EA Sports Active: 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 EA Sports Active 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 EA Sports Active 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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