EA Sports Active For Wii- Your Personal Trainer In Your Living Room… On A Screen

Update! – Also check out my new post on EA Sports Active, and win your very own copy, contest ends June 1st, so don’t miss out!

On May 19th, EA Sports Active will be hitting the shelves, and the home fitness theory that launched with the Wii Fit may finally have a real champion.

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EA Sports Active‘s biggest plus may be the variety built into it.  It comes with a special resistance band with handles so that it is easier to hold with your Wii remote and nunchuk.  It also comes with a leg strap which has a kind of “nunchuk holster” so that your lower body movement can be tracked.  It also works with the Wii Fit Balance Board for many of the activities.

That opens the door to a lot possibilities already, and a lot of cross-training, and that’s without mentioning the personal trainer.  Set out on the 30 Day Challenge, and your trainer will create new workouts for you which are tailored to your progress and goals.  You move through your exercises with your trainer offering up instruction and motivation, and each exercise has a video introduction which shows you how to perform the movements properly.

When not going through the 30 day mode, you can select the individual exercises, pre-designed workouts which are put together by duration and focus (upper, lower, cardio, combo), or create your own workout by putting together the exercises you choose.

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The main draw, I think, is that the variety of exercises and activities make the experience fun.  The squats and lunge jumps might not exactly be a joy, but when you move on in your routine to inline skating, dance, tennis, batting, and several others, things never get boring.

I got a chance to try the game out last week at EA Sports HQ in Redwood City, CA (and at their Season Opener), and what was immediately most impressive to me were the ease of use, and the advancement in activities.  Now that you have the nunchuk in the leg strap, you get realtime feedback on how your whole body is positioned.  The little “you” on the screen moves along with you, and if your arms aren’t in the right position, or you aren’t squatting enough, you see it on the screen.  This allows for a pretty serious upgrade from some of the “games” on Wii Fit.  The idea now becomes a question of what physical movements can you do with a “game” excuse to them.  Thus, we get activities like inline skating, which is basically a squat and jump exercise.  Physically you feel like your exercising, but psychologically you don’t.

What makes EA Sports Active a real winner for me is the combination of variety, fun, and Balance Board functionality. While the Balance Board isn’t necessary at all (and I didn’t get to try it out), the additional possibility is a big plus.  A big test of this combination, especially the fun, was seen at the EA Season Opener when Lauren Bernat (yes – Wii Fit girl) demonstrated EA Sports Active over and over.

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That’s her.

 

As the day wore on, I watched her box, inline skate, and do all manner of exercises.  Then I watched the hardcore gaming press take a shot at it.  It was clearly fun, definitely exercise, and most importantly it was fun all day long.

EA Sports Active gives you control over your workout that you might not expect, while also giving you the 30 Day Challenge option which optimizes your efforts for your goals.  It’s fun and challenging, and you really never have to have the same workout twice.

Here are a slew of pics and a video-

 

 

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Are You Screening?

 

Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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