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EA Sports Active Wii Review

19/06/2009 Family Domestic Gamer Review
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EA Sports Active Nintendo Wii

EA Sports Active

Nintendo Wii



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Fitness Gamer (Wii)

I've been hoping that someone might make something that I can actually use my Wii-Fit balance board for ever since I bought it. Sadly it has been gathering dust under the sofa for about a year. Wii-Fit was fun but I was left with a disappointed feeling when I realised that running on the spot, doing headers and standing on one leg weren't really going to make me sylphlike! There were plenty of exercises in there but being centred around the balance board meant it was a little limited.

Now EA Games have come up with the answer or so it seems. The full package of workout programmes which use the nun chuck and wii mote as motion sensors with a leg strap for the nun chuck. The workouts also use the balance board and a nice stretchy resistance strap too, all of which provide lots of varied workouts you can do on your own or with a friend.

It all seems very impressive providing you with your own fitness profile (enter weight age etc - and thankfully no awful chubby Mii expanding width-wise before your eyes as on Wii-Fit!) There is a personal trainer, 30 day workout challenge and even options to customise and create your own workouts; all brought together with upbeat motivational music (which of course you can customise!)

And thankfully no awful chubby Mii expanding width-wise before your eyes as on Wii-Fit!

The gizmos that come with this are very clever and nicely made. The leg strap for the nun chuck is very good quality, I might even pinch it for my ipod when I next go running. The key difference between this and Wii-Fit is that this game measures leg movements without having to stand on the balance board. So none of the wobbling around trying not to fall off. The balance board is used in a few exercises too, so better blow the dust off it in readiness.

I chose the 20 minute circuit training programme which took me through various leg lunges for legs and upright rowing for arms. I think I would have like the repetitions to be a bit quicker. Then that is probably something that you can change settings for, or chose a more challenging workout. That's the nice thing about this; there seems to be lots scope for different levels of fitness.

The game incorporates an exercise diary, similar to ones I have used on DS fitness games, where you enter the amount of physical exertion you have undertaken that day.

This game has more serious appeal than Wii-Fit, and I can see it easily replacing many celebrity exercise DVD's in homes across the country. It is so much more versatile than going through the same old hour long routine every few days; the ones where you know exactly what Elle, Davina or Cindy Crawford are going to say next. There are real life help videos for how to do each exercise which makes it feel much more useable.

It's probably something I'd even have a try out with the kids around. As long as I don't knock someone out doing a lunge!

My only criticism is that the backdrop for the exercises is very cartoony and a bit loud and brash. I loved the ambient feel of the workout section on Wii-Fit, especially the yoga workouts where it was all lovely hazy blues. By comparison I think hey could have made this game look a lot more crisp and modern, maybe they were trying not to miss out that fun element as well as having a serious approach.

Having said that the rest of it is very nice looking, useable and easy to navigate. I even managed to find out how to attach my rubber band to its straps by going to the list of tutorial videos. Oh in case your personal trainer drives you crazy with all her 'Well done you've really pushed through into a new place' drivel, you can change the level of trainer prompts and feedback. But beware, don't change it too much or she won't tell you when to squeeze your gleuteals!

I am a pretty busy active person, I love running but I also love puddings chocolate, biscuits and wine. So any help with keeping the food/exercise balance is much needed. While I manage to get out and run a couple of times a week, there are times when I am the one stuck at home with the kids, so to have something I can do at home and feel motivated about is great. It's probably something I'd even have a try out with the kids around. As long as I don't knock someone out doing a lunge! Hopefully my Wii-Fit board (leg strap and stretchy strap) wont get all dusty and sit there unused for another year. Just a shame it took them so long to come up with such a good use for it!

Written by Josie Campbell

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Josie Campbell writes the Domestic Gamer column.

"As quite a domesticated mum of three I love the thought that Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS lite and PSP games can have a practical role around the home and enriching everyday life but also fun to chill out and unwind with too. Here are my Domestic Gamer review, join me to read about all sorts of games, from cooking, health, and family ones too."

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