EA Sports Active

Though a far cry from Wii Fit's Balance Board, EA Sports Active comes with a duo of fitness-focused accessories that are necessary to complete the exercises

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EA Games Sports Active
  • EA Games Sports Active
  • EA Games Sports Active
  • EA Games Sports Active

Pros

  • The game motivates you to work out, excellent customised exercises

Cons

  • The generic create-a-character and bland song list won't inspire you, the game will also keep you stuck in painful positions from time to time.

Bottom Line

As a long-time Wii Fit user, it was going to take some serious effort to knock that game out of my fitness regimen. EA Sports Active, however, was up to the task, providing better exercises with an excellent user interface. I've been using Active pretty consistently since it came out, and I can say without reservation that it's the best workout game on the market right now. If you've got a Wii and want to shed some weight, it's definitely worth purchasing.

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Feel the Burn!

The fitness element of EA Sports Active stretches far past the exercises--the game tracks many elements of your well-being via optional in-game surveys that collect information about your eating and sleeping habits, as well as outside-the-game physical activities, and offers advice based on the results. There's also the ability to set your own personalised goals, as well as a wide variety of trophies to award you for various achievements throughout the game. As a fan of the Xbox 360 Achievement system, I have to say that adding micro-rewards to an exercise game is a genius idea. Getting a trophy in EA Sports Active is about ten times more gratifying than just about every Xbox 360 Achievement I ever unlocked. Well, maybe not the one I got for getting a million points in Geometry Wars without dying. The only motivator missing from the game is a weight tracker a la Wii Fit. I'm guessing that Nintendo holds a patent that keeps other companies from using the Wii Balance Board to determine the player's weight. My advice: if you've got Wii Fit, download the Wii Fit Channel, and use that to keep tabs on your weight without ever needing the Wii Fit disc again.

Besides the weight tracking issue, there are a few surface-level issues with the game that could hopefully be addressed in the upcoming expansion pack. The horribly generic created characters in the game have very little in the way of customisation options and won't motivate you like your fellow Miis in Wii Fit (though we doubt Nintendo will license them for any other fitness games in the near future). The music is similarly bland, filled with uninspired riffs across a variety of genres--an option to play tunes off your SD card would have been very welcome. The most troubling is a persistent issue of the game keeping you stuck in painful poses like a lunge because you're not completely still (Wii Fit handles this problem better by continuing the exercise but not counting the rep towards your total)> But EA Sports Active has a great core--it will motivate you to work out and have you doing it the right way. Can you ask for any more in a trainer?

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