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'Wii Fit U' can help you shed holiday pounds

Wii Fit U reinvents fitness fun again with

Wii Fit U reinvents fitness fun again with the Wii U GamePad controller, Wii Balance Board accessory, and the new Fit Meter. Carry the Fit Meter accessory to track daily activity, then sync it to your Wii U to compare accomplishments online. Credit: Handout

Looking to work off any extra pounds you put on over the holidays? Nintendo is ready to help with Wii Fit U, a sequel to the original Wii Fit, which was a genuine runaway hit for Nintendo's first Wii system.

Back are the basic strength training, yoga pose and balance games from the original. What's new are the many activities that make use of the game's two new hardware additions, the Wii U's signature GamePad controller and the Fit Meter pedometer.

The GamePad's camera lets you see yourself as you exercise, so you can tell if your leg lifts are high enough. Clip the Fit Meter on, and it tracks your steps, altitude and other statistics.

The odd thing about Wii Fit U is that it takes a lot of gear to get through a workout. Unless you craft your own custom workouts, you will be given activities that switch you from GamePad to Balance Board to Wii Remote, requiring frequent pauses to make sure you have everything close at hand and properly aligned.

Wii Fit U is available as a free download from eShop until Jan. 31, but runs only for a 31-day trial period. To unlock it and keep it running, you have to buy and sync a $19.99 Fit Meter. However, this assumes you already have an old Wii Balance Board around the house (and probably a Wii Remote or two), as the game will not operate without one. Nintendo is preparing new bundles that pack the game with a Balance Board.

RATING E for Everyone

PLOT Exercise can be fun in this sequel to Wii Fit.

DETAILS Nintendo Wii U platform, $19.99

BOTTOM LINE Wii can work it out

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