Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Wii Fit U

5:00 PM on 11.20.2013 // Matthew Razak

Moving forward one step at a time

When Wii Fit launched, it kicked off the fitness craze in gaming for better or worse. Soon the Nintendo innovation (much like many of its other innovations) was being duplicated and improved upon everywhere. As motion controls became prevalent on every system so did fitness games. Nintendo attempted to keep up with Wii Fit Plus, which took the now embarrassingly bare bones Wii Fit and at least let you piece together a work out. It didn't really push Wii Fit up to the level of the fitness games around it, though.

Part of this was, of course, the fact that Wii Fit's idea of fitness is a lot more relaxed -- it focuses on stretching, balance, and core instead of working up a sweat and toning your biceps into Popeye levels of muscularity. The other part, however, was the fact that the game, for all its mini-game fun, just wasn't that robust in its overall fitness features. Wii Fit U aims to change that. 

Wii Fit U (Wii U)
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 5, Ganbarion
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: November 1, 2013
MSRP: Free for one month ($19.99 for full game with Fit Meter)

Things are much improved from the previous Wii Fit iterations with more workouts, a dance mode, a personal trainer mode, improved games, more focus on mental fitness, GamePad incorporation, and the Fit Meter. That final object might come as a bit of a surprise to some who haven't been keeping track of Wii Fit U (or Dale's weekly updates), but the game incorporates a little doodad that tracks your daily movement like a Nike Fuel Band or a Jawbone Up. This alone is a sign at how much Nintendo was actually trying to push Wii Fit into a legitimate healthy lifestyle platform, but it definitely isn't the only sign considering just how much more robust Wii Fit U is. 

Of course, being more robust than something that could be used to define a lack of robustness doesn't actually make you truly robust so let's start with what's lacking: there aren't many new yoga or strength training exercises. Almost every one of these exercises is from the previous games so there will be very little shake up in your workout in that department. Thankfully, you can transfer your data from Wii Fit and thus not have to be locked into redoing all the beginner level stuff. For some reason it does occasionally make you go back through the workout explanation, but everything is skipable so it's never a pain. It will be familiar though. Other than a slight redesign to the trainers and the admittedly helpful highlight of targeted body parts almost all of the voice work and actions are exactly the same. Nintendo did almost no advancement in these sections.

That's probably because they were advancing almost every other part of the game. The most welcome addition if you're using the game for exercise or stretching is the Personal Trainer mode. Probably the biggest gap in the previous games was that they gave you a bunch of exercises and mini-games and then just basically told you to figure it out for yourself. Plus featured some structured exercise, but not much. Personal Trainer changes this, allowing you to choose the amount of calories you want to burn or the length of your exercise. Then, using the types of workouts you've told it you want, the system will put together a routine for you. The routines are always unique (or have been so far) and give you plenty of variety.  

Then there's the Fit Meter. This circular gadget clips onto your waist band and is really nothing more than a pedometer and altimeter. For 20 bucks, it isn't a very good one at that. You can easily fake it out by shaking the device back and forth to garner more steps and the altimeter seemed wonky at best. However, if you don't already have a nicer pedometer it will do the trick and even if it isn't the most accurate altimeter it is cool to see how far you've moved up and down. The data your Fit Meter collects can be imported to Wii Fit U and then your calories burned are tracked and you can see your activity graphed pretty nicely. More importantly, though, you can use your steps and gained height to unlock things!

Of course, as gamers, we all have the uncontrollable urge to unlock everything ever so it's a solid motivation to get moving or at least shake your Fit Meter back and forth quickly (cheater). You unlock these things through the Fit Meter Challenge, which has you walking famous distances (the Great Wall of China) and climbing famous objects (the Statue of Liberty) with the stats you import. Sadly, all you get to see are some crappy world map graphics as you do this despite the fact that Wii U has a really fantastic Google Maps built in that could have made the walks actually something interesting to do other than seeing your Mii hop around a map.

But maybe you aren't buying Wii Fit U for fitness. Maybe you're buying it to play games. Well, that's kind of dumb, but we'll run with it. There just aren't that many new mini-games this time around if you exclude the dancing portion. Notable letdowns are the rowing game, which as a rower, I can tell you officially sucks, and the luge game, which has you sitting the board and hurting your back and abs trying to steer. Highlights include a racquetball game that involves both movement and strategy and the surprisingly addicting trampoline game where all you do is time ever-higher jumps and lean back and forth to make sure you hit the center of the target. Seriously, it sounds idiotic, but you'll just keep on doing it until you actually jump off the board in excitement of landing your Mii dead center and the game kicks you out (that board is damn sensitive). 

The online aspects of Wii Fit U should also be mentioned even though their robustness is, well, it's on level with most of Nitnendo's online offerings. You can join Gyms, which are groups of Wii Fit U users. Doing this populates your screen with Miis in that group and you can check out their stats while also seeing the group's overall stats. You can also join one of the big national gyms or, if you have friends, create one of your own. It's possible to share every single detail of your workout on Miiverse pretty easily as well, which is actually a nice feature if you want to brag a bit. 

Since it is such a big new part of the game, the dancing modes should be mentioned, but they are almost relentlessly worthless to anyone who has played any other dance game on any other platform. While they do get more challenging as you unlock higher modes there's no licensed music, no dance moves you'll recognize, and very little in actual enjoyment or fitness to get out of them. At the sake of full disclosure I will admit to being a rhythm-less white nerd, but I've enjoyed other dancing games despite sucking at them completely so I can safely say it wasn't just my lack of ability to find a beat. On top of this, if you want to fully use the dance mode you'll need to have four controllers at the ready (Balance Board, 2 Wiimotes, GamePad). That's eight AA batteries!

So a major addition to the game just isn't that good, but it's OK because that really isn't the star of Wii Fit U. The new exercises, mini-games, and Fit Meter aren't either. The best thing about the game is its simplest new feature: the fact that you can do almost everything while watching TV.

Sure, this is easily achievable with a tablet, an app, and your television, but then you're cutting out the motion controls and balance board that make videogame fitness a different beast from an app. You can also use the GamePad as a camera in mirror mode. With this you set it up in its stand pointing at you and then you can see yourself (embarrassingly) on TV. While you might realize just how much of an idiot you look like it's particularly helpful for knowing if you're keeping your form correct.

In fact you could probably say that for almost every aspect of Wii Fit U Plus. There's almost always a better product out there that does one element of what this can do in a far superior manner, but nothing else that has the whole package. Considering that right now you can download the game for free and simply buy the Wii Fit U Fit Meter for $19.99, it's a pretty cheap package at that. Buying all the separate, but better, items that would do what Wii Fit U does would definitely start to run you up into hundreds of dollars.

Applying a score here is a little tough. If Wii Fit U gets you motivated, moving, and helps you lose weight then it's easily a 10 out of 10. That's the goal and if it works then it works. As the next game in the franchise, Wii Fit U definitely moves the series forward about a million steps, but it's a million steps that have already been taken elsewhere. Wii Fit U brings the series up to date as a fitness game, but doesn't push it any further.

Meanwhile Wii Fit U's mini-games are fun, but still suffer from being single-player/non-simultaneous multiplayer and there just isn't that much new stuff. If you're looking for something that will keep you motivated and get you moving, it could definitely work and the Fit Meter is an extra level of motivation, but if Wii Fit didn't do it before then I'm not sure it will work for you now. The good part is that the game is free until the end of the month so you can find out for yourself. 



Wii Fit U - Reviewed by Matthew Razak
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Matthew Razak, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Monday reviews aren't on Monday. It's old school, trust me. OK, so I've been and editor for a while now. I probably should fill this part in a bit more fully. I've been here a while. In most a... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Wii Fit U

  Nov 09

Wii Fit U weekly weigh-in: Week 1

In worse shape than I thought

  Sep 18

Wii Fit U will come with a free trial month

You can buy a Fit Meter for $20 to keep it after that

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
Matheus Railane avatarMatheus Railane
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I was just playing Skyrim and wondered if anyone has come up with Fallout 3/New Vegas weapon mods for Skyrim? Fighting dragons with assault weapons sounds almost necessary. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just bought Fallout: New Vegas. Throw me the best mods there are that AREN'T Total Conversion mods. So now Who Vegas - yet.
Parismio avatarParismio
Oh this Undertale summaration flipnote is so good:
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
For an early Christmas present I got my girlfriend Wooly World to go with our new Wii U. I've gotten more joy out of how adorable all the character designs are than I'd like to admit.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Dtoiders ! Steam just destroyed my wallet ! Share here what you bought in this sale !
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
And so I purchased not just Hyper Dimension Neptunia, but also its sequel and Grim Fandango Remastered in the Steam Sale, and it isn't even the end of the first day. God damnit. At least refunds are thing a now.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -