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Online support for EA Sports Active 2 and NFL Training Camp will end next month

EA Sports Active 2 for Wii

EA has announced that they will shut down the online servers for a group of games, including EA Sports Active 2 (on all consoles) and NFL Training Camp (for Wii).  That means your online workout stats and workout groups for those games will go to cyber-heaven on April 15.

While EA should get some props for having the first console fitness games to have crucial online support – something I decried the lack of – it’s still dismaying that they’re pulling the plug after only about a year and a half after those games were released.  It’s also a consumer issue, since EASA2 and NFL are still on many retail store shelves and still selling for as much as $50.  Someone might pick up one of those games on a whim, or as a gift for a football fan who’s wearing a hole in the couch, only to find that the online support promised on the box no longer exists.

On the silver lining side, NFL has been drastically cut to under $15 at Amazon and I expect EASA2 to soon follow suit. I picked up NFL a couple months ago and tried it a couple times, and while it does have some connectivity issues (Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 for Kinect has really spoiled me) it’s still a good workout with plenty of NFL fan flavor.  The heart rate monitor and leg controllers are identical for both games, so if you get one of each, you can enjoy multiplayer on both games.

And since it’s the age of social networks, there will still be forums and groups devoted to EASA and NFL even after the built-in support is gone. The EA Sports Active forum is very active, and by all indications, will keep on movin’ after April.

(Via Ars Technica)

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EA Sports Active 2 is now down to $10 in Target stores

This week’s Target ad says that EA Sports Active 2 for Wii and PS3 (but not Kinect) is on clearance, in stores only, for $10.  That’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen it.  Maybe they’re clearing shelves for an EA Sports Active 3…

UFC Personal Trainer game is coming on Wii, Kinect, PS3 Move

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Image via Wikipedia

UFC Trainer was first announced last year, and is finally listed on Amazon, who is giving a release date of June 21.  According to the description, the game offers:

  • Authentic UFC Fitness Experience – Certified by UFC and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), UFC Personal Trainer is designed by leading MMA training experts
  • Intense Mixed Martial Arts Exercises – Learn over 70 MMA-inspired exercises, including moves from disciplines such as wrestling, kickboxing and Muay Thai

There’s a blue Wi-Fi logo on the Wii box, so there must be some online content – maybe even online play, I hope!

Party on! Zumba exergame looks like a sleeper hit

From the time a video game based on Zumba was announced more than a year ago, there has been a ton of interest and anticipation by Zumbamaniacs all over the world.  I was cautious, since the game was made by the same company that put out the notoriously bad Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2009.  But when it (the Wii version) got a few good reviews and went on sale on Black Friday at Amazon, I took a bite.

And I’m very glad I did.  The infectious music and moves make up for the rather clunky interface and slippery belt.  (I found a much better belt, made for Wii Fit, at Five Below for $5 – and it even came with a Wii Fit hat!  On the other hand, official belts from the Zumba site are $10 plus shipping, when they have them.)  I’ve never even been to a Zumba class, but I’ve used Wii Zumba at least once a week since I’ve gotten it, and lost a couple of pounds in that time.

Now it looks like the red-hot fitness license is paying off for Majesco, the game’s publisher.  They’ve announced that Zumba games on all 3 platforms (Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 Kinect) have shipped 500,000 copies.  That’s not too shabby, considering they were up against Just Dance 2 – inarguably a blockbuster hit, selling 5 million in the same time frame – and Michael Jackson The Experience, which sold nearly 2 million.

Looks like dance/rhythm games, which were being declared all but dead before last year, are “muy caliente” once again! 🙂

Zumba, DDR, Just Dance Kids, EAS Active 2 and Jillian get game this week

This week may be your best chance to actually run into other exergamers and dancers among the Call of Duty fans in the video game section, as no fewer than five fitness/dancing franchises have new games competing for your console budget.

First, of course, DDR!  The latest Wii DDR game, DanceDanceRevolution (one word), is out, along with the first-ever DDR game for the PS3.  The PS3 game has a cool-looking mat and a new 8-button mode that uses the corners.  It also makes use of the new Wii-like Move controllers and the Eye camera.  No word on any new DDR for Xbox360 or (sniff) PS2.

Also heating up the dance floor are the new Zumba game for Wii, and Just Dance Kids.  Zumba Wii, which comes out a couple weeks ahead of the Zumba games for PS3 Move and Xbox360 Kinect, includes a waist or hip belt in which you store your Wiimote so it can properly gauge your booty-shaking.  Just Dance Kids is another entry in the sleeper-hit Wii series, for parents who’d rather have their six-year-olds dance to Wheels On The Bus than Rump Shaker or Baby Got Back.

Meanwhile in the virtual gym, EA Sports Active 2, EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp and Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2011 are elbowing for room.  EASA2 is available on Wii, PS3 and Xbox360 Kinect and looks a lot like its predecessor, with the addition of a forearm heart rate monitor and online support.  On Wii only, there’s also a more testosterone version of the game, NFL Training Camp, which features the same HRM and training drills like the pros.  (No indication of whether the Wii football can be incorporated.)  Finally, Jillian Michaels is back with her third Wii game, Fitness Ultimatum 2011, which includes a new “mission mode” in which you save the world from high fructose corn syrup.  Okay, let’s put some sweat on those controllers!

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