Wii Fit doesn't get a great deal of love from the Nintendo faithful, nor hardcore gamers in general for that matter. It's not exactly hard to see why either. If you were unfortunate enough to catch the gag-vacuum Funny People at the movies last month you may well have let out a knowing snort when Seth Rogen remarks to Adam Sandler how he sees Wii Fit as a "betrayal".
Whereas once videogames encouraged us to put off that jog around the park in favour of picking up a control pad and working on that bum-shaped groove in the sofa, they're now calling us out for being too doughy and ordering us to get up and shed some pounds. The cheek of it!
Well, we went against the grain and actually rather enjoyed it. Sure, it didn't exactly offer much in the way of traditional gaming thrills and spills but it was innovative, fun and, crucially, succeeded in its stated aim of helping us shed a few excess pounds. Clearly a great number of you agreed because since its release back in 2008 it has gone on to sell a staggering 22 million copies, making it the third biggest selling game of all time.
However, a quick glance in the window of your local branch of KFC at the fleshy wildebeest within troughing into their mid-morning bucket o' grease will show that it hasn't been entirely successful at transforming us into a nation of Gok Wans. Never ones to give up, Nintendo are a having a second go at getting us all to slim down with Wii Fit Plus.
Taking It Up A Notch
First things first, this is not a sequel in the traditional sense. It's more of an expansion pack. All of the content from the original game is included, but with a host of new features and exercises added as well, which, for the most part, all help to greatly enhance the Wii Fit experience. Indeed, we'd go as far as to say that they make the original version seem really rather threadbare in comparison.
While we gave Wii Fit a very positive review back in ONM 29, we did have a few problems with it. Our biggest issue was that you couldn't string together a lengthy, customised routine. Instead, you picked an exercise, did it, and then had to cycle through menus again, lowering your heart rate and essentially wrecking your workout.
One of the few things that competitor EA Sports Active did well was remedy that, allowing you to build your own exercise program. Happily, Wii Fit Plus follows suit. You can either create your own routine or follow one of a number of preset workouts that target certain areas of your body. You can perform exercises designed to work on your shoulders and back, your tummy or your hips, for example. There are also routines designed to help you relax, warm up, improve your posture or remedy any recent over-indulgence. All in all, it's a pretty comprehensive system.
As you work out, it'll also tell you roughly how many calories you're burning, in the same way as EA Sports Active did. If you're trying to lose weight you'll know just how useful this can be. This calorie counter also proved EA Sports Active's downfall as it highlighted how relatively ineffective the game was at shedding pounds. In our review a while back we explained how that would be easier to forget if the mini-games were entertaining which, frankly, they weren't. Thankfully, this criticism can't be levelled at Wii Fit Plus.
There are 12 brand new mini-games on top of the 18 from the original. Some are better than others of course, but none of them are outright failures and most of them are great fun. Have a look at the panel on the opposite page for a more in-depth run down of how they all stack up, but our favourites were the bonkers Bird's-Eye Bull's-Eye, the Mario-esque Obstacle Course and the infuriatingly addictive Tilt City. On top of that, there are enhanced, hard-as-nails versions of the Table Tilt and Balance Bubble games from the original included too, both of which provide some genius post-pub entertainment, even if they don't really get you working up a sweat.