With the introduction of Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing technology, an array of exercise-based games have cropped up for the Xbox 360. One of the more notable games in “EA Sports Active 2.”
“EA Sports Active 2” is a $99 bundle-deal that comes packaged with a heartrate monitor to keep track of your BPM’s while exercising. The game comes complete with more than 70 exercises, built-in personal trainers, downloadable content and the ability to track your progress online automatically at easportsactive.com.
Gamers can enroll in a 9-week weight loss program in the game, or create their own exercise regimen. The exercise activities included trail-running, mountainbiking, mountainboarding, resistance exercises, dancing, kickboxing and various basketball, boxing and soccer drills. You’re also able to upload your own music soundtracks into the game to get that added motivation into your workouts.
Overall, the Kinect technology does a good job of tracking your body movements and getting an assessment of the effort you’re putting in and how many calories you’re burning. You input your height, weight and sex when you create your character, so the statistics are fairly accurate. The biggest issues I’ve noticed are that occasionally, the sensor is unable to see your face because of the workout you’re doing, which makes the character unable to complete the workout until you correct the facial recognition issues. Basically, when it can’t see your face, it just signs out your profile. This can get a little annoying, but the only time I’ve had problems with it is when I’m doing exercises low to the ground such as push-ups or sit-ups. As the Kinect’s sensor technology continues to improve through Xbox’s downloadable updates, however, expect these issues to go away.
Otherwise, it is a quick and efficient way to burn calories, improve muscle tone and keep track of your progress. Also, the heartrate monitor itself is fun to play with and it’s interesting to watch your BPM’s go up and down, even when you’re not exercising. Don’t think that just because it’s a video game that you can’t get a solid workout in. My first time trying the game, I got my heartrate up to 170 and burned 250 calories. Good luck doing that playing “Grand Theft Auto.”