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Even though EA Sports Active is primarily marketed towards women, you should not be put off by it even if you’re a man. This is a tool which will definitely make you sweat and probably prevent you from walking the next day

I run marathons for a sport, and I get paid to make people do push ups. Needless to say, when I first booted up Active I was pretty cocky. I immediately placed the game on its hardest setting and received a fairly large shock in return. Active dominated me.
No matter what your fitness goals may be, you will most likely be able to find something of use from this personal trainer. From strength training to cardio, if you’re up for the challenge, Active will give it to you.

Not only will you be given a challenge, but progress made on them will be tracked through out your very own fitness profile. Attached to your profile is an avatar created to your own likeness, your workout history, and the numerous health surveys the user is asked to complete.

Everyday the player is asked to fill out surveys based on their dietary consumption and exercise from the day prior. Once this information is inputted, it is then placed in a graph so that players may see their weekly and monthly progress, not only in exercise, but in their diet as well.

The game then rates the users health based upon the answers from the survey. On face value this is great, but it’s doubtful on whether or not these surveys actually provide a good outlook on someone’s health.

For example, upon taking my first survey I was asked how many glasses of water I drank, sugary drinks consumed, vegetables eaten, and meals had on the day prior.  Upon finishing the survey, the game congratulated me on my good dietary choices made the day before.

Funny thing was, I went out drinking the night before, and woke up in a strange place the next morning with no clue how I got there. The point being, the surveys offered by Active are rather shallow and by no means provide a good indication on the quality of a person’s health or dietary choices.

Just because the surveys are shallow though, it doesn’t mean that Active isn’t a good tool to whip you into shape. In fact it’s an excellent tool. All of the exercises provided, give the player a good range of work outs with a choice of easy, medium, and hard intensity levels. Anyone should be able to find something that works for them here.
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That being said, any workout is essentially what you make of it. Be it running at the track, or pumping weights at the gym, if you slack off in your exercise then your not going to see results.  The exact same thing can be said for Active.

Even with basic knowledge on how the Wii remote works, anyone can easily cheat on all of the exercises. This of course this is not the purpose of the game. If you want a good work out you can’t cheat yourself by slacking off.

This is why it is very hard for me to classify this as a game. EA Sports Active is a tool which will help you get into better shape and hopefully provide a little motivation. With that in mind, this is not something which will force you to exercise and if you are very resistant to physical exertion, then unfortunately Active won’t change that.

Included with it are two primary accessories. The first one is the leg strap which allows you to connect the nunchuck to your leg.  This helps tracks your movements for exercises such as squats, running, and lunges. The second accessory is the resistant band which is used for upper body work outs such as bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, and shoulder presses.

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While both accessories work fairly well, they are not without fault. Unless you’re wearing tight clothing, the leg strap easily slides off of your leg. The solution to this problem is to obviously make it tighter, but personally, I prefer to keep the circulation in my leg. In addition to the leg strap, the resistance band is far too weak.  Anyone with a little bit of upper body strength will easily be able to stretch this beyond its max.

On numerous occasions I thought mine was going to snap and whip me in the face.  Luckily there are stronger bands that can be bought.

The graphics in the game are not anything to write home about. They do their job, but that’s about it. The models are bland and the animations are basic, though it’s not like the game requires anything more than that. All the graphics do in the game is allow the player to watch their avatar perform the exercises.

The biggest complaint I would have about the graphics is their lack of detail. A lot of the exercises being done in this game need to be done properly; if not, results will not be seen.  It would have been nice if the avatars motions were a little more detailed so that the player could see exactly where they were going wrong.

This then ties into the control aspect of the game. Most of the time, the placement of the Wii remote needs to be exactly as it’s shown on your avatar or the game won’t register your exercises correctly, even if this is not the case. If the graphics had a little more detail, then it would be easier to correct this issue.  Otherwise, you just need to get used to how to do each particular exercise. Once you get the hang of it, you almost never have any problems.

The sound of the game is pretty much on the same level as its graphics. You have a good selection from many genres of music, but the music itself is lame and the comments from your in game “personal trainer” are just repetitive and annoying.

On a whole, EA Sports active is a quality tool which will help you get in shape. Once you get past the control and equipment issues, you will find that this game has the potential to last forever. Along this same line of thought though, if you are serious about getting into shape, you can’t rely solely on Active to do it for you.  It’s a nice supplement but it’s not the real thing.

Exercising depends on your motivation and if you had the motivation before hand then EA Sports Active will be a great addition to your routine but if you didn’t have it, then you probably won’t get much from this game.

Rating Category
7.0 Presentation
The graphics do their job, but could use more detail to ensure that the work outs are done correctly.
How does our scoring system work?
8.5 Gameplay
Apart from the shallow surveys, the workouts in the game are great and will definitely whip you into shape.
6.5 Sound
There is a good selection of music but too bad most of it is boring and lame. The in game personal trainer is more annoying than motivational.
9.0 Longevity
If your serious about working out, then you will be hooked on this game. I can see myself using it for years to come.
8.0 Overall
If you like to exercise or serious about starting, then there is no reason you won't love this game. Anybody else is best to steer clear.

  1. I could really do with a copy of this, seing as I’m still carrying a little Christmas weight. Especially as it’s Christmas 2004 weight…

  2. Great review Andrew, looks like a contender to take on Wii Fit.

  3. avatar Fernando

    Great review. But, I have one questio and have been looking for the answer for hours with no luck. On the thirty day challenge, is it possible to costumize the days you yould like to work out? I work 16 hrs nights on fridays and saturdays so working out on saturdays is out of the question. Any help/advise from anyone would be appreciated.

  4. avatar Diasdiem

    Fernando: All you have to do is skip a day. If you don’t workout on a “workout day”, if you play it the next day it will have marked the previous day as a “rest day” and you will still do the next workout routine. I don’t know about working out on a “rest day”, but I imagine it’s possible.

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