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Kellbot EA Sports Active (Wii) Review
Thu, May 21, 2009 4:11pm EDT
By Kellbot
As a child, guest reviewer Kellbot saved up her $2/week allowance for multiple years to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System. She is an entrepreneur and hacker, and is probably better than you at Geometry Wars 2. You can read more about her projects at Kellbot.com.

I caved to internet peer pressure and picked up a copy of EA Sports Active. I was getting a little bored with Wii Fit, and sort of annoyed that it takes you 45 minutes to get in 30 minutes of exercise because you have to pick a new task each time... you can't just queue up a workout.

Plus I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.

So far Sports Active is being touted as THE MOST AMAZING EXERCISE GAME. As of yesterday morning 100% of its reviews on Amazon were 5 star.

The game starts off like pretty much every other workout video/ad/pitch you've ever seen. Some guy in a fleece vest starts telling you how awesome and perfect your life will be once you follow him and stop being such a pathetic lump. There's some upbeat ambient music to emphasize this point. It's cheesy but inoffensive.

I started the 30 day fitness challenge because it required the least amount of thought. Over a 30 day period the game picks workouts for you each day, mixing it up and making sure you're getting an even workout. If you don't feel like doing that you can do any of the dozens of pre-programmed workouts or build your own. But, I'm lazy. If I wasn't lazy I wouldn't have bought an exercise video game, now would I?

See this girl? She is way more into it than me.After day 1 I'll concede that it's a strong title for the Wii exercise genre, and fills some voids Wii Fit left behind, but I'm not sure it's my new religion. I had trouble getting some of the exercises to register - particularly the lunges. EA Sports Active requires a considerably larger horizontal footprint than WiiFit. Since my living room is on the smaller side I ended up standing behind the couch for some exercises, which happened to be a little beyond the Wiimote's IR sensor's range. Overall things seemed a little sluggish - my avatar would follow me about 2 seconds behind.

The exercises themselves were pretty good, and things changed up pretty quickly so I didn't have time to get bored... which was nice. I've had a hard time motivating myself to do 10 minutes of WiiFit hula hooping now that my boyfriend isn't around to appreciate the effort. I broke a sweat, although I didn't really feel exhausted or out of breath at any point during the workout.

My biggest beef is that it felt cumbersome to switch back and forth between all the gear. Nunchuck in leg strap. Nunchuck in hand. Get on the wii balance board. No, with the nunchuck in the strap. Now stand on the resistance band. Oh but holding the nunchuck this time. Yeah. The balance board didn't bring much to the experience, and I'll probably leave it out next time just because it was one more thing I kept having to bring out / push out of the way.

It's a title worth picking up if you want to add something to your exercise routine but don't actually want to join a gym / go outside. Also it tells you how many calories you've (theoretically) burned, and that's a lot like points. And I really really like points points. I'll post an update as I go through more of the workouts and get a better feel for the overall game. Program. Whatever.
Marie the Bee
I hope I wasn't the source of your internet peer pressure! I'm going to start playing Sports Active this weekend, but now I'll be on the look out for awkward shifting between peripherals. Sounds uncool. Too bad those *points* don't add to my Gamerscore. :( Stupid Wii.
Today's workout was a little less awkward, peripheral-wise. I'm not sure if it's because I skipped the Balance Board, or just the luck of the draw, but I didn't spend nearly as much time stepping on / off the resistance band.
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2022 Chris Maguire