If you follow my blog – you know that “EA Sports Active” (Electronic Arts) was one of my most anticipated Wii titles to date. And on May 19th it was released, and in my home. Like the other fitness games I own for the Wii ( “My Fitness Coach” (UBI Soft), “Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout” (UBI Soft), “Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009” (Majesco Sales Inc.), & “Wii Fit” (Nintendo) ) Active markets itself as a personal trainer in a box… But unlike the others it includes some fitness equipment to help get the job done. The question is does Active live up to the claim of exercise? And is it any better or worse than some of the other products out there?
Firstly – lets take a look at some of the features:
- Active Fitness Made Fun & Easy – 20 minute circuits feature a variety of familiar activities that target upper body, lower body as well as cardio. Start off with a light jog, followed by bicep curls and get your heart beating with some cardio boxing.
- Benefit of a Virtual Personal Trainer – Your trainer will be the focal point of the experience guiding you towards your own version of personal achievement. Feedback will be given throughout your workout, keeping you on track to reach your fitness goals.
- The 30 Day Challenge – Take the 30 Day Challenge and experience tailor made 20 minute workouts to your level of fitness. Circuits will change as you progress each day, and EA SPORTS Active will track calories, intensity and progress throughout your journey.
- New Way to Play – Slip the Nunchuk into the specially designed leg strap and hold the Wii Remote in your hand to track your movements from both your upper and lower body. A resistance band is also included to increase the intensity of exercises such as bicep curls and shoulder presses.
- Workout Your Way – Circuits can be customized to your interest and fitness level. Choose your duration, intensity level & set your own goals for calories burned and workout score.
- Workout with a Friend – Burn calories with a friend as you both workout through routines together in a co-operative mode.
- Track Your Progress – Expand your Fitness IQ and keep track of your workouts inside and outside of EA Sports Active with the in-game Journal.
- Wii Balance Board Compatibility – Get more out of your EA SPORTS Active workout using a Wii Balance Board with added functionality for many of exercises.
Revolutionize your workout regimen with EA SPORTS Active, the ultimate interactive fitness program that’s designed for you. Get fit with a holistic approach to fitness that combines nutrition and lifestyle factors, with a variety of activities, all from the convenience of your living room. From customized routines that target upper body, lower body, and cardio to a guided 30-day challenge that tests muscle endurance, coordination and agility, stay in shape with fitness made fun and easy.
Having played all the other fitness games (can you really call them games? or say that you played them? when its a work out) for quite a long time, and I can tell you (and have told you) the pro’s and con’s of each. They all claim to be a trainer in a box – and to some degree or another are successful at that claim – but Active takes this to a whole new level.
Using the Wii-mote and Nun-chuck in combination with the resistance & leg bands to not only provide you with a workout – but to gauge how well your doing, and if your doing an exercise properly or not – and you get immediate feedback. This is vastly improved on most of the others, where you just end up fighting with odd controls rather than perfecting proper form. I have heard a lot of reviews for Active say that they found the controls awkward and non-responsive. I disagree with that fully! At first, I felt that way – but I quickly realized that it was not the game to fault – but my form. Watching the picture in picture, and included training videos I found out where my mistakes were and corrected them. Problem solved. So clearly is a case of following what your trainer says – because you are told and it does flash on the screen that you need to correct your form.
The exercises ranged from easy to hard to ‘you want me to do WHAT!’. My heartbeat monitor, sweat and burn tell the day. I was burning calories, fat, and getting stronger. There is a wide variety of exercises ranging from upper, to lower to cardio – and combinations there of. You will be doing runs, squats, presses, and more. And as I have progressed since the 19th – I have been doing deeper lunges, and the game has thrown in jump squats, and lunges to step me up to that next level. I do wish it had a way to incorporate your own equipment (like my fitness coach) so I could use my weights, workout ball, and have an active heartbeat monitor to follow. That could add a fascinating dynamic to an amazing game.
One very unique aspect to the game is the fact that it has a journal where you can track your nutrition, and outside game activities. This is a great feature. If gives you a medal based on how you answer the journal questions. It is a good way to see how you are doing fitness wise outside the game. I like this a lot because with my diet, walking to work, and workouts with the other games (which I do so that I can continue to keep using my equipment) I can quickly see what I need to improve on.
I was a little disappointed in the included resistance band. It is flimsy at best. Granted it will be good for 90% of the people out there… But it is very weak, and if your looking to step up your workouts – you will need to purchase one from a fitness store pretty much right away.
The leg strap is fantastic. The way you use it with the nun-chuck to measure your lower leg movements is fantastic. It is very sturdy – very durable.
But with a game so set on having you able to workout with a friend why did they not include 2 of each of the included equipment. Yes, you can buy “EA Sports Active Multiplayer Pack” (Electronic Arts) for $20 and get a second set… But I would have rather paid an additional $10 for less packaging and having that included from the get go then having to make a second purchase. But – I guess not everyone needs 2 – and they do need to make money somewhere.
The graphics and music are good. Above average for the Wii standard. Customizable music and avatars a a nice fun personal touch to the game. There are not a lot of different areas in the game though. There is a track, a place to do your standing exercises, and the varying courts for the sports. This I found weird. EA took the time to find creative and fun ways to get you to exercise (Rollerblading is Jump Squats, Wii-Fit Board Basketball is lunges) but there are no creative locations. I mean – its a game – we could be working out on the moon if they wanted us to. But really – that is a small nit-picky thing in a fantastic game.
The Bottom Line:
I love it. I am sore, and enthused to see what is coming next. Active has me running faster, lunging deeper, and jumping higher than I ever thought possible – all in a fun and sweat filled 20 minutes. The 30 day challenge is GREAT! And I will be sure to let you know how I do when I finish the one I am on right now. My plan – to increase the difficulty level for the next 30 day challenge. With it’s use of the Wii-Fit board, included bands, and a well balanced program – this is a must have for any Wii-Fitness catalog.
You need this game!
One outside the game bonus.
www.easportsactive.com has a ton of bonus info and community for those participating in the 30 day challenge. There is motivation tools, blogs, videos and even someone on twitter ( @Active_Girl ) to answer your questions and help you meet your goals. This little extra perk makes the game that much more a MUST HAVE!
One thing they ask all there community members is:
Why are you Active?
So – I’ll answer;
I am Active to find the happier, thinner person I know is inside of me. I am Active – FOR ME!