EA Sports Active: Act Active
Having previously been a fan of the Wii Fit, EA Sports Active has changed everything. In a little over a month with the game, I can definitely sense a shift. My workouts are shorter, yet more vigorous. I'm using every muscle in my body throughout the course of 20 or so minutes without having to determine the right order myself. And even though the game is missing a few key features, I know that EA Sports Active will be my new main fitness tool.
Although they're 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.
The flashier of the two is a resistance band (think a large rubber band that's been cut) that you attach to two grips. The band is then placed underneath the soles of your feet as you stand to provide a counterweight for arm and upper body strength activities like lateral raises.
The other item that comes with the game is a Velcro leg strap with a pouch on it for the Nunchuck. When engaging in an activity that utilizes lower-body movement like rollerblade jumps, lunges, or squats, the game senses the movement of the Nunchuck on your leg to make sure you've completed the rep. There is also Wii Balance Board support, but honestly, most of the exercises that use it aren't much better than the standard activities in EA Sports Active.
EA Sports Active: Got No Game
The main difference between Wii Fit and EA Sports Active is that Active makes no bones about it - it's a workout simulator through and through.
Whereas you could play Wii Fit with a crowd as you tried to top each other's best score in soccer heading or tightrope, EA Sports Active's exercises are all fitness based activities you'd probably employ in real life.
That's not to say they're boring. Transitioning from track running, to resistance-based bicep curls, to rollerblading, and then to returning tennis serves would probably take ages if you were in a gym, but in Active, you'll get them done (along with a handful of others) in the time it takes to watch an episode of Family Guy.
EA Sports Active has to be commended for the way it presents workouts - while you can pick and choose your favourite exercises, the preset workouts flow very naturally so that you're not picking up and putting down the resistance band too often, and most provide a very balanced workout that will test your entire body instead of making one part sore.
The game's biggest draw is the 30-Day Challenge, in which you are served up 20 different workouts, increasing in intensity, over the course of a month. Whereas Wii Fit made you set arbitrary goals and offered little in the way of advice, the 30-Day Challenge offers up motivation via text and video encouragement and new exercises to keep you engaged.
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