Perhaps hoping to capitalise on shops selling out of Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit, Active Life: Extreme Challenge (Family Trainer: Extreme Challenge in the UK) is a collection of ‘radical’ activities (kite surfing, skateboarding and so on) controlled by a dance mat thingy. And while it’s possible that some balance-board-less punters will be seduced by the bundled mat, this is a pretty third-rate offering.
Despite claims there are 15 sports, there are more like eight as disciplines are duplicated: there are two types of climbing, three of BMXing and so on. And while one form of the same sport is different from another, it’s too similar to another activity: kite surfing and wakeboarding are alike, while vertical skateboard and inline skating tasks are largely identical.
Tackled on the harder levels, some of the sports are entertaining enough. Base jumping is very like a dance game, with arrows flashing up as you fall; rock climbing is similar but with arrows pressed with your hands (though the game wouldn’t know if you used your feet). Multiplayer games with two people using one mat provide a few laughs – if you don’t mind being elbowed in the ribs.
Aside from the repetitive sports, the whole thing feels cheap. Jaunty locations look like low-budget Saturday morning cartoons, while the menu screen elevator music is totally at odds with the supposedly ‘urban’ theme. This is an improvement over the first Active Life/Family Trainer but still not a patch on Wii Fit or Wii Sports Resort.
Sep 1, 2009