Wii Fit U review
Do you even lift, bro? If the answer to that is “no,” and you've got big bones and a crummy metabolism, get ready for your Balance Board to call you names “overweight” and “obese.
” It’s not trying to make you feel bad, though, as its jeers come with advice as well as a whole lot of fitness games and activities to help you get you in whichever shape you'd .
Getting fit takes hard work, of course, but Wii Fit U provides some great new tools for dropping pounds and proving that mean old Balance Board wrong.
Wii Fit U starts you off by having you take a fitness test that provides you with a BMI score and an overall assessment of your current fitness level.
You’ll receive a Wii Fit age and an approximation of what you need to work on, but because the game still only takes into account your height and weight (and not muscle mass, bone structure, and other factors), it’s not very accurate, nor should it make you feel too bad.
It’s as precise a measurement as you’re going to get without getting naked and having cold calipers squeezing your love handles.
your results, the game recommends goals for you to work towards. If you think they’re too extreme, you can always adjust them to your liking. And that’s the best thing about Wii Fit U: You always have total control over how you use it. Say you want to work on routines to improve your vitality or increase your cardiovascular system.
You can play a bunch of fast-paced minigames that will increase your heart rate, or you can go for a jog on your Balance Board. If you’re new to working out, you’ll appreciate the relaxed approach to fitness, as it doesn’t intimidate you with routines but still makes you aware of your progress.
Best of all, Wii Fit U makes exercising genuinely enjoyable.
Most of its minigames may look familiar, but the addition of a dancing mode and a handful of GamePad games add a lot of variety to your workouts–if you have two Wii MotionPlus controllers lying around.
You’re going to look ridiculous shaking your hips playing Super Hula Hoop, but you’ll feel it in your abs the next day. Play Desert Course, and you’ll feel the burn in your calves while running in place and keeping the GamePad steady in your hands.
While the games are a bit childish and silly, you’re still exercising your body, making them not only fun but viable ways to work out.
Despite its effective structure, Wii Fit U feels more an expansion than a direct sequel. It even goes so far as to incorporate all of the same techniques from its past games without introducing new yoga poses or strength exercises.
You can even import your data from your old Wii, making the lack of new content even more obvious. This is fine for newcomers. For others, though, you get stuff you already mastered instead of being rewarded with more advanced techniques.
If you want more yoga in your life or additional strength-training exercises, you’re better off hitting the gym or mimicking yoga routines from .
Not everything is the same, however, and Wii Fit U does include a few notable additions that make it superior to its predecessor. For instance, the revamped Personal Trainer mode now lets you customize your workout plan by duration or calories burned, letting the game come up with different activities that keep things fresh each time you start a routine.
The GamePad also makes it even easier to work out since you no longer need to strain your neck looking at the TV while in the middle of, say, a triangle pose. You can also turn the GamePad into a mirror and have it record your movement to see what you look compared to your instructor.
And thanks to the additional screen, you can work out and indulge your inner slacker by watching TV at the same time.
The Fit Meter further enhances your fitness regimen by keeping track of how many calories you burn when engaging with the game.
Sure, the meter is just a cute little pedometer with your Mii’s face on it, but it sends that information over to your game and adds it your daily records.
You can also challenge yourself to traverse the distance of famous cities or climb notable landmarks, which turns the mundane act of walking into in-game achievements.
Feeling more an afterthought, however, is Wii Fit U’s online features. In short, they let you join communities to see other players working towards the same goals.
This could have easily been used to add some competitiveness to your workouts–letting you challenge other players to meet certain goals or burn X number of calories.
Instead, all you get are useless Miis that populate your games and talk about how much fat they've burned.
Part of Wii Fit U may feel more an expansion than a sequel, but the addition of new games, GamePad support, and even the Fit Meter expand the core regimen and provide a more complete workout experience.
Its continued relaxed approach to fitness makes it not only approachable to couch potatoes, but it also provides enough challenge and insight to make gym bunnies break out in a sweat.
Whether you own a Balance Board or not, you owe it to yourself (and your body) to give Wii Fit U a try.
If you're interested in losing weight, Wii Fit U is definitely worth your time. Fans of the original Wii Fit will definitely notice some overlapping content, but it brings enough new to the table to, if nothing else, get you active and moving in your living room.
Wii Fit U Review – IGN
Wii Fit U is a great way to fit in your daily dose of exercise, but you might have to put up with a few verbal jabs first.
In its judgmental eyes, for example, it said I’m obese my body mass index, and balance is “not my forte.” Thankfully, it doesn’t just leave you there to wallow in bad news.
Wii Fit U has a huge variety of exercises to get your heart going, with only a few underdeveloped ideas tagging along as extra weight.
The first thing Wii Fit U has you do is take a “body test,” in which you enter your age, height, and other information, and then you are weighed and subjected to a balance test.
All of this is simple, quick, and fun, but the Balance Board can be highly inaccurate at times. This wouldn’t be problem if you could choose to redo the tests or try them out with a practice run first, but neither is an option.
Still, the Balance Board was able to collect accurate measurements most of the time.
After your test, Wii Fit U recommends a proper BMI for you to reach. This ends up feeling limited because while your BMI is important, so is your body composition, which the Wii U has no way of measuring.
If you feel that goal is too demanding, or inversely, not demanding enough, you can tweak the weight gain/loss goal and the amount of time in which you want to reach it.
The talking balance board character on screen is helpful when setting your goals, and it will make a point to tell you if your workout regimen is too extreme. This is great because unrealistic fitness goals won’t help your motivation.
Also, after your first test, Wii Fit U takes a picture of your face using the GamePad. Seeing your numbers improve is satisfying, but noticing improvement in before and after pictures is a tangible reward almost as satisfying as being able to tighten your belt a notch.
Considering Wii Fit U’s cutesy interface, it might convince you that it can’t give you a good workout. The truth is that there are dozens of exercises for a huge range of fitness levels. Some are simple and might only elevate your pulse slightly.
Stepping up onto the balance board in a Guitar Hero- mini-game isn’t very difficult; neither are some of the beginner yoga stretches. But some, planking or jackknifes, will have you reaching for a water bottle. Special mention goes to some of the sillier games that won’t burn many calories, but are good breaks between more rigorous sets.
Holding the gamepad flat and delivering food to customers is a fun, simple exercise that tests your balance and speed, for example.
When you go to select exercises, it feels a random adventure at first. After completing one, Wii Fit U will suggests two others to pick from – usually one for cardio and one for stretching or flexibility. It can feel a little unfocused and unhelpful, especially if you’re hoping to work up a good sweat.
However, to counter this, it does have the option to schedule your own routines, which takes all the guesswork a daily workout. Scheduling them is simple, and you can make different lineups for different days that focus on yoga, strength training, flexibility, or other fitness goals.
Once you figure out what you want to do and how long you want to do it, it’s as simple as getting on the board every day and following along.
If you aren’t yet ready to create your own fitness plan, which is a reasonable position to be in, the virtual personal trainers offer a variety of fitness plans to select from.
One, for example, is meant to boost your energy in the morning. One is a light, nighttime workout. The selection is almost too big, as some of them feel nearly identical.
I would have preferred to see about half as many options, each with a distinctly different feel.
When it’s time to weigh in with a new body test after some exercise, Wii Fit U can have some troubles. After a few days of work, the board read that I had lost over 200 pounds, which means I weighed about as much as a small dog. You can always do another body test, but it’s frustrating that you can’t just redo the readings mid-test instead.
Wii Fit U doesn’t require you to use its portable step counter, but doing so is a great way to help keep yourself accountable.
The meter records steps taken, and when you’re back on the board you can transfer your data into the system and keep track of calories burned throughout the day.
You can also see your steps visually represented in a few ways, how far up a famous mountain you’ve managed to walk. This takes an activity as simple and forgettable as walking and turns it into something exciting, which is a great success.
One of the best ways to reach your fitness goals is to work out with friends who will push you to keep going. Wii Fit U offers the ability to join a virtual gym with your friends, but it’s woefully incompetent.
Competing with friends in mini-games could be fun, but you have to dig to find everyone else’s scores.
There’s no easy way to see who has done what, who’s beating you at the hula-hoop game, or who’s even a part of your gym.
Wii Fit U review: Some assembly required
If you've used Wii Fit before, Wii Fit U will be very, very familiar. With the exception of a few new activities and exercises, it is largely the same product as the original Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus, featuring many of the same activities.
Most of the activities require the Wii Balance Board, which is essentially a smart, electronic fitness step. While standing on the Balance Board, for example, leaning to the right may cause your Mii to move in that direction. In others, running in place will make your Mii jog forward.
Wii Fit U can also make use of the new Fit Meter, a pedometer- device that measures the calories you burn throughout the day. The next time you boot up Wii Fit U, you can transfer this data via the GamePad's IR sensor, allowing you to track your daily activity away from your Wii U.
Both the Balance Board and Fit Meter are available via Wii Fit U bundles, in case you don't already have them. Oh, and fair warning: In order to try every available activity, you will need at least two MotionPlus compatible Wii Remotes.
The activities in Wii Fit U are headlined by a new area of exercise: dance. By stepping to the rhythm on and off of the Balance Board, you can try your hand at everything from hip-hop to flamenco.
I'll admit to having some stupid fun trying to pop and lock, but it rarely felt real exercise. Since you have to follow along with a cartoonish Mii instructor, it doesn't feel a real dance lesson, either.
It can be entertaining, but it's not exactly Sweatin' to the Oldies.
There are a handful of new balance games to try, requiring you to carefully control your body while standing on the Balance Board. Most of these, however, feel more Wii U proof-of-concept mini-game rejects than anything resembling exercise. Hosedown, for example, has you spraying oncoming hordes of muddy Miis with a fire hose. You aim with the GamePad, stepping one foot onto the Balance Board to turn on the water. If there's any kind of fitness benefit to Hosedown, I can't tell you what it is. You have to stand to play it, I suppose.
Somewhat more taxing is Ultimate Obstacle Course. The object is to guide your Mii safely through a gauntlet of giant metal balls, bottomless pits and rolling logs. Played from a third-person perspective, running in place on the Balance Board sends you forward. Turning your body side to side while running will change the Mii's direction, while quickly flexing your legs causes him to jump forward. At least, that's how it's supposed to work. Wii Fit U frequently failed to recognize that I was turning, forcing me to run dead on into an obstacle. Other times my Mii would turn too much, sending him flying off the side of the course. Eventually, I discovered that Wii Fit U does a better job of interpreting smaller movements, but even then it didn't feel intuitive.Aerobic activities edge closer to real exercise. The new Rowing Crew game will definitely work your stomach, as you sit on the Balance Board, leaning back and forth while pretending to paddle a boat with two Wii Remotes. The Hula Hoop is back, and swiveling your hips is still very tiring (and humiliating, should anyone see you). Most of the other aerobic activities center on stepping on and off the Balance Board or running in place, which is still no replacement for a treadmill or, even better, actual running.Yoga and strength training return, ditching silly Miis for realistic, human instructors. These have been given a graphical facelift, though they remain lily-white homunculi and have a habit of repeating their encouragements, often within seconds of uttering them. There's no faulting the actual exercises though. Lunges, reaches, Sun Salutations and squats stretch and burn just they should, and planks are still the greatest evil ever inflicted upon the world, even if they are great for your abs.Wii Fit U adds the new Mirror Mode to these exercises (and some of the other activities), allowing you to beam a video feed of yourself onto the TV using the GamePad's camera. It's a handy way to check your form, or to see how ridiculous you look (see above paragraph RE: popping and locking).
The “serious” exercises in Wii Fit U are worthwhile, and even the mild aerobic activity of dancing or running in place is better than no activity at all, but it all suffers from a lack of organization. Specifically, Wii Fit U offers no options for a long-term workout plan.
You can select from several different routines, which bundle together a few exercises around a specific theme (toning a specific body part, improving your balance, etc), but these only last for a few minutes. You can also try the Personal Trainer, which lets you specify how many calories you'd to burn, or how long you'd to exercise.
Wii Fit U will then automatically generate a series of exercises, which you can fine-tune to specific types and intensities. You can also craft and save custom routines.
If you're looking for guidance, however, you won't find much. One of the first things you'll do when firing up Wii Fit U is to set a goal and choose a time frame in which to reach it. In my case, Wii Fit U suggested losing a few pounds to reach a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index), and I gave myself two weeks to do it.
And that's it. After that, you're just told to start trying out exercises and games. Wii Fit U will occasionally chime in with fitness tips or health facts, but if you want a daily workout plan, you're going to have to come up with it yourself.
Wii Fit U has the tools to create such routines, which makes it all the more surprising that there are no built-in, long-term workout plans. You can set up long-term weight loss goals, but it's up to you to figure out how to reach them. (As an aside, I'm not a huge fan of BMI as a measure of overall health.
It works fine as a point of reference for progress, but I would suggest consulting a professional regarding personal goals.)
And that's the one thing that truly keeps Wii Fit U from feeling a “real” fitness product. Even a cheap workout DVD offers enough guidance to tell users how often to exercise and which routines they should perform. Sure, if you're knowledgeable about fitness, you can come up with your own plan, but then you're probably not the sort of person looking for s a fitness game in the first place. Furthermore, I can't speak for everyone, but those who are serious about fitness may be turned off by the cutesy elements of Wii Fit U's presentation.
If your goal is simply to be more active, of if you're just starting to dabble in dedicated personal fitness, Wii Fit U will probably fit the bill. If you're willing to put in the legwork to create a regular regimen and stick with it, you can definitely get a good workout. Anyone seeking detailed fitness guidance and structure should look elsewhere.
This review is an eShop download Wii Fit U, provided by Nintendo.
Joystiq's review scores are a scale of whether the game in question is worth your time — a five-star being a definitive “yes,” and a one-star being a definitive “no.” Read here for more information on our ratings guidelines.
Wii Fit U (for Nintendo Wii U) Review
The Wii Balance Board was a running joke among gamers who saw the big, flat plastic rectangle and the Wii Fit game it came with as an example of the worst motion control had to offer. When Nintendo not only announced a Wii U($929.
00 at Amazon) sequel, but revealed that the non-character “Wii Fit Trainer” would be a fighter in the next Super Smash Bros., most gamers, including me, were skeptical. Well, it's amazing what a pedometer, a second screen thanks to the Wii U Gamepad, and a lot of variety can do for a game.
Wii Fit U isn't a joke, and the Wii Balance Board is finally getting the dust kicked off of it thanks to this new game. It's engaging, encouraging, and sometimes actually fun, and at $19.
99 for the game and the Fit Meter pedometer (after a free 30-day trial of the game itself, as part of a promotion that will last through the end of January 2014) it's one of the Wii U's best buys. The non-promotional price is $59.
99 (list) for the retail disc version, which isn't nearly as appealing a deal. It doesn't say much for the system that it's seeing more use as a fitness tool than a game console, but it could be what you've been looking for to pick up that big gamepad and put out your Wii Balance Board again.
The Fit Meter
Besides the Wii Balance Board, which is necessary for Wii Fit U, you need to purchase a Fit Meter or you can only use the software for 30 days.
It's a round pedometer that feels almost identical to the Poke-Walker pedometer Nintendo released with Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver for the DS, but black and silver instead of Pokeball red and white. It has three buttons and a large monochrome LCD screen, looking and feeling a digital pet instead of a pedometer.
However, it's surprisingly useful as part of your Wii Fit U routine. It combines a pedometer, pseudo-altimeter (it senses when you step up and down to determine if you climb stairs), thermometer, and watch into one tiny device you clip to your waist.
Every time you start Wii Fit U, you can sync the data on the Fit Meter with the game by pointing the top of the device at the Wii U Gamepad's infrared port and holding the middle button down.
This sends your activity history to the game, which shows it in several charts. You can see when you were walking, running, jogging, or just performing some activity, in a color-coded timeline.
Once synced, you can transfer your distance and altitude progress to Fit Meter Challenges, which compares your walks and climbs to different lengths and heights, walking around New York City or climbing the Eiffel Tower.
Each time you sync your data, you can see how much of each route or climb you made, and get a comparison of the distance you moved with some interesting factoid, lengths of football fields.
You're supposed to take off the Fit Meter when you use Wii Fit U directly, since the Balance Board and the game itself tracks your activity.
You can perform a daily Body Test when you play Wii Fit U. This measures your balance and BMI, and has optional additional tests to determine your Wii Fit Age (if you're healthier or less healthy than you should be at your age).
The game can show your BMI or weight, but it doesn't take body type into account. I'm overweight and broad shouldered, but the ideal weight it suggested for me was less than 160 pounds, when with my build 200 pounds would be very fit.
The body test offers a good frame of reference for your progress, but don't look at it as a real BMI or weight test; the weight the Balance Board measured was several pounds off.
Instead of seeing your progress as hard numbers, watch the graph it shows you to see if it's generally measuring an increase or decrease in weight.
Wii Fit U offers two trainers, a male and a female, to guide you through your workout. They sound friendly and encouraging without being cloying, and offer verbal tips to keep your exercises on-track.
Besides their tips, you can perform many exercises in Mirror Mode with your Wii U Gamepad, which uses the built-in camera to show you what you look next to the trainer's example.
Wii Fit U is chock full of activities, ranging from yoga to repetitive exercises to active mini-games. Different activities might require different accessories, the Balance Board or one or two Wii Remote Plus controllers, often combining for particularly complex and active exercises.
If you don't have a Wii Remote Plus, you can filter the activities by which accessories they use and only select from ones that use the Balance Board.
You can also have the game generate entire lists of exercises and a full workout how long you want to exercise or how many calories you want to burn.
Wii Fit U offers two trainers, a male and a female, to guide you through your workout.
They sound friendly and encouraging without being cloying, and offer verbal tips to keep your exercises on-track.
Besides their tips, you can perform many exercises in Mirror Mode with your Wii U Gamepad, which uses the built-in camera to show you what you look next to the trainer's example.
I can't tell how accurate the Balance Board or Fit Meter are compared to actual scales and pedometers, but they combine with Wii Fit U to give you a good sense of how active you are and how your progress is over time.
Wii Fit U isn't a particularly comprehensive or scientific exercise tool and it can't replace a gym and a trainer, but it offers so much variety, activity, guidance, and encouragement that it will keep you moving when you'd otherwise sit on the couch.
I've incorporated yoga and other exercises into my personal workout plan, and Wii Fit U's Body Test has had me tracking myself daily. On days when I don't go to the gym, I feel much better after booting up Wii Fit U and doing some exercises or mini-games for 10 or 20 minutes to stay active.
Don't look at it as a health plan or a workout regimen, but as a fun, easy tool you can add to anything you're already doing.
If you can find a Balance Board for cheap, Wii Fit U can give it the purpose as an encouraging fitness tool that Wii Fit didn't quite do, and it makes the Wii U Gamepad seem more useful than otherwise, to boot.