all cure to obesity or not, is essentially a tool. The exercise portion of the game teaches you real workouts and exercises that are useful to know and perform in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular cardio workouts. In this capacity, Wii Fit Plus succeeds very well. If you're just here for the new balance-games, then the fifteen games on offer are all pretty enjoyable and offer great value for current Balance Board owners. If you're buying Wii Fit for the first time with this game, then rest assured you're getting the best version.