I have a feeling that after all is said and done, that Active Life: Extreme Challenge will be enjoyed by all ages, despite the fact that the character design, color scheme, and overall action seems to skew a little bit towards the younger set. This is because each of the mini-games that are present here are fun as all get out, while the control scheme approximates as close to reality the events covered by the constraints of the Nintendo Wii. The title itself lets up to two players use a DDR-type of pad and the Wii controller to climb a rock face, trick on a bicycle, skateboard, or even jump rope in order to get the best time, showcase the best form, or otherwise garner the highest amount of points.
I see this title as being a more â€œextremeâ€ version of titles like Wii Fit in much the same way as Pibb Xtra was an extreme version of Mr. Pibb. The title itself is more immersive and seems to have taken all the successes of other titles in the genre while avoiding the pitfalls that have been present. Active Life: Extreme challenge is by no means an end to the line, either: while the collection of events here is faily exhaustive, I feel that further themed titles could easily extend the life of the line. The title itself does not cut any corners, either: by including the ability to insert your Mii into the title, there seems to be a sense that you are truly in the game.
The version of Active Life: Extreme Challenge that we reviewed came with the mat controller; this controller seems to be a step above earlier mats (be they third-party or those created for the aforementioned DDR set of titles), using a slightly thicker material while ensuring that there is proper sensitivity and picking up of movements. There is a stand-alone title, but at only $17 cheaper than the bundle package, I would have to say just to fork over the additional bill and get the bundle. Enclosed in a fairly large box, I would have to say that it would look like a much more impressive package come the holiday season.
Active Life: Extreme Challenge (Nintendo Wii) / 2009 Namco Bandai / http://www.playactivelife.com