As an on-again, off-again workout fanatic, I am one of those gamers who actually enjoy playing motion games like Wii Fit. Sure, there are many ways to cheat with motion controls like the Wii Remote and the PlayStation Move, but true enthusiasts can get a lot of the fun, sometimes silly, but generally effective workouts designed into the activities. So when I sat down with Nintendo recently to preview the Wii Fit U, I had a lot of fun checking out their new content and new ways to connect to the Wii Fit online community, with the introduction of the Fit Meter.
I can’t dress the Fit Meter as anything more than what it is–Nintendo’s equivalent of a fitness pedometer. But where it excels in concept is keeping you connected to the Nintendo online community, so that you can use the Wii Fit U to track your goals, compare results, and push yourself even more than ever before with fun, new games. For example, the Wii Fit U offers both walking and altitude challenges that gamers can partake in on-the-go, including the “Grand Canyon,” which involves a cumulative 7,257 ft worth of climbing stairs.
With all of the activities present in Wii Fit, plus an additional 19 activities being introduced, the Wii Fit U seeks to offer diversity to keep both your body and your attention engaged. The first activity we saw was the Core Luge, which tasked players with sitting on the Wii Fit Balance Board with their legs raised, using only their core muscles (mostly the abs) to maintain balance. Doing so correctly and turning when directed let players speed down courses, with your completed time a key component of the score.
The second game we saw was Trampoline Target, which required players to do squat down and then shoot up, back straight and balance maintained, to launch their Mii straight into the air. Each successive jump, timed squats and centered balance rocketed the Mii higher and higher, which, while we were unfortunately unable to witness it, we were promised could take your Mii high enough to view UFOs. I don’t know about you, but what better fitness goal is there than to do well enough that I can get my own personal close encounter?
The Wii U’s outward facing camera has also been incorporated into workouts, allowing players to initiate a Mirror Mode which splits the screen between you and your trainer for instant comparison and feedback. The Wii U’s gamepad has been used for the more private fitness enthusiast, who may be a little shy or embarrassed about their BMI (body-mass index) or so-called “body age.” But when you’re playing fitness games on the Wii U, what’s to be embarrassed about? It’s all fun, and we certainly had quite a laugh with the activities we tried or watched during the demo.
Wii Fit U will be arriving soon to the Wii U, coming to the platform as a trial in the eShop on November 1st, along with a special promotion. On November 1st, gamers can download the game for free for up to 30 days, a trial which offers the full content, not just a locked and half-hearted demo. If gamers purchase the Fit Meter for $19.99 they will be able to keep the game for free, saving them $40 on the Wii Fit U package that comes to stores on December 13th with the Fit Meter for $60.
For more on the game, check out the Wii Fit U Direct video below.