The lights are on
Nintendo isn’t ready to abandon the Wii Balance Board just yet as it moves into its next console.
Wii Fit U doesn’t feel too far removed from the standard set by Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. I wasn’t able to delve into the weight stat tracking of the game for obvious reasons, but I was able to play a few of the minigames on hand.
The first game had me jumping on a trampoline with the Wii U tablet controller placed down by my feet. Basically, you make a jump motion with your legs without removing your feet from the board, repeating the motion as your avatar falls back towards the trampoline. The tablet provides the view you would receive by looking down as you plummet. As you fall towards the trampoline you can shift your balance to make sure you land right in the middle. Each consecutive jump throws you higher and higher into the air.
I really enjoyed the effect of the tablet on the floor. The screen is small when at your feet, but it was a cool effect to look down and see yourself falling towards the trampoline.
The second game I played had me holding the tablet in front of me to aim a hose at oncoming sprinters covered in mud. Applying pressure to the balance board turned on the hose and allowed me to clean the mud-runners before they reached me. There was action occurring on the television screen, but my focus was entirely on the tablet in my hand.
The final game I played, and the one that made me feel the coolest playing in front of the large E3 crowd, had me running in place to deliver desserts to restaurant-goers. I held the tablet in front of me as a tray balancing the desserts. I delivered a few desserts successfully, but eventually grew bored and began to purposefully run into the Miis in the restaurant and attempt to dump food on them. It didn’t work.
The trampoline game was easily the coolest, but outside of the players that are genuinely interested in continuing their workout regimen, I don’t see Wii Fit U pulling in new adopters. I asked about bringing in stats from player’s previous Wii Fit games, but all I got from the Nintendo representative showing me the game was a blank stare and a recommendation to check out Nintendo’s website.
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