625 of 639 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2010
I've only had the game for 1 day but I spent quite a bit of time playing with it and I also have the Active 1 game. The quirkiness of Active 1 where you have to point or orient the remote and nunchuck ever so precisely to get the game to register your movements has been eliminated as the remote is rarely used and the nunchuck is completely gone. I am a little disappointed that of the 3 versions of this game (Wii, PS3, and XBOX) the Wii version is the only one that isn't completely hands free because there are times you must hold on to the Wii remote. In fact when I saw the packaging with the picture on the box showing the woman doing arm exercises still holding on to the remote I was a little mad because that was one of my biggest gripes with Active 1. However it's not that bad and I'll explain further.
Here are the best improvements to the game from Active 1.
1. The leg strap - the Active 1 leg strap is awful and breaks after a short time using it. Plus you are constantly retightening it as it continues to slip down your leg. However with Active 2 all of the straps are an elastic fabric with loop on one side and rubber gel lines on the back to grip. I did a very hard workout last night involving lots of sprinting and I didn't have to adjust the leg strap (or any of the straps) once. They stayed in place and because it isn't lycra covered neoprene I think it will last a long time.
2. Hands Free Exercises - I'm not sure if all the arm exercises are hands free but all the ones I tried were in fact hands free where you do not have to hold the Wii remote. This is fantastic because with Active 1 I couldn't use a resistance band with nice foam grips and the nylon handles that it came with hurt my hands. Now I don't have this problem. Plus now I can use hand weights when I want to. You may be wondering how it registers movement on the arm without a sensor but they changed the arm exercises slightly from Active 1. Now the arm exercises have you move both arms at the same time (both arms do the tricep kickbacks, bicep curls, etc) rather than one arm at a time and the game just assumes you are moving the arm without the sensor. I also love that now you don't have to waste time putting the nunchuck in the leg strap and then taking it out for a different exercise as you do in Active 1. The game moves much better because you don't have to do those things anymore.
3. The Heart Rate Monitor - I like the addition of the heart rate monitor. It is nice to see how hard you are working. Supposedly as you continue to workout it will track how well your hear rate recovers which would be cool to know. I think it probably results in more accurate calorie calculation as well.
4. The game is MORE like a game - Active 1 is nice because it was like having a personal trainer at home. However you will work harder with Active 2 and have more fun. It has a mountainboarding exercise where you have to jump from one leading foot to the other and has points you can get on each side. You also have to squat and jump and then run up hills. In addition it has a Fitness Trail - Sprint Outrun exercise where you have to actually catch up to and outrun 6 runners on the trail. The thing is that when the other runner sees you getting closer they start running harder so they are hard to pass. This got my heartrate up to 185 bpm trying to pass the other runners. It definitely pushes you harder. I am disappointed that additional motion sensors aren't sold at the release of the game because I would like to race my husband on some of these games and will be buying the extra sensors as soon as they become available.
5. The Wii Balance Board can be used to weigh yourself. However don't feel the need to get the Wii balance board if you don't have it because every exercise that uses the Wii balance board also has the same exercise which doesn't use the Wii balance board. In fact I probably won't use the balance board much with Active 2 because there is a flaw in the game concerning its use which is irritating to me. I'll list the flaw in the diappointments below.
6. Custom Workouts - There are 13 Upper Body, 22 Lower Body, 11 Full Body, 12 Cardio, 26 Fitness exercises (including boxing, step aerobics, mountainbiking/boarding, dance, & kickboxing), 6 Core, 15 Basketball, 15 Soccer, 8 Warm Up, and 8 Cool Down exercises to choose from. Most are between 1 and 2 minutes long with some like the Step Aerobics actually lasting 10 minutes. You can create a custom workout with a combination of any of the these exercises to make longer or shorter workouts as needed.
7. Online Community - With Active 2 you can join online workout groups which hopefully will help you stay motivated. I joined one and time will tell if it really helps me but it can't hurt and it's nice to see there are other people like you trying to get fit.
Here are my disappointments
1. I wish the game were completely hands free. I feel like the PS3 and Xbox versions are better than the Wii because they are truely hands free. I have read some reviews on the Xbox though and it seems the Kinect is not all worked out yet so maybe just the PS3 version is better. I haven't had a chance to do all the exercises but I won't be surprised if I don't run across an arm exercise that requires the remote be held since the packaging show a woman doing this. I just don't understand why the PS3 version comes with 2 arm sensors and the Wii version doesn't. In addition the PS3 and Xbox versions will be able to download new workouts in the future but the Wii version won't be able to. If I had both the PS3 and Wii game consoles then I would have bought the PS3 version of the game.
2. I wish the extra motion sensors were available now as it would be fun to play with another family member. Sure they could do it with you but you'll push yourself more if you can race them. EA has stated they will sell additional leg/arm sensors but hasn't given a date as to when yet.
3. I wish the workouts on the 9 week challenge would allow you to choose how long you want to workout. All of the workouts are around 30 minutes long. I would love to have the option of doing a 1 hour workout. I can achieve this with the custom workouts but it would be nice in the challenges too. The game will also formulate a workout for you based on what you want to workout but again it will only make a workout that is up to 30 minutes long.
4. The resistance band that comes with it is still cheap. Go buy the resistance tubes with nice handles for $10 - $15.
5. Active 2 has an annoying flaw concerning the Wii remote and balance board. First the Wii remote is not needed for much of any given workout but the game is constantly looking for its presence. Therefore when you don't use it for about 3 min or so the remote shuts off to preserve batteries. As soon as it does the game is interrupted until you can push a button on the remote and turn it back on. I have resorted to pushing the A button on the remote in between each exercise just to make sure the remote doesn't turn off. The same thing goes for the balance board. The workout may only use the balance board for one exercise at the beginning of the workout but the game will keep looking for its presence throughout. When the balance board shuts off the game stops until you turn it on again regardless of whether the balance board is being used. Leaving it on for an hour during a workout just to actually use it only 2 or 3 minutes is a waste of batteries.
All in all though this is a fantastic fitness game. I workout with a trainer too that does much of the same things throughout his class. He is impressed with the game and will be helping me choose which exercises to do so I can make some great custom workouts. If you don't lose weight and get fit with this then it's because you eat too much and don't actually play the game very often.
297 of 315 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2010
I own both the original EA Sports Active and EA Sports Active More Workouts and have been very happy with both (Wii versions). The original was a good start and More Workouts was a home run. So, I had high expectations when I purchased EA Sports Active 2 (Wii version). What a disappointment.
First, as all Wii owners know, the Wii remote turns off when not in use after a few minutes (designed feature to save batteries). This is not a problem, unless you are using EA Sports Active 2. Even though the Wii remote is not required for most of the workouts, when the remote turns off Sport Active 2 stops whatever it is doing and prompts you to turn the remote back on. This also happens with the Wii balance board, whether the board is being used or not, when it turns off (again, a designed feature to save batteries) Sports Active 2 stops whatever it is doing (mid exercise) and prompts you to turn the board back on. The fix for the balance board issue is to change the program's setting to opt out of using the Wii board. They only fix for the remote issue is pressing the A button every few minutes.
Also, the program takes a lot of time to transition from each exercise resulting in a lot of standing and waiting (and hear rate dropping which defeats the purpose of aerobic exercising).
Speaking of heart rate, I thought the heart rate monitor function would be great, and it would be, if it was anywhere near accurate. For some reason, when doing a light aerobic exercise, the heart rate monitor gave very high readings (I routinely workout with a heart rate monitor and have never seen readings as high was what Sports Active 2's monitor was showing).
Also, for many of the aerobic exercises with high reps where each rep is counted based on body sensor movement, only about 70% of the reps are counted. This wouldn't be so bad since I don't mind doing extra reps, but the game's trainer badgered me about trying harder to the point that the exercise was more annoying than entertaining.
It's like a whole new team of programmers created Sports Active 2, because these issues were non-issues with the previous versions.
After reading of similar problems and complaints on the EA Sport Active forums, I was able to return mine to my local merchant for a full refund. Maybe in a few months to a year, EA will address these issues and correct them. And, even the, I will check the EA Sports Active forums before I purchase another EA product again. Until then, I'm sticking with More Workouts.
Bottom line: Buyer Beware! Check out what others are saying at EA Sports Active forums before buying this product.
Update: For those of you who own EA Sports More Workouts and want to go cordless (chucking the nunchuck cord), try a wireless nunchuck. I purchased the Kama brand wireless nunchuck that's Wii Motion Plus compatible and have used it for several workouts with More Workouts. Works great! Same motion capture as with the corded nunchuck and fits in the leg strap perfectly, but no cord! So, save your money for now until EA gets their act together, and instead drop a little money (I found mine locally for $20) and purchase a wireless nunchuck. A wireless nunchuck is something you can use with other games too.
129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2010
EA Sports Active has long been the king of the hill as far as Wii Fitness Games go. EA Sports Active: More Workouts was an excellent follow-up title. So the burning question was: what could EA Sports do next for an encore?
By far, the thing that frustrated me the most about the first EA Sports Active was its use of the Wii's Nunchuk controller. Aside from being spotty in its accuracy, I would constantly get tangled in the wires.
EA Sports did something very smart and did away with the nunchuk altoether. Instead, it included its own wireless controller which straps right on to your leg (it communicates with a USB receiver you plug into the top of the Wii). So now, you have full range of motion. The system does an excellent job of tracking your leg movements.
EA Sports has also included a Built-in Heart Rate Monitor, which also communicates wirelessly with the game. So throughout your workout you can track your heart rate (displayed on top of the screen along with your calories burned). The Heart Rate Monitor also doubles as a controller that detects your arm motions for many exercises. For certain exercises you still need the Wii remote, and you can optionally use the Balance Board for a handful of exercises as well. The title also still comes with a resistance band (which is slightly less flimsy than the previous version).
One thing I really love about the new EA Sports Active is the innovation it put into the activities. There are over 70 to choose from, ranging from basic exercises to sporting events. As in the original version, most sporting events basically consist of you doing repetitions of exercise movements that approximate the movement that your on-screen character does. What I really like about EA Sports Active 2 is that they've incorporated some more interactivity and "video gaming elements" into the activities. For example, in the skateboarding and mountain biking activities, you need to leap at just the right moment to avoid obstacles or perform jumps. In the Basketball event, a cursor will move over the basket, and you need to time your jump correctly to score.
There's a new 9-week exercise regimen that you can follow. It's not just a random assortment of exercises each day, it was clearly put together by a real fitness expert. You choose four days of the week to exercise (leaving three days to rest). Each day, you work progressively on different fitness goals. Each day starts with warm-up stretches and ends with cool-down activities, and there's a good variety of activities throughout to keep the workouts interesting.
Another great improvement is the ability to work out with (and compete against) someone else, if you purchase a second set of controllers. There's something about competition that makes exercise go by so much faster. If your Wii is connected to the Internet, you can also challenge your friends (or complete strangers) online or join an online workout group.
One annoyance, as other reviewers have noted, is that because many of the exercises don't use the Balance Board or the Wii remote, both will time out throughout the game, which interrupts the flow of the exercises. I understand that their intent is to save battery power, but at the very least it would have been good to have an option to prevent the controllers from shutting off (for example, those who use rechargeable batteries don't care as much).
Overall, I'd say that EA Sports has maintained their position as the king of the hill as far as Wii workout games go. It comes at a price, but when you compare the $100 you pay to gym memberships or exercise equipment, it's definitely a small price to pay. Highly recommended.
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2010
I really liked the first EA Sports Active, but I was a little skeptical about the steep price on this one. Don't worry -- it's totally worth it. They redesigned the leg band with rubberized strips that actually grip you leg instead of sliding down when you run. The lag time between your movements and the onscreen movements is greatly reduced. By far, though, the most awesome part is the heart rate monitor. The little gadget constantly measures your heartbeat and shows it in the upper left corner of the screen. Most importantly, it does it ACCURATELY and indicates which training zone you are working in. Then, at the end of your workout, it graphs your heart rate so you can easily see how hard you were working. There are also many exercises and they brought back dancing (it had been taken out in the more workouts edition). If you liked the first version, go for it, you won't regret it.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2010
Don't pay attention to the bad reviews. If you make sure your WII system is sit up correctly to begin with and allow the Active 2 to walk you through the sit up for it, this game rocks. It is not really a game. It is a life saver. I am 60 years old with a real heart problem. My cardiologist total me I either lose weight or I die. It was that simple 2 years ago. I took him at his word. I couldn't afford a trainer or gym membership. I all ready had a WII with the balance board. So purchased the original EA Sports Active game, (game right). I have lost 55 pounds and feel years younger. My doctors are ecstatic with joy. I am down to 3 prescription pills and feel younger than I have in years. So when it came to upgrading to the next EA Sports Active I was ready. I read the bad reviews and was concerned. But I read effort good ones for me to risk it. I was not sorry. It delivers beyond expectation. I think I will lose more weight than ever and become a young man again. The great thing about this game if you can call it a game, is:
1. It records your weight, heart rate and calories burned
2. You can share these on the internet with family and friends.
3. It is deadly actuate with the motion sensors. Mine never misses a beat. (You must make sure everything is calibrated correctly. Take your time to sit it up
4. It will push the limits of your endurance
5. For the WII it is the best thing going for exercise
6. It monitors my routine and the days I work out and the days I rest (love it)
7. The work outs are adjustable for both intensity and length
8. I love the new sensors they don't move around like the others did
9. You don't have the nun-chuck cord in your way (many times you don't need the controller)
10. The time between workouts is no different that the original EA Sports Active to me
11. Tracking my heart rate during the workout is great addition, you can see your workout is doing it's job
12. Tracking with a journal is a powerful tool to help you stay in the groove and be successful.
You must make sure as I said that everything is calibrated correctly from the beginning, and make sure you touch the "A" button on the controller and the power button on the balance board between exercises and you will never slow down.
It is well worth twice the price to help someone like me get in shape and get healthy.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2010
All in all, the new EA Sport Active 2 is a lot better than the original. The original was a great game in and of itself but this one blows it out of the water. Most of the pros of this product are right there in the Amazon write up so I wont bother going through them. Here are my impressions of the game:
1. Does it perform as advertised? Yes! It's a great work out. You can ditch the resistance bands once and for all and use free weights. This was one of the weaknesses of the original. I hated having to use the nunchuck with the Wii remote and the resistance bands. I've been using 10 lbs weights in my workout. It has a nifty heart monitor to track you performance during the work out.
2. Longer load times between exercises. You tend to see the spinning progress bar more often than the original. But it allows me to catch my breath between the exercises.
3. If you have a PS3, you should get that version. The PS3 version is all hands free. One of the gripes I have with the Wii version is you still need the Wii Remote for certain exercises like running or sit ups. The PS3 version comes with two arm sensors and one leg sensor. The Wii version comes with one arm sensor (the heart monitor) and the leg sensor. I wish the could have just given the loyal Wii fans the extra sensor just like the other versions. I have also heard that the PS3 and XBox version will possibly have downloadable extra exercises. The Wii version will not. I found this out AFTER I purchased and used the Wii version. If I had known, I would have definitely gotten the PS3 version. I am taking a star off for this. But this doesn't negate the fact that the Wii version is still a great workout tool and should give you a fantastic workout.
If you are on the fence on getting the Active 2, don't be. JUST GET IT. I've already lost weight in the short time that I've been using it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
Using the game for over a week now, and its much improved over EA Sports Active More Workouts.
1.You can use free weights. I am using dumb-bells and encounter no problem, other than having to enter the weight in kilograms as opposed to pounds.
2.The warm-ups and cool-ups are varied. Its not the same every time you exercise.
3.I started with the 3 week challenge and once I complete it I will move on to the 9 Week Challenge (which you can choose to do at Easy, Medium or Hard).
4.The exercise routines are varied; there are about 70 exercises in the game.
5.The heart rate monitor really works, and tells you how many calories you have burned and how hard you are working out.
The only annoyance is a loss connection message if you don't use the Wii Controller for 5 or so minutes. Then you need to press the A button to restore the connection. I prevent this from occuring buy pressing the A button on the controller after every 2 or 3 exercises while a new exercise is being loaded.
That said, its a great exercise coach and fun too.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
I really liked both of the other EA Active titles. I completed challenges on both and lost some weight. I like that it has the same or an even greater intensity than More Workouts- has a greater variety than the combo of both former titles, and the flexibility for movement is soooo much better. There are plenty of workouts that don't use the wiimote or nunchuck- this makes transitions and exercises so easy.
Thee heart rate monitor is not cheaply made and is pretty darn accurate (which in addition to the leg sensor likely account for the high cost). I thought about this when I opened the package then realized 9 weeeks, 4 days a week with a real personal trainer will cost waaaaaaay more than 100 bucks. A 3 week program is also available.
Instead of having to create your own workouts (outside of the programs)the "personal trainer" will create some for you based on what you want
Also, the need to press buttons and other stuff between exercises (in a program) is gone. You are given water breaks (like 30 seconds) and other than that it moves straight out of one exercise to the next with just enough time to get equipment (if needed) and get in position. This helps keep you moving, no pauses on the couch.
Lastly, this version finally allows you to build a group of family and friends and track each other's progress directly on the Wii. It also allows you to setup the online tracking program if you choose.
Overall this is great and well worth the cost!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
I've had EA Sports Active 2 for about a week now. I've been doing the Cardio Kick Start program on Easy mode. I must really be out of shape because my heart rate usually climbs into zone 5, near max for my age, once or twice during the cardio exercises. That, and the sore muscles the next day means I'm getting a really good workout.
So far the variety of exercises is pretty good. Each day the Cardio Kick Start program focuses on different areas, such as upper body, core, and lower body. There may be a few repeated exercises in the focus area, but you also get exercises in the other areas, as well as four warm up and four cool down exercises. One issue I had tonight was that it placed two cardio exercises back-to-back. The first one got my heart rate well into zone 4 and I was feeling good, but the second one pushed me into zone 5 (90% of max heart rate) and near the end of that exercise I had to drop way off, while the trainer kept yelling at me to pick up the pace. A good trainer would know I was over-exerting and slow down the pace.
The integrated heart rate monitor works really well and is more convenient than the chest strap monitor I'm used to. You can quickly see your heart rate, and which of the five heart rate zones you're in. There is an audible indicator when you cross from one zone to another, so it's very easy to know if you're working out at the desired intensity.
The sensors on your left arm and right leg track your movements adequately most of the time, although there are a few exercises where it does a poor job of tracking. Expect to get yelled at a few times for not maintaining proper form or not running fast enough, no matter how much you exaggerate your movements. Fortunately, this occurs rarely so it's no big deal.
Although I have a balance board, I've only used it to weigh myself and it hasn't been used in any of the exercises so far. I'm using the male trainer. The female trainer may have some yoga or other routines that use the board. I haven't tried her programs yet.
One thing I really like is that the trainer usually calls out when it's time to change form (e.g. switch legs or arms, raise or lower your arms, etc.), and generally gives a countdown to let you know the current exercise is about to end. This is especially useful for those exercises where you are not looking at the TV.
While many of the exercises are the usual squats, lunges and pushups, some of the sports games are really fun. I especially enjoy the mountain biking and mountain boarding. Soccer and running trails are ok. Basketball would be fine if I could figure it out, but this is one where it doesn't seem to track my movements properly. I'm no good at basketball in real life either, so maybe that carries over into the virtual world.
I haven't explored everything this program has to offer. I'm sure I will take advantage of the customized exercise programs. I've started with the Cardio Kick Start to get an overall view of the exercises before I start customizing.
The biggest negative is the frequent loss of communications with the Wii controller. I quickly learned to push a button on the controller between every exercise, but once I get in the groove it's easy to forget and BAM! - the game abruptly stops. This is extremely disruptive. There's no reason for this as only about one in twenty exercises call for the controller, and the game always stops after two or three exercises that don't use the controller. I can't believe EA didn't find this problem during testing.
The other big problem is the lack of robustness in the internet connection. I frequently encounter "contacting EA servers" messages. Usally it's just a brief interruption for a few seconds and no big deal, but sometimes it stays up for 30 seconds or a minute, and sometimes I get "system error" messages. Sometimes it affects the exercise program, resulting in a white screen while the trainer has already started the workout. It's highly variable, and according to the EA support site it seems to be issues with the EA servers. They'd better get this fixed, because when it happens the game is essentially unusable. When this happens you can play without the internet connection, but it takes several minutes of wading through "contacting EA servers" just to bring up the internet settings screen to turn it off. I like the charts and graphs on the EA website, so I don't want to permanently disable the internet connection. Hopefully this is just a temporary glitch.
I also don't like the variability of timing of the exercise programs. On easy mode, each program runs for anywhere from about 17 to 22 minutes. Add to that a few minutes of tutorials if new exercises are introduced, and a few minutes of network error messages if the EA servers are in a bad mood, which altogether means I have no idea how long a workout is going to take. I would prefer to specify that I have a set amount of time for a workout today and let the software decide what fits. I'm reluctant to use this program to workout in the morning before work because I can't predict how long it's going to take, which could cause me to be late for work.
Avatar choices are very limited. Unless you're a buff young adult with limited hairstyles and no facial hair, you won't find yourself among the avatars.
If you choose to train with hand weights instead of the flimsy-looking strap, you get to enter the weight in kilograms. Since I don't remember the conversion factor and am nowhere near my computer to look it up, I have no idea what I entered. I'm sure it's not right. There's an option to switch between metric and english units, but it doesn't apply to the hand weights.
Bottom line: you'll have fun while getting a good workout, but you'll curse at the frequent controller disconnects and occasional EA server problems.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2010
This is a big improvement over the first Ea Active game. I'll pro/con it below.
Pros: It is almost entirely hands free. I've done at least 40 of the exercises and only two required the Wii remote, blocking soccer goals and cross punch crunches. It wasn't at all difficult to use for them either. The hands free option also makes it possible to use hand weights instead of the flimsy resistance band sent with it, there is an option to tell the game that you are switching to hand weights and it will give instructions for that instead. This has made it much more responsive to what I'm actually doing. In the original Active I was always fighting to try to get the Wii remote in exactly the right position so it would recognize the exercise, that's no longer an issue, and so far it seems to make it much harder to cheat when I'm getting tired.
It is a really good workout. It keeps my heart rate around the 165 level on medium workout level. Compared with the original active, even with the original on the hardest level, I'm am quite a bit more tired by the end of the medium workout for Active 2.
It has warm up and cool down exercises in each workout. They get my heart rate up or down as they are suppose too. Compared with the first Active which always left my legs and knees quite sore if I skipped using it for a week, this has not been at all hard on the joints even though it's harder. The difference seems to be the warm up/cool down sections.
It now allows you to pick what days during the week you'll work out during the nine-week program. Instead of the the old version having you go two days exercising and one off, this will let you pick which days of the week you'll exercise. If Wednesdays and Saturdays are always busy you no longer have to try to squeeze it in where there is no time to try to keep up with the program.
The new exercises are interesting. There are some more common ones, like push-ups. Uncommon, like Mountain Biking. (think of rollerblading on the original only now squats, followed by three jumps in a row, followed by running to get up a hill and repeat. Painful perhaps, but more interesting that the rollerblading, which distracts from the fact that it hurts.)
The timer for the exercises isn't as prominent on the screen, which actually makes the workout seem faster, instead your heart rate is quite visible which makes it easy to keep an eye on breathing and intensity and not exactly when it's going to be over.
When you pass people they don't keep showing up 30 seconds down the tract, not a big issue I know, but it is a little nicer than the original.
Cons: Not many, all able to be worked around, but here they are.
The heart rate monitor is super sensitive to anything over the sensor. There were a few very fine threads (I couldn't even see them with out the light from the sensor on) where the fabric was cut away for the sensor. These apparently interfered with the sensor causing the heart rate monitor to stop working. I brushed them away and it started working again, but they kept interfering, so I had to trim them, hopefully the edge won't continue to fray. Even when the heart rate monitor stops working it still senses arm movement, so it's still a good work out.
The music is the same from the original game. Not bad at first, but kinda of annoying if you're trying to exercise and are tired and have already heard it 100x. There's always an Mp3 player I guess.
Some of the exercise really require sneakers to be safe. Like one where you are in a push-up position and are switching your feet back and forth fast enough to be running. Not good on a carpet with just socks. This wouldn't be a problem if you're willing to wear sneakers in the house, and it's the only exercise like that so far, and probably not an issue for most people.
All in all a really great way to get some exercise in doors.