Wii Fit Plus
The Wii Fit 'Plus' is possibly best described as a software upgrade as opposed to a sequel to the original Wii Fit. It incorporates all of the same features and workouts from the original but also now provides six new fitness activities, (including yoga and specialized workouts for muscle toning), 15 new balance games, (including Mario brothers and pilot wings) and even a feature 'Pet Fit Plus' which allows your dog or cat to be weighed on the scales and keep track of their fitness via a special in-game profile! The game visuals and processes are similar to its predecessor, with players initially stepping onto the Wii Balance Board, which tests their sense of balance, weighs them and then gives them a Wii Fitness Age.
The various games and exercises are categorised under four main headings: Yoga, muscle workouts, aerobic exercises and balance games, as well as the new 'training plus' section that provides games that promote 'body and mind co-ordination. One development that is particularly useful is the option of compiling exercises to create your own specialised workout, designed to target particular body parts or to last specific durations of time. Alternatively, individuals can pick from the ready-made specialised routines that come with the Wii Fit plus.
Some of the new games include:
- Perfect 10 - this is a game where you use your hips to hit numbers in which to reach a total. This is good fun and tests your body and mind co-ordination
- Rhythm Kung Fu - this is similar to the Rhythm Boxing except is has been suggested to be more difficult!
- Cycling - this is done by walking on the balance board and steering with the Wii Remote to collect flags.
- Driving Range - this is done by standing on your Wii balance board sideways and swinging the Wii remote like a golf club
- Segway Circuit - this game has had excellent reviews with vast enjoyment gained from racing around popping beach balls!
- Bird's-eye Bull's-eye - this involves an individual flapping their arms like a madman to fly around with the aim to landing on specific targets to gain points. A real fun one for the whole family!
- Obstacle Course - this is another game specifically designed with the aim of improving 'body and mind co-ordination' and it feels like you are running around a Mario level!
- Tilt City - this game involves you guiding coloured balls by tilting your Wii remote and your weight on the balance board towards their matching colour pipe. By matching the colour balls with the same colour pipe sets off a firework.
- Big Top Juggling - this is a challenging rhythm and balance game.
- Skateboard Arena - this game has received good reviews for its jumps and stunts.
- Table Tilt Plus - this is a progression from the original and a good challenge even for those that have mastered the first one.
- Snowball Fight - this game is self-explanatory and will test your reactions and throwing skills.
- Jogging Plus - this is the progression from the original Wii jogging and has new routes to un-lock and observation skill demands!
Adaptability - the customization options allow individuals to cater for their needs much more effectively than before.
Motivational - with the increased options the Wii Fit plus offers, it seems likely that all members of the family will be able to get enjoyment from this gaming package.
Potentially irritating music - the background 'elevator-style' music my start to get on people's nerves!
The detail could be counterproductive - the comprehensive approach of Wii Fit Plus to provide direct food product comparisons to the amount of calories burned could be disheartening as 40 minutes of jumping around only equates to one avocado or a plain waffle!
Inadequate preparation - the package provides some strong yoga poses and stretches but the preparation aspect is inadequate to prepare an individual's body for what is required to prevent injury and there are already reports of muscle pulls / strains. Ensure you are warmed up effectively before taking on lunge work!!
BMI reliance - Wii Fit Plus, similar to its predecessor, uses BMI (body mass Index) to judge how much weight each user needs to lose. Although it provides a measurable figure there is still strong criticism from health experts and personal trainers alike about its use due to its unreliability and inaccuracies.
Overall, it appears Wii Fit Plus is likely to be as successful as the original was and although not a replacement to real exercise, it certainly has the components capable of helping people reduce their weight. In addition, the social interaction derived from the multi-player options with these new games will promote video gaming enjoyment for all the family.
Clark, M.A, Lucett, S.C and Corn, R.J. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2007.