Monday, November 16, 2009

More on EA Sports Active More Workouts

A week ago, I got to try a preview of EA Sports Active More Workout (and you can read my initial reaction) at a mall demo, and this weekend I ended up with a copy of the game, courtesy of EA Sports for helping out with the 5k challenge online event last month. (Disclaimer: EA Sports didn't pay me for this review nor did they require I post about it.) So I cracked into it this morning and here's some additional feedback on it.

First, it imports your profile from the original EA Sports Active game, and I was surprised by the stats it showed me. In that original game, I completed 94 workouts for a total time of 19 hours and 47 minutes, burning a total of 12,900 calories. Pretty interesting! And it looks like it'll keep track of these stats in the new game as well, but separately. You can import from the old game again, it looks like, so you can update the stats if you go back to play the old game. You'd think this would be automatic, but ah well. ;)

Speaking of stats, I do like that this game seems to be more forthcoming with them. I had a big complaint with the original that I couldn't figure out how to go back and see how many calories I burned on previous days - it looks like they've fixed that in this game. And added some cute graphs to show you calories and minutes and such per day. Should be a nice added motivator. I am a fan of this "Weekly Fitness Tracker" feature! Another minor thing - you can now weigh yourself with the Wii Balance Board for the game (I prefer to just enter my true weight from my scale, but it's nice to have that option).

Onto the game! I only did one workout this morning - I wasted too much time setting up my character and poking around the new features (I still hate the face and hairstyle options, by the way, and don't get me started on the body shape one!). I jumped into one of the built-in workouts, "Island Cardio Blast (Low Impact)". It said it would be 24 minutes and I'd burn 172 calories. When I finished, it told me I spent 28 minutes and burned 188 calories.

This workout, like all of the built-in workouts, starts with a warm-up segment and ends with a cool-down stretching segment. I do appreciate that the clock and calorie counter keep running during these segments, which helps motivate you to actually do these segments instead of skipping them. ;)

The warm-up clearly was a good thing, as I heard many cracks and pops in my shoulders and knees! Apparently I'm getting old. ;) After the warm-up, jumped into a squat and reach combo exercise (which was fine), and then a balance board exercise with punching, kicking and kneeing - a better boxing-style exercise than in the original game. "Follow the Leader" followed that exercise, where I had to do what my trainer did, which were the same running exercises from the first game - run, high knees and kick-ups. I fail at kick-ups, by the way. ;) After that, more squats - this time with a knee raise after each one. Then another balance board game - water skiing, which was more squats and leaning (reminiscent of the roller skating event in the previous game). More squat and reach and the boxing event again. Then "Island Outrun", which has you light jogging until you come up to another runner, and then you need to sprint to pass them. A cute way to get in some intervals! Back to squats (with knee raise), and then another balance board game, paddle surfing. It basically alternated lunges (with your arms doing the paddling) with more squats. Not too bad. Then the water skiing event, follow the leader and squat to knee raises. And then the cool down segment. The stretches were nice - just wish I had more room to work out at home so I could've really stretched well!

I didn't set up a challenge yet (this game has a 6 week challenge instead of the 30 day challenge in the original) because the folks on twitter are starting it on the 20th.

I really, really miss the tennis and baseball events from the original game. Squash is part of the new one, so hopefully it will be good. I also enjoyed the basketball and tennis, and those are all gone too. This new one comes with four ab exercises, and more step aerobics too. All things to explore in the coming weeks! ;)

Overall... I'm intrigued. ;) The name and price I think are what threw me off at first. This isn't really a "more workouts" game - with that name, I compare it to the "Wii Fit Plus", which incorporates all the original exercises and adds new events too. And it's only $20. EA Sports Active More Workouts really should be called "EA Sports Active Personal Trainer 2010" - it's a new game, stand-alone, and you don't get to incorporate those past exercises. I don't like that it's so close to the cost of the original game, either - $40 compared to $60. The original comes with the resistance band and leg strap (which cost $20 to buy separately).

I'll post another update after I've played this game more - but so far, it's definitely intriguing - and of course it kicks my butt! My thighs are sore from the squats and I worked up quite a sweat!

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