EA Sports Active - first look

You might have ignored Wii Fit and you may have looked the other way at Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009, but you can’t hide forever. Sooner or later, you’re going to sprinkle some exercise into your daily gaming routine because that’s what Peter Moore wants you to do. Moore and the rest of the folks at EA hope that when you do finally take the plunge, you’ll do so with EA Sports Active.

Surprisingly enough, this game is all about getting you active. The $60 package includes two somewhat unique items: a resistance band and a leg strap. The rubber resistance band (it’s kind of like a long, rubbery rope) is designed to give your muscles an intense workout without the use of weights, whereas the leg strap holds a Nunchuk, which is then used to track your leg movements.

Once you’ve donned the accessories, you’ll create an in-game avatar and enter your height and weight. Although you may be tempted to fib about your attributes, you’d only be cheating yourself, as the game uses this information to track how many calories you’ve burned. It then displays and updates this number in real-time onscreen--it’s actually quite satisfying to watch as the “calories burned” number increases as you exercise. Like many other fitness games, Active tracks your progress, lets you customize workouts, and provides detailed instructions on how to perform each of the 25+ exercises.

EA Sports Active provides a mixture of traditional and non-traditional activities. The more standard stuff includes standing on the resistance band and raising your arms one at a time, or strapping the Nunchuk on and jogging in place. Some of the more interesting activities will have you return tennis balls, shoot basketballs, and inline skate on a course filled with jumps.

As with any fitness endeavor, what you get out of it is directly proportional to what you put into it. If you think EA Sports Active might be the kick in the pants you need to finally get in shape, check it out when it hits stores on May 19.

Mar 13, 2009