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.