I've played the first two Wii Fit games, and I had been surprised at how much I enjoyed the second game, Wii Fit Plus. That game expanded on the core concept by adding mini-games that focused on the combination of the Wii remote with the balance board. Despite a number of features, the Wii U follow-up, Wii Fit U proved to be as uncreative as its title and the least satisfying of the three.
Wii Fit U is enjoyable enough for newcomers, but as someone who plays mostly for the mini-games, the additions here were pretty humdrum. There are some new mini-games that use the GamePad, but not in any mind-blowing way. There are a slew of new activities based around dancing, but those are all fairly basic and not much fun, and they require two Wii remote plus controllers. Strapping both of them on always makes me feel a bit like the Terminator. :p The biggest annoyance comes from switching between activities which requires you to juggle Wii remotes and the GamePad, and ends up feeling overly fiddly. It would've been helpful for the game to give you an option to automatically reorder your workout to minimize the number of peripherals you have to switch between. The first two games only ever made you use one Wii remote and feel much more streamlined in comparison.
One of the other new features centers around the new "fit meter". Nintendo had a good promotion going when the game launched that I jumped on, where you could get a free download of the game by buying a fit meter. As probably one of the few people who actually bought and played Personal Trainer: Walking, the novelty of the fit meter was somewhat lost on me. The way Wii Fit U tracks your step progress is similar, although it includes an altimeter and so it also has the ability to track the distance you've climbed. My regular IRL environment isn't hilly at all, so making progress on that side is a lot harder, but I've been wearing my fit meter religiously since I got it a year and a half ago so I guess that's saying something. (Also, it survived being dropped into the toilet (not to mention, dropped on the floor numerous times), so kudos to Nintendo for creating a sturdy product!)
The camera in the GamePad can also be used as a mirror to help you correct your form in the various exercises, which is mildly useful, and also provides a screen for off-TV play. The off-TV features are so limited that I ended up not having much use for them, though. The Miiverse features are also fairly humdrum. You can join virtual communities in the form of "gyms" and compare your recent high scores to others, but there's really not much to it (incidentally, I joined the gym of the popular Nintendo news site gonintendo.com (ID: 8552-2399-0285), but there have been very few fellow Wii Fit U players in that group).
It's somewhat disappointing that they cut out so many games from the previous iteration for no obvious reason. There are some nice "extra" modes of several familiar exercises, such as the soccer heading game, and some cute unlockable outfits. All in all, though, this was an inevitable and good-but-not-great addition to the series.
Juggle these Wii Fit U links:
- Official site
- Awesome parody video that pokes fun at the strained E3 trailer
- List of unlockables
- Amusing comparison to the Pokewalker, on Reddit
- Review at NintendoLife
- Entry at Wikipedia