EA Sports Active 2.0 releases at the perfect time to help you work off those holiday pounds. While the snow falls outside, we're sweating it up with EA Sports home trainer. Feel the burn?
The original 'EA Sports Active' was the first fitness game I experienced that actually performed how it was advertised. The term "game" has to be used lightly because EA Sports Active is more like having a personal trainer in a box. Working out with a game isn't as social as going to a real gym, but if you can stick with it, you will see the same results. Also, you have to keep in mind that 'Sports Active' is not trying to be a game, so don't expect to be jumping around in your living room having a tone of traditional fun, there is no "Wario" here. 'Sports Active 2.0' fun-factor is that "workout type" enjoyment. So if you hate working out, then this product will clearly be a skip.
'EA Sports Active 2.0' follows up the original 'Sports Active' and the 'More Workouts' disc. Developed by EA Canada, the "2.0" does its best to improve on its original formula to provide a more well rounded experience. While it's not perfect, yet, 'Sports Active 2.0' steps that much closer to meeting our expectations. Mini-programs, new motivation, and keeping things feeling fresh was on the top of the list for improvements and for the most part, 'Sports Active 2.0' hits all those marks.
Thankfully I had this review to write, so I can actually catch my breath and relax. EA Canada isn't joking around, 'EA Sports Active 2.0' will give you a workout. Once you run through a few exercises to experiment with the game, you will likely want to start putting together a workout. Creating a workout prompts you lots of options to design your own workout plan or go with one of the pre-made plans already created in the game. Either participating in pre-plan workouts, or plan ahead for a longer/more targeted workout program, can give you what you want, doing its best to handle every demographic from the novice fitness enthusiasts to the serious workout buffs.
A new "Active NFL Training Camp" is another new addition that goes along with the other new exercises added this years run. This camp includes more than 70 challenges and drills that are deigned to work on your power, conditioning and agility and quickness, basically the typical areas that a football player would focus on. The NFL tie-in is something you will only see in EA product, so if you're an NFL fan, you will probably be psyched to work out along with your favourite team. Additionally, the Training Camp also has a 60-day challenge to push (or punish) you that extra mile.
Like I alluded to in the beginning of the review, 'EA Sports Active 2.0' hits its "gameplay" marks, however, just like the original release the software sometimes falters when tracking. It's not a huge issue, but it's a spot that could use some more refinement. It can be frustrating at times, but thankfully/unfortunately you will get used to it. That being said, some patience is a good thing, so don't sweat it too much. Yet, when it works, it works and you'll forget you are playing the game. Over time you will start to understand exactly how your body is being read by the Wii and will adjust accordingly.
This carries over to the new inclusion of a battery operated heart-rate monitor. The monitor gets strapped to your left arm and records your pulse, which is tracked by the Wii. The monitors results are shown to you on screen, so you will also know exactly how hard your body is working aside from the sweat that is dripping in your eye. While the heart monitor doesn't feel 100% necessary, it is a nice addition to the software that only enhances your interaction with the product. It also keeps your experience real, no cheating here.
While we're breaking down 'Sports Active 2.0' even more, it could use a little more flair. Everything is very functional, but it couldn't hurt to embrace some more creativity. Sure the music and graphics are serviceable, but they doesn't stand out. I guess if you want a more HD graphical edge you can turn to the other consoles. Although in a fitness game, the last thing you should be concerned about is counting polygons, right?
Remember the Balance Board you purchased that's collecting dust. Well, 'EA Sports Active 2.0' supports this little floor dweller, so you can pull it off the shelf, and get back on its bumpy white surface. While 'Sports Active 2.0' has been released simultaneously for the Wii, Xbox 360, and the PS3 Move, the Wii edition has the benefit of using the Balance Board. Even though its an optional tool to use, the Balance Board should tip your purchasing decision over to the Wii.
Needing to get a little more active? No need to worry, 'EA Sports Active 2.0' returns as a serious offering for fitness buffs, or those looking to get a little indoor exercise. While the product might be a little slim on the "fun" factor, it does its job as a no-nonsense boot camp focused on the goal, getting you fit. So if you're looking for another alternative to the current crop of workout games, 'EA Sports Active 2.0' might not be a huge revolution from its predecessor, but it's one of the best workout games that "actually" work.
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