3.02.2010

EA Sports Active / Nintendo Wii : 5 of 5

Several years ago when all my fitness games where PS2-based, I used to really enjoy Yourself!Fitness, since it led me through a series of exercises that worked out entire different muscles than my DDR marathons did. Although that was a great game, it essentially was just a workout video generator, since the PS2 has no way of knowing if you were actually doing the exercises. Now with EA Sports Active and clever use of the Wiimote and nunchuk, I can get a great workout with feedback that helps me do the exercises correctly! I've had this great game since Christmas, but I waited a while to start playing since I was re-addicted to DDR, but now I'm well on my way through the 30-Day Challenge, which is a series of workouts that are designed to work your whole body over a month period. The game comes with two pieces of equipment: a resistance band for arm exercises, and a well-made leg strap that holds the nunchuk (so the game can measure accurate leg movement). Both of these items take some getting used to, but eventually it becomes easier to keep the strap in the right place and hold the resistance band correctly. The exercises do a great job of combining stuff I would never otherwise do (like squats, lunges and various lifts) with fun sports activities like running, inline skating (with cool jumps that totally kill my legs), boxing, tennis, basketball (I love making jump shots), and many more I haven't even experienced yet! Every single activity has a nice live-action instructional video that shows someone doing the exercise with the Wii equipment, which is great since details like Wiimote orientation are often important. While you workout, there are helpful displays of time, calories burned, reps to go, and progress through the routine, and the graphics are pretty cool (with nice details like seeing other areas of the game world pass while you run around the track). The best thing about EA Sports Active is it forces me to work parts of my body that I often ignore by only walking and playing DDR, and my muscles (especially my quads) can really feel it when I finish a routine! I'm looking forward to finishing the 30-Day Challenge (which is going to get more intense, I think), and then continuing my workouts to unlock some more trophies!