This is solid, familiar territory for EA. You can import profiles from both previous Active titles and, though pretty limited, it's possible to compare basic stats in Active 2 against previous regimes.

Heart monitor aside, the big change is the reduced role of the Wiimote, presumably to make it easier to adapt the game on other platforms.

You will use Wiimote as before, just not as much. But you won't necessarily miss it and the addition of the heart monitor is a more than reasonable trade-off. Meanwhile, few will mourn the loss of the giant thigh-band with the nunchuk pocket, replaced by the neater leg strap, which is much less prone to sweat-slippage.

A Balance Board can be used in various activities such as step aerobics, but you can still exercise hard without it. And while the Wii version doesn't support DLC, the new online functionality once it's working properly has the potential to deepen your commitment to a workout plan.

Body-tracking can still be a woolly, imprecise affair at times, but never so much that it ruins a workout and thanks to the heart monitor, cheating is effectively punished with the knowledge that a great big graph is waiting to mock you for wimping out.

Active 2 on Wii is a confident addition to the best fitness series on any platform, and the new features strengthen the offering - if not revolutionising it as EA would have us believe.

Current niggles with the online service and the inconsistent performance of the heart monitor create a level of frustration not present in earlier versions and, at 70, you really shouldn't be paying extra for that.

But if you lack the means or motivation to join a gym and want to improve your fitness, EA Sports Active remains the best there is.



Active 2 on PS3 is, to all intents and purposes, an HD update of the Wii game. An extra arm sensor is included instead of Move support and works just as effectively as the Wiimote where relevant.

On PS3, meanwhile, you get a special bonus right arm sensor. Because it doesn't support Move.

Commercially, I can see why EA has avoided building a bespoke Move-enabled version as it's early days for the peripheral. But while the combination of devices does the job, it's hard to ignore the potential for a fitness title that makes use of Move and PS Eye's one-to-one tracking. Maybe next time.

The feature set is essentially the same as on Wii, although PS3 owners will be able to expand the portfolio of exercises over time via DLC. As such, the smartly structured approach and range of content makes this the leading PS3 fitness title at the first attempt.

EA's solution to multi-platform development here is a neat and largely successful one (despite the occasional waywardness of the heart monitor). But that means Active 2 on PS3 feels more like a polished upgrade to a Wii franchise than a title that genuinely takes full advantage of the platform.

You won't find a game on PS3 right now that will work you harder than Active 2 but I want to see EA Canada working up more of a sweat next time.


About the author

Johnny Minkley

Johnny Minkley


Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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