Since the beginning of time, man has had the trouble of having to choose between playing video games or exercising. Thanks to Wii Fit Plus, the world can now have their cake and sweat it off!

An upgrade to the 2008 original, Wii Fit Plus is the type of video game/exercise routine that make you feel the burn and enjoy it all at once. Players have the ability to choose their style of exercising, as well as mixing and matching. There are five different categories of exercises: Yoga (which tones the muscles & improves structure), Strength Training (builds & tones muscles), Aerobics (tones body), Balance Games (improves, that's right, balance) and Training Plus (a mixture of all four exercises). The key phrase for this game is "baby steps." If you are not used to these sorts of exercises (or haven't tried out the previous Wii Fit), then it is best that you start with the easier exercises and work your way up. However if you are a strength master or are extraordinary in yoga and balance then you may have an easier time with these exercises.

Yoga ranges from the easy stuff like breathing properly and Warrior poses to Spine Extensions and the Gate pose.  These exercises not only help you with your balance, but also with properly helping your body structure and strengthening your muscles. However those who are new to yoga may have issue with a majority of the yoga poses given, so beginners will have to strugle with the challenge of doing them right. The Strength Exercises showcase a large range of training routines such as Jack-knifes and Lunges, as well as exercises that work on your triceps and various other muscles. Some require the Balance Board, while others need just the Wiimote (though you do need the Balance Board to use Wii Fit Plus).

Aerobics range from Basic and Free Runs (which you run in place with the Wiimote in your pocket) to Step Exercises and Hula Hoop. The latter requires you to spin your hips as if you actually have a Hula Hoop around your waist, which makes me wonder how one would do if they actually did this exercise with the real thing. It reads your hip movements almost to a key, and trying to stretch left or right to catch more hoops adds more of a challenge to it. What's good about the Run exercises is that you can choose to either go at your own pace in Free Run, or you can catch up to a CPU Mii and run from a Beginner's stance or try the full Island Run.  You can even bring a friend into it in 2P Run and play catchup with one another.

Balance Exercises include a wide range of various types of games, including Ski Jump, Table Tilt (which involves using both balance and concentration to get the multi-colored balls into the holes) and Lotus Focus, where a player must sit perfectly still for three minutes straight. Lotus Focus is one of the most difficult programs to do, as the board will read every single move on your body. I don't know how it read it, but I lost when I was trying to squint off a sweat drop hanging from my eyelash. However I will say I recommend the Lotus Focus for when one really needs to calm down, or use it as a part of the workout cool-down.

New to the fitness game is Training Plus. Here there are some games that mix and match the four main forms of exercises to make your muscles and mind work. Games like Bird's-Eye Bulls-Eye and Tilt City make you use your arms and mind, whereas Segway Circuit and Island Cycling make you use your hips and hands to steer and earn more points. Exercises like Rhythm Kung-Fu and Rhythm Parade make use of concentration and mirroring skills with your hands and feet, and give a much-better workout than the regular Step Games. Out of all of them the best and most difficult is the Obstacle Course. Here you need to run, jump and evade traps to get through the various levels of the Course. At times it gets a bit frustrating if the board doesn't read the "jumps" (you actually bend and stand up straight quickly to do that), but other than that the Obstacle Course brings forth one of the best challenges in Wii Fit Plus.

To help mix-and-match the exercises is the My Wii Fit Plus feature, which has sets of three exercises that focus on either a certain part of the body or helps to relax and sleep better. Players can even create their own exercise routines in My Routine, or just combine a few of the routines from the already-created routines to make a good long workout. Wii Fit Plus also counts the approximate number of calories you've lost during the day's exercise routines, as well as compare the number of calories to a type of food. (This is where I learned that a 5 oz. bag of cashews was more fattening than a double-cheeseburger. Could've fooled me!)

Like in the previous Wii Fit the Balance Board can read your weight and balance through the Body Test, and then through that match up what your BMI is and should be. It can also figure out what your Wii Fit age is through a range of brain and balance exercises. This is the only thing that I can rightfully complain about. I'm good with my intelligence, but my balance is a bit off-whack. Because of this my Wii Fit age one day will be in the mid-40s, and the next it could be in the lower-20s. Despite this flaw the Body Test manages to keep making you reach toward your goal to a fit body.

So does Wii Fit Plus give players a healthy workout and a good replacement for hitting the gym? Well...yes and no. While the games and exercises do give players a great workout Wii Fit Plus still encourages people to go out and workout outside of the video game. However if you have very little time to spare (like me, for example) then Wii Fit Plus will give you just enough of a workout to keep you in shape.

PROS:

  • Great workout routines and fun games to keep you in shape
  • Near-accurate calorie and weight readings
  • Will make you sweat in the right places

CONS:

  • Doesn't read all the jumps
  • Wii Fit age meter can be off at times
  • No easy yoga exercises for beginners

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Wii Fit Plus succeeds in many ways, and it works. Players will feel the affects of these exercises and games as soon as their done, and for a couple days after that. Plus they're a lot of fun, and can teach people of all ages how to have a good healthy body.

FINAL GRADE: 9.7 (out of 10)

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