EA Sports Active 2.0
Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
I hate it when I have have to relearn things. It makes me feel rather inept to know that I had learned a certain lesson once before, but for some reason decided to discard that knowledge into the Black Hole-like void in my brain. Yet no matter what consequences I may have to endure, I still catch myself doing it from time to time. In this instance, it’s the physical activities I partake in (or don’t partake in). As a guy who’s spent the better part of the last two years honing his craft in front of a keyboard, it’s safe to say that I’m physically out of shape. I discovered just how much out of shape I was when I tackled EA Sports Active’s 30 Day Challenge back in the summer of 2009. I managed to complete the program, albeit with a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, and I vowed to never let myself get so bad off ever again.
Unfortunately, the previously mentioned Black Hole was still lurking in the inner recesses of my phyche and it didn’t take long to subcome to the lure of my easy chair, my game controller, and a platter of bacon. Flash forward 18 months and the launch of EA Sports Active 2. By this point, I’m at least aware that I’m not in the best shape, so I readily volunteer to take it for a spin. I mean, come on, how hard could it be? I’ve already completed my 30 Day Challenge the first time so I should be able to handle this, even if I haven’t kept up with my daily Active routines, right? Apparently, one of the side effects of losing learned lessons to the brain void is the veiling of other pertinent information. Such as the pain and suffering I went through the first time. Now, I don’t remember it being so bad. Wow, how wrong I was...
First, I don’t want to scare you away. That’s not the intent here. I’ll say it now, EA Sports Active 2 is probably the best “getting in shape” piece of software on the market today. If you put in everything you have - like I did - you will get results. The pain and suffering involved will vary based on what shape you are in and how much you put into it. You can quit one or all of the routines at any time. There is nothing that will make you do the work short of your own drive and willpower. With that said, If you are serious about getting in shape, you better get the ice packs in the freezer and the grab a fresh tube of sports cream. Maybe make that two tubes because Active 2 will show you muscles you didn’t know you had.
Essentially, Active 2 is still the same core game that the Wii had exclusively last year. Beyond the jump to other platforms (it’s available for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 with Kinect support), the routines have been greatly expanded and made much more accessible. While there are still individual exercises, a lot more of them have been incorporated into other activities. Like side lunges, for example. They are much easier to do when you think you are blocking a soccer ball from getting into net than if you were just trying to mimic an on-screen trainer.
The centerpiece of the package is the Total Body Tracking system. With Active 1, all we had was straps to stick our WiiMotes into so it could track our movements, making sure we kept proper positioning. It didn’t work all that great and demanded a certain amount of honesty from the user as it was incredibly easy to “cheat”. With Active 2, the straps have become heart rate monitors - one for each forearm and one on the right thigh - and in the case of the PS3 version, motion and positioning detectors as well. The heart rate monitor does a fabulous job of giving you immediate on-screen feedback of how your body is responding to the activities. And yea, the motion sensors can be cheated to an extent, but no where near as much as could be done in Active 1.
EAS Active covers all the bases too. When you first set it up, it’s extremely accessible, walking participants through it all with detailed tutorials and explanations. The first choice to be made is the kind of workout you desire. Want to just relax with a less-impactful program, go with the lady trainer as she walks you through various Zen routines and other such lighter fare (a la Your Shape). Want to get rocking on a more intense program, the male trainer is your pick. His is even broke down into two sub-categories, a Cardio Kick Start Program, which is shorter and makes a great jumping point for those who are not already used to being active - again, like I am - and a full Nine Week Program that’s designed for those of you who already find ways to keep your blood pumping in your daily activities.
Of course, there’s more to getting in shape than just working your muscles and wiggling your body. A proper diet and other activities beyond what you are being asked to do in front of your TV are essential. Active 2 makes the same effort at tracking that stuff via surveys, just as it did with Active 1, and will provide some fairly generic feedback based on what you tell it you did. However, it too has been expanded. Active 2 features an online community component, with all your daily results being launched into the Interwebz so you can track your progress online, socialize with other Active users, create or join workout groups, and solicit feedback. While it’s never been a big deal to me, I know many exercise nuts who are just as serious about the support and feedback from their peers as they are the actual routines, so the online community should prove to be a boon for them.
The key to EA Sports Active 2 is in you. It’s a pricey package, coming in at just under $100, but worth every penny...if your serious. If you’re not interested in putting in the time or aren’t motivated enough to make EAS Active 2 part of your daily routine, then you’ll be wasting your coin. If you are just looking for a light and easy-going experience with no need of the intensity and community features that EAS Active 2 has, then you’ll certainly want to consider the other, less-expensive options on the market. Again though, if your are serious about getting in shape, and can find a way to put a cork in your brain’s Black Hole, EA Sports Active 2 will give your gym membership a run for it’s money.
+ Routines cover all intensity ranges
+ Enjoyable programs
+ Heartrate Monitor a welcomed addition
- Rubber band accessory still feels cheap
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Release Date : 2010/11/16
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Electronic Arts
Category : Sports
ESRB : E
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