This is a fitness game to really get your heart pumping and still have fun.
There is a box full of goodies that come with this evn a full set of batterys to get you started, There is the game disc and instruction booklet as you would expect, also in the box is a total body tracking system this contains one leg and one arm elasticated strap the arm one is also a heart monitor this fits on to the right forearm the leg motion monitor fits onto the upper left leg this will not stay in place and has to be constantly adjusted, they are held on with a velcro strip and are easy to get off and on, these will need to be synchronised with your Wii, they are not simply connected as the other Wii controlers these need a wireless usb dongle luckily this is also in the box, it only takes about 10 seconds to get connected, and lastly a resistance band with attachable handles the band is very flexable but can be adjusted to make them shorter for better resistance.
Getting started for the first time is a bit of a long process, first you need to enter your sex, age, height(in cm) handedness and your weight this can be imputed yourself or by using the Wii board. Once that is done you have to design your person that will represent you on screen clicking random will get you through this quicker, Input user name there can be upto individual 5 user profiles, then there is an option of using a Wii board or not, click through a few more screens then theres a video this can be skipped, finally this is you onto the main start menu.
On screen there are 5 main options Fitness program this is a guided fitness program that gives you a choice of doing a nine week program, this is aimed at overall fitness and getting the heart pumping or cardio kick start this is a three week program, both choices can be done as easy, medium or hard, the bad bit hear is that it is a 4 workout week I would prefer to only do three this is not an option, missed workouts will count towards finishing the programs so reaching the goal set can be done with only doing one workout not so good. Journal this is a good way to track all your activities, it willl track your workouts nutrition, goals, and calories, Workout groups this is an online feature that allows you to join up with others dont really see the point, My workouts is were you can create your own workouts or choose a trainer generated one there is also 18 preset workouts to choose from and learn about this is just information about the game and how things are done.
Workout screens are set in a few different areas with the workout time at the top left, calories burnt at the top right, below this is your BPM and what zone your heart is pumping. The personal trainer will show you how to do the exercise then simply copy, to start there is warms then the work out fallowed by the cool down, once finished you will get your stats for the workout showing calories, heart rate charts.
There are loads of exercises in this game too many to mention, from the basic squats and running, to the more fun mountian biking, shooting basketball hoops and football training, there is a workout on this to suit most users with the exception of weight lifters.
The Wii Active is a great product of which you can gain real genuine fitness while having fun at the same time. I found the programs very easy to use and very easy to setup. The only problem really with the wii active is that it can run a bit slow at times and be a bit annoying at times. But that to be honest is the only real downside. The graphics really are fantastic and it has very easy to use controls. I found that this was much easier than going to gym and in the long run a lot cheaper as well. I would suggest this to anyone who wants to get fit with out the dull atomsphere of gym. It is also not overpriced and suits most budgets. Also being able to design your own style is a lot of fun two . thumbs up for the wii
I have had a wii fit for a few years now so when I was given EA Sports Active 2 as a Christmas gift I was pleased as it meant I now had a bit more variation (please note you do not need a wii balance board to use this game).
==Price and Availability==
I was given this by my Mum for Christmas and she paid around £9 for it from one of the eBay daily deals. It is currently £11.94 on Amazon and my sister recently bought it from Tesco for around £15. The game is also available for Xbox 360 Kinect and Playstation 3.
==Whats in the box?==
In the box you get the wii disk, a heart rate monitor for your left arm, a motion sensor for your right leg, a resistance band and a USB receiver which makes it possible for the monitor and sensor to be detected by your wii.
==Setting it up==
The game is fairly quick and simple to set up, you must put the batteries (AAA, included) in the monitor and sensor, connect the USB receiver to the wii and sync them all together. This is easy to do following the simple on screen instructions. You then set up a profile where you create your character and enter details such as height, weight and age. You can either manually insert your weight or if you have a wii balance board you can use that to weigh yourself. It asks for your weight in kilograms.
The main homepage has various options. I think it is laid out well and the options are very clear. There is quite a lot of information and options on the page but it is easy to navigate and I don't find it at all overwhelming.
Along the top there is a white bar displaying your current heart rate and the calories you have burned since creating your profile. From here you can access your profile information and make any changes you may need to eg. Changes in weight, changing your characters appearance.
Your selected programme of fitness is displayed directly under the white bar on the left hand side. This is displayed in a large white box and gives information about your programme including which programme you are following and how many days into it you are (you can choose from either a 3 or 9 week programme but there are also options to customise workouts rather than to follow a specified exercise regime). If you click on the fitness programme box you can see lots of information regarding your programme, for example you can see the schedule of your workouts, workouts you have completed or missed and progress. I like the fact that if you miss a workout you can do it the next day or even the following week and it will go off of the 'missed' list and will be marked as completed. I find this really useful when I'm having a day where I'm too busy to go on the game or I just don't fancy working out.
The main menu also allows you to access your personal journal which is supposed to be filled in daily to help you to track your progress. The journal includes information regarding whether you have completed any Daily Workouts, any additional exercise you may have done and a lifestyle survey.
You can also select My Workouts from the main menu where you can either create your own workout or use a trainer generated one.
The main menu also allows you to connect to the games online community where you can join workout groups, this sounds quite good as it means you are not working out alone but I have not actually been online yet on the game so I cannot comment on it.
You can select from two workout programmes either a three week or a nine week. I have completed the three week programme and am currently working through the nine week programme. The programmes are pre set workouts and you are expected to work out four times a week and you can pick yourself which days to work out on. I like this aspect because if you know you don't want to be working out on a Sunday you can select to have a Rest Day on Sundays.
When you select a workout your selected trainer (you can choose from a male or female) will tell you a bit about the days workout and a brief idea of what is included. You are then given a list of all the exercises included in the workout along with an estimated time that the workout will take and an estimated calorie burn. If you want to shorten the workout or wish to exclude some of the selected exercises from it this is easy to do by simply clicking the cross next to them, as you do this a revised time and calorie burn will be displayed. I think this is a really good option as there are a couple of exercises on it that I simply cannot do and rather than wasting a lot of time in the workout and then still not being able to complete them and having to skip the exercise I can just select for them not to be in the workout in the first place.
When you begin the workout there are always four warm up exercises and these vary depending on what exercises are included in the days workout, these can include Hip Circles, Heel Lifts, Windmills and Good Mornings. After each exercise is completed there is a bar displaying how many exercises you have left, I like this as it allows you to see how far you have got.
After the warm up you go into the main body of the workout, exercises here can range from cardio exercises, stretches and fun games. To give you an idea of some of the exercises that are included...
* Mountain Biking
* Basketball - Passing, Shooting, Running
* Football - Heading, Running
* Stretches using the resistance band eg. bent over rows, overhead tricep extensions
* Step Dance
* Foot Fires
* Stride Jumps
* Mountain Boarding
* Reverse Crunches
* Hip Bridges
Each exercise will have a varied number of reps that you need to complete in order to move on to the next exercise eg. Skipping is 65, Foot Fires are 180, Football Headers are 18. You cannot change the number of reps required but if you cannot complete the exercise you can select to skip it.
There is always a cool down at the end of the workout which consists of four exercises. These vary depending on what muscles you have been working and can include Figure 4's, Chest Opener and Heel Lifts. I enjoy the cool down stage as it is relaxing and its nice to have a bit of a rest after all the hard work of the workout!
Whilst completing the workout the calories burned so far are displayed in the top left hand corner along with your current heart rate, the total time of your workout is displayed in the top right hand corner. In the middle there is a counter telling you how many reps you have done. On screen you can see your character reflecting the movements you are making and you can also see your trainer which you are meant to mirror, I find this really helpful as it shows me exactly what I should be doing.
Once you have finished the workout a summary page is displayed showing you how long you were exercising for, how many calories you burned and your average and maximum heart rate.
If you do not wish to follow a programme or want to work out separately from your programme you can select the option of My Workouts. In this section you have three options - you can either create your own workouts, you can pick a pre-generated workout or you can make selections based on which part of the body you wish to work out and for how long and the game will generate a workout specified to your requirements.
I have created a couple of my own workouts which I really enjoyed doing as it meant I could select exactly what I wanted and in what order. You can save the workouts so they are easy to use again.
==Weekly Fitness Test==
Each week you are asked if you wish to complete the weekly fitness test where you are asked to perform a cardio exercise (usually Foot Fires) for two minutes and then your heart rate is tracked to see how long it takes to get back to normal. You can skip this but I usually complete it as I like to see my progress. You can also enter your current weight which allows the game to calculate accurately how many calories you are burning.
This section allows you to give information regarding your lifestyle. It takes less than a minute to fill in daily and includes a section regarding nutrition, you are asked questions such as how many portions of fruit and veg did you have yesterday, how many glasses of water, how much exercise did you get? etc. It also allows you to enter any additional exercise you have done outside of the game and gives you an idea of how many calories you will have burned.
I really enjoy this game and was very surprised when I realised how little it actually cost as I had assumed it would retail for at least £30, especially with all of the extras you get in addition to the actual disk. It is definitely well worth the money and I like the fact that it can be used with or without the wii balance board, I have used the balance board occasionally with it but usually workout without it and my sister doesn't have a balance board so she always uses her game without one.
I find the workouts challenging and I enjoy working out. I like the fact that the workouts include exercises that are short and intense eg. during a workout lasting approximately thirty minutes you can expect to complete around thirty exercises, often some exercises are repeated throughout (especially cardio exercises) as they raise your heart rate.
You can select what sort of music you have playing in the background whilst working out but these are just instrumental versions of songs rather than full versions. I do recognise some of the tunes and they change regularly which means you aren't finding it too repetitive.
I find that the movement sensor works well and when I perform exercises my on screen character follows my movements. I find that the batteries on the heart monitor run out much more quickly than those in the leg sensor but I have only changed the ones in the heart monitor twice since Christmas and I think I have completed something like 16 hours of exercise on the game. The motion sensor I find occasionally slips down my leg which is annoying if you are in the middle of a workout, but this is only ever sort of once or twice per workout so its not too annoying and I have noticed that it depends on what material trousers I am wearing.
Another slight problem I have found is that when the wii remote is not used for a few minutes (and it is not needed in a lot of the exercises) the game will pause itself telling you to reconnect the wii remote and this can be annoying if you are in the middle of an exercise. I have found that the wii balance board does the same and this is only used a handful of times throughout if you do decide to use it which is one of the reasons why I don't tend to bother because otherwise I spend a lot of time stopping my exercise to turn the wii remote back on or the wii balance board.
One other thing I would prefer is being able to workout with your Daily Workouts as and when you please rather than having to select days in advance. If you change your schedule then this doesn't take immediate effect either which can be a nuisance if something comes up or you know you cannot exercise on your scheduled day for some reason.
I think this is a brilliant game, the price represents very good value for money and there is plenty of longevity in the game. The game can be used by people of all abilities as it is easy to select the intensity of your workouts and also to remove any exercises you are unable to do. The workouts are fun and fast paced and I also enjoy the option of creating your own workouts.
I went through a stage of "must lose the baby belly" after I had my second daughter and went through a succession of wii and xbox games that would enable me to do it from home - gyms are expensive and quite frankly I don't have the time during the day with my little ones. So how did this one compete against the others?
~~ What is it? ~~
EA Active Sports 2 is basically a far better version that EA Active Sports and combines fun with genuine fitness. Unlike the wii fit, this one makes you feel like you're exercising but lets you go on to your own pace and create your own workouts or follow theirs. It uses the wii fit remote, heart monitor (included), leg monitor (included), resistance band (included) and you have the option of using the wii fit board but it's not a requirement. It also comes with the wireless dongle that you plug into the back of the wii via usb (It can be a problem finding an available slot if you're anything like me and have wii remote chargers etc plugged in there). Unlike the previous version, this one can be used hands free for the most part so there's no more clutching the wii remote and wondering how you're using both of your hands at the same time. There's also no requirement for the nunchuck so no more plugging it in and out. The screen gives you a tally of calories burnt off and your heart rate throughout which helps you to get the right level for you from a choice of easy, medium and hard.
~~ Activities ~~
There are a variety of exercises and there's certainly something there for everyone. The thing I like most about this one is they're split into sections of what you're aiming to do. For example, there are warm up stretches, core exercises, upper body, lower body, cardio and warm down. You can go from doing simple squats following the instructor to make sure you're doing it right to mountain biking where you have to squat to go downhill or run your socks off to go uphill! I tend to do a variety of these so it's more fun and not at all like going to a group where everyone is bored senseless. You also have the likes of football and basketball and I love the setup of these because there are several parts to each one - for example, basketball can include lunges, jumps, running which is basically a real life version of all the things you need to do to play basketball. Very realistic in this sense. You can also join in with mountain biking, step aerobics and a variety of others.
~~ Advantages ~~
I've used quite a few exercise games over the years with the determination of losing the baby belly and the weight you inevitably put on when pregnant and following every craving that comes your way but this one far outweighs the others for several reasons. It is hands free for the most part which means you have two genuine free hands to follow exercises like you would if you were exercising outside or at the gym - most of the games I've encountered for the wii at least can't say this.
There are a variety of different exercises available and you can customise them to meet your needs or you can do the easy option and let the fitness instructor you've chosen do that for you. There's also the option of joining the 9 week program that slowly gets harder and gives you harder exercises as you go along. I joined this a few days after my sister and niece did and we're all still going strong courtesy of another fantastic feature - workout groups. The 9 week program also allows you to pick easy, medium or hard as your workout option so you never have to feel you're out of your depth. (You can change this as you go along too if you feel like you were feeling optimistic or like me, lazy on the day and you want to work out that little bit harder!)
I mentioned the workout groups above and I personally love this feature and I think it's what has kept me going on those predictable "I just can't be bothered" days. It allows you to add friends into the group and each time one of you exercises it will share certain milestones so you can compete with them from the other side of the country. It doesn't share your weight, height or those other things you may wish to keep a secret, but does share how many calories you've worked off, how far you've ran and how many workouts etc you've completed. This is perfect for my sister and I and out other sister has been so impressed she's just bought the game and joined up too. It keeps me going though as I can't have the oldies beating me ;)
There is also the calorie counter where you can see how you're doing and whether you've met their projected amount of calories burned or where you've crucified it!
I'm not really sure where to include this next bit but as it's a good thing I'm guessing it should be here. Previous games I've tried have had issues with picking up my movements and I've found myself slowing right down, stopping or simply hurling the game out the window in the hope I'd never see it again! I've had none of these problems with this one (I did with EA Active original as the leg band was terrible and fell down all night and don't get me started on the Zumba version!) and have been very impressed by the pick up rate and accuracy.
~~ Disadvantages ~~
As with everything, I did have some niggles whilst using it but they aren't so bad I'd put the game down and never use it again. My first niggle wasn't to do with the game as such, but the way the equipment is set to shut off if you don't use it for a little while. As the majority of the game is hands free, you'll find the connection to the wii remote tends to be lost quite a few times during exercises and you'll find yourself having to stop, find the remote to hit a random button and start again in the blink of an eye. The wii board does this too if you choose to use it so between the two of them it can be a little bit annoying but this is a console issue rather than a game issue.
The leg strap and the arm strap (which has the heart monitor) need to be in the right position to pick things up properly and once in a blue moon they've stopped working due to this. The position isn't too precise and it does allow for a bit of movement but worth a little mention if these kind of things annoy you.
I haven't suffered from the next disadvantage but my downstairs neighbour certainly did - noise! The exercises can be high impact and if you have someone like my partner jumping around like an out of sync elephant then your neighbours may not be so impressed! I'm quite light footed so there isn't really an issue with me jumping or running around but my partner is far from it and I keep expecting a visit from the neighbour to ask why his ceiling has collapsed!
~~ My experience ~~
I've recently lost over 4 stone since the birth of my second daughter and I'm almost now classed as a "healthy BMI" so I'm not the fittest person in the world but I am trying to improve that. I'm not what you'd call big, just a normal healthy person that's unlucky to have a bigger build. I climb up our two flights of stairs 3 or 4 times a day carrying my now one year old and taking my 4yr old out as much as winter will allow but sometimes that just isn't enough thus the games. It's for this reason that I started the 9 week program on the easy mode thinking that I would be very unfit and struggle to keep up with what's going on but I was surprised to learn that within a week I'd decided that although I was getting a good workout, I didn't feel like I was pushing myself to a level where I would feel tired enough. It was for this reason that I decided the medium workout might suit me a little bit better.
Within a week of using the medium level I felt far fitter and I realised this was the right level for me to actively push myself and achieve my dream of slimming down and being happy to look in the mirror and see a toned and happy mummy looking back. The exercises can be a killer but I go with the motto no pain, no gain and it's keeping me going. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't always opt for the easy option as you're probably far fitter than you'd let yourself believe. It also means that for those of you that tried the first EA sports and almost died half way through the first session, there's hope for you yet in this game.
I've still got the hard option to go and the thought of it fills me with dread but there's always that goal at the end to keep you going.
~~ Overall ~~
If you're a typical traditional exercise person who loves their sit ups and push ups along with a zillion different kinds of lunges and squats then you'll love this - as will someone who loves the more gamey version of exercise in for forms of basketball, football and even a bit of step aerobics. I used to be a keen athlete and competed around Scotland until school and real life (boys, what else?) got in the way and this has really taken me back to my routes. A lot of the exercises are what we'd have done there and that's the kind of style that really suits me. Things like the wii fit are good fun but they aren't what I'd call exercise whereas this definitely is. It's easier to manage than the original version and has been improved in every way possible. I've babbled on a little bit but hopefully you've got the idea that this ones a keeper if you're really serious about being fit without the gym, rain or frost! This Wii game will give you a serious workout and tone you up nicely, what else could you ask for?
Oh and a little note for anyone interested - it's currently selling for £10 on Amazon which is less than a months gym membership ;)
I find it really hard to stick to an exercise program, and whilst some may say using a console game isn't going to be the best way to do it, it works for me. I don't like the idea of gyms (I'm shy!) and the thought of just going for a jog again fills me with dread! So findning something to do in the privacy of my own home is great. I've tried many different pieces of standard home gym equiptment, but get bored eaily so some have become nothing more than glorified clothes horses!
This game uses the wii's technology to good use, and this second incarnation of the EA fitness range has the added bonus of heart rate monitors for both your leg and your arm, which work well - most of the time! The prgrames are varied and although I am only of the beginner levels I can see a positive change in me, and with many different exercises and activities for a wide range of fitness levels. The ecxersies cover all parts of the body from cardio, to upper and lowers body workouts to workouts focused on your core.
I won't say this is perfect - there are times when the wii has trouble recognising what you are doing (a common problem with the first game but better in this one) and the voiceover can get repetetive and very annoying.
Overall I do recommend this and have found it a useful addition to my exercise regime.
I'd been on the search for a Wii game that would be both effective in aiding my weight loss as well as enjoyable for quite some time before I discovered EA Sports Active 2. I brought this from Zavvi's ebay store for £15 and can honestly say it's probably the best £15 I've ever spent.
EA Active Sports 2 is a game packed with lots of different exercises to create a complete and diverse work out which not only pushes you to maximise results but is also fun! You can do everything from squats to running, bike riding to boxing, step aerobics to stretches. Create your own work out by selecting the activities you want to do and or pick a recommended work out from the game depending on the results you want achieve.
You don't just get the game either. This package contains a heart rate monitor and leg strap which are easily and comfortably fastened to your arm and leg as well as a resistance band to maximise the results of your stretches.
Combined with your age and weight, the heart monitor lets the game accurately calculate how many calories you have burnt during your work out which is displayed in the top right hand corner of the screen for the duration of your session. The leg strap allows the game to clearly pick up your leg movements for a full body work out and the resistance band is also great to use without the game! In order to tone my arms up I often just wrap it around my hand to shorten the length and pull against it whilst sat on the sofa watching tv, it's very effective!
The game have over 70 different exercises (and more can be brought in the form of a second game working as an expansion pack) so everyone is bound to find something they enjoy and are comfortable doing. EA Active Sports 2 also has a online community where, once you have created an online profile, you can track and share your progress online. You can even create work out groups so a group of people can all so the same work out in their own home before getting together and comparing their results.
This is a great game and really enjoyable! I normally dread my workouts, exercise is not something I enjoy like some, it's something I need to do in order to get rid of unwanted weight and stay healthy. But with this game I find myself looking forward to my planned work outs. As the saying goes 'time flies when you're having fun' and this is certainly true of this game!
Because of the accurate and detailed progress tracker you're left feeling fully accomplished after each work out and, combined with a calorie controlled diet, this game has really helped me lose rather a lot of weight as well as tone up some of those flabby bits.
I would fully recommend this game to everyone. Whether you want to lose weight or simply stay fit and healthy, it's great for everyone of all ages and abilities.