Wii Active – Feel The Pain.

I will admit it to the world I love my Wii. While it doesn’t have stunning graphics such as the XBox or the “real” consoles out there, the games I have tried are for the most part refreshing.

In the commitment to getting in better physical shape, I purchased Wii Active by Electronic Arts. I figured it would be more of a workout than on the Wii Fit, although truth be told I loved the Wii Fit tremendously.

Now down to business. I first started writing about Wii Active when I got it the first day.  I had good intentions to actually report my daily activity, but sometimes the best of intentions fail epicly.

I started my 30 day workout program on June 1st.  I am the type to play as it’s before me, so I followed the routine as it came on the screen. Today is June 21st and I’m about to quit.  Surely you realize there are details to follow:

Pros

It is a workout.  If you are out of shape because your butt is firmly planted on that comfy chair in front of the computer all day. You will sweat. You will use muscles you didn’t know you had or possible hiding under that fleshy stuff called fat.  Hats off to EA for designing something that is not just a game but has the potential to make you sweat and get in shape. That’s why I bought it and for that reason alone I would purchase it again.

Pricewise it’s okay, but in comparison I think you get more with the Wii Fit than the Wii Active kit. But considering how much a game costs on it’s own the price is alright.

Tons of options is a plus for me. You can pick and choose what exercises you want to do.

Choices of exercises is much more than I expected.  I was expecting the basic sports from all the Wii games combined, but I will say that they are covering a bigger number in this one and their tennis isn’t exactly the same as the one you played with for the Wii the first time.  So kudos for variety.

Music choices – good stuff.  At least one can decide what type of music you want to listen to while working out.  This was also a nice surprise.

Wii Fit Balance board compatibility – Yay! Finally another game besides skiing that I can use my balance board. Mad props for this.

User Interface clear and easy to understand and navigate.

The “how to” videos are actually really good and very descriptive of how to do the exercise correctly.

Cons

Oh dear, here it comes…

Why am I on the verge of quitting? Why did the term “rage quit” come to mind? Let me give you an example:

I’m sweating it up, running, jumping, squatting, lunging, doing whatever exercise they tell me to do. Then, I perform a squat, it goes “ding” to say that I squatted perfectly. Then, I get up from squatting in a perfectly still position but the Wii Active doesn’t see me doing so. So that fat girl on the screen keeps on squatting and the words “Stand still” burnout my eyes. I get it to work, then on the third rep it does it again. The only way I found to counteract this frustration was by squatting twice or jumping. Maybe my batteries are low in the remote and it is losing signal, but this is the most frustrating thing ever and had it been someone else they would of /raged quit long ago.

Whew, that felt good.

Thought that would be it eh? Hardly.

One of the annoying things that I noticed right away while doing the pre-designed workouts is that they rotate through the same exercises at different times. MOST of the exercises require either the resistance band doohickey or the balance board.  So it goes like this:

Running – requires feet and nunchuk in the leg strap.
Biceps curl – requires band and nunchuk in left hand.
Boxing – requires balance board and nunchuk in the leg strap.
Lunging – requires legs and the nunchuk in the leg strap.
Squatting – requires legs and the nunchuk in the leg strap.
Rollerskating – requires balance board sometimes

Rinse and repeat. What the hell? I mean seriously I do understand the concept of working different parts of your body but how annoying is it to be switching the stuff you need to use all the time? Whoever designed this should of kept all the same apparatai used in succession. Hey lets use the resistance band for 3 things today! Then, we’ll repeat them. Now toss the bands over on the couch while you move onto the balance board.

Poor, poor design. I understand the why, but I do not understand why no one noticed how annoying it is.

Now back to my regularly scheduled cons:

Awards – Congratulations you’ve got a new award! Press this button and see the award. Umm okay now what? Oh wait I have a screen with all my rewards on it to show all my friends…umm yeah why give awards if there isn’t anything you can do with it? I want my trophy in the background while I’m watching my avatar workout!

The voices – Okay, I have not tried the male voice yet. So I cannot comment on him. However I can say without a doubt that my motivating female voice who at one instance congratulates me for my dedication and then 2 seconds later says I could have done better.  Lets not forget the porno “oh yeah!’ every once and awhile. It sounds like any generic porno you’ve ever heard (you don’t have to watch it to know it’s a porno) the girl overacts and says “oh yeah!” with about as much emotion as a mime at the local fair. It was funny a first, but after 10 or so workouts it’s just not so funny anymore.

Resistance band – I’m all for this contraption and it does help improve muscle tone I’m sure.  Am I the only one to predict that the rubber will break because of abuse or dryness relatively quickly? And the straps you have to grab onto are enough to put your legs through.

Speaking of legs – So the leg strap doohickey. I thought it was kind of cool until I realized I have fat legs and that no matter how tight you velcro yourself in, you’ve got a choice of lose circulation or the strap being around your leg while you’re running. There has got to be a better way. It’s great jogging along and having to hold this thing up on your leg so it doesn’t fall off while the screen says you’re going too slow. Yay to motivation.

For the record running is not a warm up and cool down, it’s a contradiction. Enough said.

Conclusion

Overall, the Wii Active is a good program with some flaws that provide frustration to the user.  It’s hard getting the motivation necessary for a healthy lifestyle and the cruel exercises are cruel enough that I respect them. There is quite a bit of rage though when no matter what you do, you cannot get past a junction in an exercise. I mean, I’m doing this to get in better shape, not to argue with the pixels in front of me, “I’M STANDING STILL DAMN YOU!” type of thing.

Entertaining it is and worth a try no matter your fitness level.

I’ll try it again with recharged batteries to see if it helps at all. If not, I’m going back to the Wii Fit or quitting the 30 day workout routine and picking and choosing the exercises that actually work. This would make me sad, but I would do it.

I don’t review games often, but if the rating is out of 10 I’m going to give this one a 7.5

Oh yeah!

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One Response to Wii Active – Feel The Pain.

  1. Pingback: Wii Active - Take Two! « Smashed Keys

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