EA Sports Active: Day 5

I’ve had a little more time to get used to EA Sports Active now. I stopped using the Balance Board in my workouts and that cut down on the annoying peripheral switching a lot. I’ve done four of the 30 Day Fitness Challenge workouts – yesterday was a scheduled rest day.

Now that I’m a few days into it, the preconfigured workouts – playlists, if you will – are what really make this title. The exercises are all similar to what’s in Wii Fit, but the controls feel sluggish and clunky compared to the balance board. But I’m getting a much more comprehensive workout because it’s leading me through a variety of exercises. On WiiFit I tend to just pick my favorites, do 10-15 minutes of those, and call it a day.

The lack of thought required to get a good workout out of EA Sports gives it a big boost in longevity. I really, really, didn’t feel like working out today, and thought about skipping it. Needless to say the pre-programmed workout was much more rigorous than the exercises I would have chosen this morning. So I got in a good workout despite myself.

I’ve seen a lot of WiiFit vs EA Sports Active articles, and I don’t think that’s really a fair comparison. If you’re just getting a wii as an exercise tool, you should probably go with EA Sports Active because it’s a little cheaper and gives you a better workout. But the price comparison overlooks the fact that WiiFit includes the Balance Board, which is a peripheral that’s useful in other games. Whereas EA Sports Active isn’t.

I’m a big fan of the idea of whole-body gaming, partly because I think it’s neat technology and partly because I like the idea of getting some exercise but find most sports incredibly boring. EA Sports Active is really just an interactive workout video. And it’s great at that, but if I wasn’t already interested in getting in shape I wouldn’t find it particularly compelling. Titles like Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 and Shaun White Snowboarding are games, not exercise programs, and that’s more interesting to people like me who skipped PE as a kid. Unfortunately the Balance Board offerings so far have been pretty meager – most have received awful reviews. It’ll be interesting to see if publishers pick up the slack or just let the Balance Board go the way of the NES Power Pad.

Overall I think WiiFit and EA Sports are both good titles, but they server different needs. If you want a workout program, get EA Sports. If you want to play games and get your heart rate up a little along the way, get WiiFit.

Filed under: Exercise

3 thoughts on “EA Sports Active: Day 5

  1. Ivan says:

    My girl has been intrigued by these (wii fit and EA sports active), so I forwarded your review to her. She found that very helpful but I am worried that this game is lacking in captioned support. She is deaf and I don’t want her experience to be cheapened by yet another game that has no subtitle or caption option for her to follow along with whatever voice is used in the game. I know it is a better question to as EA themselves, but unfortunatley with the state of support service these days I have a better chance at a good response from a site like yours.

    1. Kellbot says:

      For EA Sports Active, as far as I know there isn’t any captioning beyond the game’s various subtitles. I don’t think she’d miss out on any crucial elements to the game sans hearing, unless she really really values the stock “you’re doing great” the trainers say periodically. In the event you’re doing something wrong text appears on the screen to correct you.

      The only thing that might be an issue is initially learning the exercises. While most of them are pretty easy to follow along with the on-screen video, it might be good her for to go through some of the exercises with someone else in case there’s something unclear in the video. But once you learn the exercises there’s not really much to hear.

      Wii Fit only really talks to you during the yoga/strength exercieses. A few (pushups, for example) of them would be difficult to do without hearing because you need to look away from the screen to do the exercise, and listen for a tone. The rhythm boxing and step aerobics might be a little frustrating too. I think given the choice between the two EA Sports Active would be a little better for someone without hearing.

  2. Ivan says:

    Thanks, for your advice. Keep fighting the good fight 🙂

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