I’ve always felt that Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus were both underrated titles for the Wii that actually did a decent job of getting you in shape, assuming you kept at it and didn’t lose motivation. But while both had the potential of getting the job done, there was something missing, something that kept me in particular, from wanting to come back often. However, as it turns out, Nintendo has filled that void with Wii Fit U, which encourages you to come back often and not only rewards you but also forces you to care.
Wii Fit U, still utilizes the Wii Balance Board, while Wii remotes can also be used for certain activities, but perhaps what is most important to this title, is the inclusion of the Fit Meter. Now the Fit Meter tracks your progress, which includes steps taken, calories burned and it even takes into account any changes in elevation. After taking the Fit Meter around with you during the day, you then get to sync it to the GamePad by pressing a button and facing it towards the IR blaster of the controller. Once it’s synced, your data is then shown in Wii Fit U, which updates your stats screen. However, there are other fun incentives, such as the Walking Challenges and Altitude Challenges. The Walking Challenges take into account how far you’ve walked and then it shows you how far you’ve walked in relation to a city, such as New York City and London. As you finish each challenge, you’ll be rewarded with unlocks such as new outfits. The Altitude Challenges do the same thing, only it calculates your how high you’ve climbed in relation to things such as the pyramids in Egypt.
With the ability to sync my data every day, I found the Fit Meter to really be encouraging and motivational at the same time. As someone who owns a Fitbit One, I also compared my stats with it and the Fit Meter, and found the step calculator and calorie burn to be pretty close to each other which I was happy about. And while the Fit Meter was enough of a reason for me to want to check in every day, there are other motivational features that Wii Fit U brings to the table. There are now online Gym Communities for you to join, which shares your profile information with other friends and family, be it a private community or a public one. You’ll be able to compare achievements, stats and activities and you can also share updates or encourage other friends using Miiverse.
Sifting through the main menu, you’ll come across individual workouts, training games, and also the personal trainer and workout routines. With the personal trainer, you can customize your workout routines based on goals and suggestions. Players will come across over 70 activities in all, which include 19 new activities and the new Dance mode. With Dance mode, you’ll literally get to dance using a variety of styles with multiple difficulty levels that will have you burning calories in no time. I also dug the many games that the Wii Fit U included, and a handful of them make use of both the TV and the Gamepad to provide a dual-screen experience, such as the trampoline workout that we’ve all seen in preview events. What I also came across was the ability to do select activities using the controller’s screen, which was great when someone else wanted to watch TV. Even if I didn’t want to workout off-TV, I could use the Gamepad’s screen to watch how I was doing using the built-in camera.
While I did come across some minor issues such as not getting my Mii character to walk in the exact direction I was trying to go, specifically during obstacles courses, I did manage to improve upon the movements, the more I played, though it could still be a tad frustrating.
For those who have played Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus, you’ll be happy to know that you can transfer your previously saved data over to Wii Fit U, which was a pleasant surprise when I noticed that I already had some records and rankings on a few games and activities.
All in all, I’ve been enjoying my time with Wii Fit U, and since you can also pick up another Fit Meter and compare stats with friends and family, there are plenty of reasons to compete with others. Even if there is no one else at home who wants to work out, the inclusion of the online communities is a great addition and one that will keep me coming back for more.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5