Wii Review: EA Sports Active

Does this give you a virtual gym in your living room? Yes it does!

There have been plenty of fitness games since Wii Fit emerged and there are plenty more on the way. EA steps into the fitness genre with EA Sports Active, can it compete with Nintendo’s big seller or does it fall flat?
The game is compatible with the fitness board, but its optional. You also get a resistance band and leg strap which is what builds up the mass number of exercises that the game provides. The band takes some getting used to and the leg strap doesn’t exactly fit around my leg. I’m a big guy, 6ft 5” and 21 stone so it’s no wonder why it doesn’t fit exactly. But despite that, I did manage a good workout and get the game to recognise where the strap was.

Exercises with the leg strap usually require you to run, jump and squat. The resistance band has a good mixture of exercises and it feels like a real workout when pulling it up. It’s strong and shows absolutely no signs that it could break. The equipment is well made and hopefully the next version will offer larger sizes of leg strap for those on the other side of the scales.

EA Sports Active offers a 30-day challenge mode which sets out a number of exercises for you to tackle each day and how many calories you will burn from doing them. After tackling the 30 day challenge myself (the reason why the review has been delayed) I can say that I’ve lost quite a bit of weight doing the game. I’m not sure exactly how much I’ve lost, but the average calorie burn in a day is around the 180’s. Although it does get tougher as you advance and get used to certain exercises.
The game gives you just enough motivation to progress through the exercises and the inevitable pain that you will endure. Of course, if you exercise regular…then EA Sports Active will be a breeze to you, but for those couch potatoes who prefer button bashing instead of exercise games, they will find it tough at first but easier after each day. There’s no real learning curve, and no urgency in screwing up…although there are time limits for some events.

The good thing is that EA Sports Active is customisable when it comes to setting your limits on workouts. You don’t have to push yourself to the point of collapse, but of course you can just stop playing when it all becomes too much. EA Sports Active makes Wii Fit look shallow in comparision, it’s more of a Western style way of exercising instead of the emphasis of balance which Wii Fit took. It also looks better and seems to be more responsive, not to mention more satisfying.

Visually, EA Sports Active is much better looking than its competitors although it’s not the greatest looking game in the world, but when you are exercising…you won’t exactly be complaining about that, more likely you’ll be complaining that the game is killing you if you are trying too hard.

The Verdict

EA Sports Active is the perfect work-out game that puts Wii Fit to shame. It’s got more variety of exercises and is more rewarding than Nintendo’s fitness game. With a sequel announced at E3, chances are that a full blown fitness war is about to start…


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