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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Wii Fit U Preview

blake_peterson By:
Blake_Peterson
06/11/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Fitness 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Nintendo 
DEVELOPER Nintendo 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E Contains Mild Cartoon Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Someone set off a happiness bomb in the Nintendo booth.


The Wii Fit U staff was happier than any human beings should be. Their actions radiated an aura of pure joy that made me believe in a manichean universe where they existed purely to balance the collective dourness and anger of bankers, politicians, and businessmen. As I arrived, they were challenging each other to different goals in the game with a mein of purity you might find in a 10-year-old girl's drawing of a pixie or a unicorn forming a friendship pact with a sentient wildflower whose only emotion is kindness.



I entered the cone of preciousness and stepped onto the balance board to try out the trampoline game. I found myself infected by their smile beams as I crouched to not-quite-jump on the board (if your feet leave the board, you're disqualified) and I loopily grinned as I wobbled up and down, trying to maintain a perfect balance point. This was clearly a plot by someone from the Cuteness Comission to figure out how to trick people into doing squat-thrust exercises.

The second exercise involved hosing off muddy people running towards my Mii while I manned a hose with the Wii U tablet controller to aim and the balance board as a foot pump to provide pressure. At times a giant ball of mud would come rushing forward, and the Avatar-of-Smiles who was my Nintendo host directed me to pulse down on the balance board into a lunge-like position to send a blast of water to smash the mud away from what turned out to be a person under the muddy spheroid.



A core strength exercise was disguised as a luge competition. I wasn't able to play this one, but watched as a Nintendo employee lay on her back on the balance board and shifted from left to right depending on the direction of the course. Around her the other Nintendo employees cheered her on, in their own Nintendo world of glee, like they had all been mesmerized by some fanciful Lord of Happiness to only feel joy with a wonder-ray.

I can't say that playing Wii Fit U will cause you to feel perfect joy like the Nintendo employees, but I can say that it looks like it does a great job of disguising exercises as fun games with objectives that feel like you're accomplishing something aside from a squat-thrust, lunge, or crunch exercises. It's just too bad the game doesn't come with your own amazingly precious Nintendo employee to cheer you on like a physical trainer from a land made of bubblegum, cake, and lollipops.
Tags:   E3, Nintendo
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