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EA Sports Active 2.0
This is a review of EA Sports Active 2.0. Having owned this product for about eighteen months I thought I would share a review. Now is a good time to buy as the product price has shifted downwards. Initially retailing for around sixty pounds you would now expect to get change from thirty pounds.
EA first brought out a physical exercise game for the Nintendo Wii. Following the success of the balance board on the Wii and various other sporting titles the Nintendo console was well positioned to take a portion of the exercise market and indeed many people made a purchase of the Nintendo Wii when it came bundled with the balance board and Wii fit. This game is a considerable development on that product in many ways. The game has you wear a sensors on your body that track movement and also include a heartbeat sensor. With options to dip in for a quick workout or to settle in for a multi-week preset workout series this is a product aimed at improving general levels of fitness but also at improving your own understanding of how to lead a healthier life. With the opportunity to input information about your diet the built in physical trainer will pass information and advice related to you.
What exactly is it?
To be clear, this isn't really a game in the traditional sense of the word. It does have some interactive game elements that make exercising fun but this isn't about winning, it is about taking part. The product wants you to use it regularly and encourages this through offering a variety of options for exercise. EA Sports Active 2.0 is a package designed then to help you improve your general level of fitness and within that aim it tries to make this fun by onscreen activities that your body controls. Running with high knees and jumping for example can control the cycles. Some of the activities are more game like than others and you may find that playing the goal keeper game for example is an interesting diversion with friends. Mainly though, you will be using this alone so as not to look completely ridiculous in front of family and friends as you leap around the living room.
In the box
In the box you will find a disc and comprehensive instructions on how to set up the sensors. The sensors should be simple with sensors attached to your limbs but they are the first troublesome moment with this product. I would suggest that they rarely work first time and for a brief moment when the heart beat monitor refused steadfastly to work I had managed to convince myself I had a problem with my heart. The truth is that once in place these are reliable and don't impede your movement or get in the way of using the product but getting them in place correctly, especially the heart beat monitor, can be a pain.
This game requires sufficient space for you to jog on the spot, lie down side on to the television and lie down feet facing the television. For me then, it calls for a six foot diameter circle of space in front of the television. Take a look at your living room first as for most of us this is going to require a little furniture shifting before we can exercise.
The exercises themselves are fine once you have created the space but I did find that with a rug in front of the television, once I started running the rug started shifting position which apart from being irritating could have been dangerous. I would suggest this works best on a hard floor surface or carpet and I would avoid exercising on a rug.
I can't comment on the multiplayer. As I said, when I purchased it I paid around sixty pounds and in order to access the multiplayer you need two copies of the product in order to obtain the two sets of sensors required. In essence, the multiplayer allows you and a partner to exercise side by side and to set up mini competitions against each other within some of the activities.
As with all exercise regimes you do need to stick at it. When I first got this product I used it regularly for about six weeks and was beginning to notice a difference. Since then though it has been largely in the box. I think personally although it offers a great variety of exercise options I lack the self-discipline to stick at it and would prefer to go to the swimming pool for example. Also, if you work all day it can be difficult to commit time that is usually spent relaxing at home to working up a sweat dancing around the living room.
That said, as an exercise product it is interesting, innovative and presents a route to a healthier lifestyle if you can stick to it.
EA Sports Active 2 is basically an interactive fitness regime. The main program consists of 3 stages over 9 weeks with several mini programs included as well.
The pack comes with a heart rate monitor, a stretchy arm and leg strap thing and a wirelss motion sensor meaning everthing you need is included (unlike the xbox version).
Everthing you need is included.
Intense work outs.
Virtual trainer and online progress tracking so you can share with friends.
Easy to use interface and unique backdrops.
You can integrate your own music.
You can only set up one profile making it hard for several users to use some of the features.
The strechy thingy is too easy to stretch.
All in all Ea Sports Active 2 is an excellent alternative to the gym with some great features that I would recommend to anyone interested in getting or keeping fit whatever your level.
I brought this item after using the original on the wii. However we have brought an xbox 360 and kinect now, so hoped this would work better now. It does.
It comes complete with a heart rate monitor which you wear on your left arm and this tracks how fast your pulse is during the workout, letting you know how hard you are working in line with how hard you should be working. There is also a calorie counter on the screen letting you know how many calories you have burnt off.
No more holding remotes in your hands while trying to do squats/lunges run etc. No more leg band falling down halfway through an exercise...bliss.
When you first begin you have to make your character, which is relatively easy and fun to do.Then you have to enter your weight, which is a shock if you have just had another baby like me. I would recommend using the standard controller for this section. Then you can sign up for either the 9 week program or the 6 week cardio blast. I chose the 9 week programme.
The first workout for me consisted of kick ups, high knees, lunges, squats, dodgeball and mountain biking. If I remember correctly. They were all easy to perform and were quite good fun as well.
As you progress through the programme the workouts get progressively harder and boy do you notice, my nemesis is the mountain biking, it is basically a series of squats and jumps which make your legs burn something rotton. However you can defiantely feel it working.
Every workout also begins with a warm up and ends with a cool down and they all tell you how far you are through your workout which is daunting at first then comforting when you are getting tired.
I much prefer this version of the product as I can choose which weights to use instead of being restricted to the included resistance band which I always found more of a hinderance than a help.
I have definately noticed a difference using this programme, combined with a healthy diet the weight is definately coming off. Easy to fit around the kids and fun too. PLus it is a lot cheaper than a gym membership.
Highly recommended to anyone trying to shed the pounds before summer arrives
(review also posted on ciao and freeola)
Following in the footsteps of Wii Fit, EA Sports Active 2 for the PS3 is an exercise game that supposedly gives you the ability to keep fit in your own home! Pretty revolutionary, eh? Sarcasm aside, while it's true you can buy various pieces of home exercise equipment, you still have to work out your own exercise program and stick to it. EA Sports Active 2 takes a lot of the hassle out of this and can work out a detailed exercise programme for you. Or if you just want a quick one off work-out then EA Sports Active 2 can do that too. While I haven't played Wii Fit Plus, I do know that the original Wii Fit lacked any kind of exercise programme facility and so you ended up just doing a bunch of exercises without any real rhyme or reason. EA Sports Active 2, on the other hand, even lets you create a workout to focus on a particular part of your body - so if you're lacking in core strength, you can create a workout to do just that.
While the Wii Fit made use of the Wii Balance Board, the PS3 version of EA Sports Active 2 doesn't have that option, for obvious reasons. Nor does it make use of the Playstation Move, which is mildly disappointing. Instead, EA Sports Active 2 for the PS3 comes with three sensors for you to use during your workouts. There's two arm sensors, and one leg sensor, which you strap on to yourself. This does make you look a bit silly - I certainly wouldn't answer the door wearing them - but they do the job. It also means that you don't need as much space as you do for the 360 version of the game, which makes use of Microsoft's Kinect.
You also get the distinctly low-tech resistance band, which is used in about a quarter of the game's exercises. My bug-bear with this is that the manual does not tell you how to assemble the band - in fact, I had to go on YouTube to find out how to do this, and I apparently wasn't the only person with difficulties. Once you've got all the kit together, EA Sports Active 2 works quite well. There's plenty of activities to keep you in shape, including squats, running and jumping activities, sit-up style activities and more. The game also starts and finishes each session with some warm up and cool down activities.
So does it work? Well, I've not been using it long enough to see any major results, but the activities do make you work up a sweat, especially since they get harder as you go along. And for under fifty pounds, it's a good alternative to going to the gym - though I suspect people who start off using this will graduate to going to the gym - it's also a cheaper alternative too. Each exercise features an on-screen trainer - male or female, your choice - who will do the exercise with you. You also get a 'show me how' video that explains the exercise in more detail - this plays the first time you do the exercise, and can be replayed as needed. And the game tracks your heart rate during activities, and will help catalogue weight loss - it doesn't weigh you, so you have to tell it your weight yourself.
It's not perfect, though. There are one or two exercises - mainly the football passing exercises - where the sensor doesn't always seem to pick up the movement properly. And the sensors also can't tell if you're doing a hook punch or a jab punch during the boxing exercises. Although the on-screen prompt tells you what to do - and the system is generally pretty good at telling if you're doing an exercise properly or not. Given that EA Sports Active 2, complete with sensors, can be had for fifty pounds and in some cases, a lot less, it's well worth checking out. Granted, it doesn't have a great deal of competition on the PS3, but it's still an excellent program.