E3 Hands-On: EA Sports Active 2 - Preview

By Dain Melendez, June 19, 2010
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After the success of EA Sports Active, which has sold 3.16 million units, it is only natural for Electronics Arts to start preparing for a follow-up. In fact, EA Sports Active 2, found a prominent position in the publisher’s busy show floor booth. Obviously, EA has identified this title as a brand they hope to grow in the coming years.

 I had a chance to demo the ‘excertainment’ title with an attractive young lady, which is why I’m about to write a glowing preview, during the annual E3 convention in Los Angeles. Honestly, I hated it. But this is because it was adept at reaching its fitness-oriented objective. The game works and because of that it causes me, an out-of-shape gamer, distress.

 First, the game ditches many of the mini-games and gimmicks that other fitness games have. Instead, each input is tied directly to an exercise or stretch that is necessary to complete your routine. An example is the bicycle course; it uses squats to increase your downhill speed, jogging to pedal up hill, and you lift out of a squat in order to jump. By the end of the brutal course you would have worked out your target muscles and had an aerobic exercise.

 EA Sports Active 2 is also good at presenting each exercise in various ways. Since the cute girl demoing the game had an instant hatred for me, she set my routine to be squat heavy. The game first shows you what a correct squat looks like then shows you how to correctly lift out of a squat. Once you have that down, it’s off to the routine. In my demo the game wanted me to first do squat up and downs, which it presented by having a player throw a soccer ball towards me. I had to squat down then up fast enough to head butt the ball toward the goal. Next, I was to squat and left my feet alternatively; the game presented this by having me pedal a bike. Finally, I reached a half way point and took a quick aerobic jog around the soccer field. I did play the second half, but it featured a similar routine and ended with the above mentioned bicycle course that put all my exercises together.

 Electronic Arts will be releasing EA Sports Active 2 on November 16, 2010. It will feature over seventy unique exercises and come to all home consoles. The hardware you receive will be dependent on the console you purchase it for. The Playstation 3 will have three sensors (two will strap to your arms and one to your leg), the Wii will have ship with two sensors (one will strap to your arm and one to your leg, the Wii remote will be the sensor for your other arm). As for the Xbox 360, it will not ship with any sensors; instead it will require a Kinect. EA Sports Active 2 is the best at identifying and communicating exercise routines I have seen since ‘exergaming’ became a genre.

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