Review: NFL Training Camp for the Wii
EA Sports Active has released it’s game NFL Training Camp for the Nintendo’s Wii console. As a rabid football fan who also loves wii games that really get you up and active, I just had to give this a try. So, here’s our review.
Note: I’ll be updating this review as I use the game more and experience more of the features.
What’s in the Box?
- The Video Game disc and case
- Resistence Band
- Heart Rate Monitor (worn on your arm)
- Wireless Motion Tracker (for your leg)
- USB receiver (plugs into the back of the Wii)
- A very brief Manual
The exercises are demonstrated in the game itself through tutorial videos. If you have a Wii balance board you can use it to determine your weight, but that is all it is used for.
You’ll begin by creating your profile and character. When you are ready to begin playing you’ll need to plug the USB receiver into your Wii, (it’s quite long, so you’ll need several inches of space behind the console), strap the heart monitor on your arm just below your elbow, and the Motion Tracker on your thigh.
There are several types of workouts. You choose from preset or customized workouts, have a workout automatically generated for you, or create your own custom workout. There are also numerous position challenges that give you workouts, or obstacle courses that would apply to certain NFL positions like QB, RB, Lineman, etc.
My favorite part of the game (so far) are the QB Skills.
The first one is the QB Read and React. In this challenge, there are a number of targets placed in the field as if they were receivers. When they “pop up” you need to identify whether they are your team’s logo, or an opponent. If you throw to an opponent target, the pass will be intercepted. The further downfield the target, the more yards you accumulate. You begin at the 20 yard line and have a set time limit to gain as many yards and touchdowns as you can.
You don’t need to throw at the first available target. You can try to wait for a higher yardage target, but here is also a “Sack Timer” that counts down the seconds. If you don’t get a throw off in time, you’re “sacked.”
Tapping your feet in the pocket slows down the sack timer and gives you a little more time to make your reads.
The second challenge is the QB Window. The goal is to drive the length of the field twice and score touchdowns. You gain yardage by hitting the target as it moves across the screen. If your pass hits one of the defender targets, it’s incomplete. If you fail to gain 10 yards to make a first down you’ll have to start over.
Yardage gained on each completion is determined by how much space there is between the defenders when you complete the pass. Narrow spaces can get you up to 20 yards on a pass. Large spaces may only net 3-5 yards.
The QB Obstacle Course combines the Read and React portion and the QB Window together with some running at the beginning and the end. There are slight differences in that in this version of the QB Window, the goal is to drive and score 2 TDs, and in the Read and React, the goal is to accumulate 225 yards. There is no time limit on completing the course.
The goal of the punting challenge is to down the ball as close as possible to the corner of the field without going into the end zone. You hold the wii remote out away from your body like a punter would a football, and then swing your leg to kick. (without actually kicking the wii remote!) You’ll have to be aware of the wind and try to aim your punts accordingly.
Field Goal Challenge
A horizontal blue bar moves back and forth across the screen and you need to time your kick so that your kicks will be as straight as possible. Like with punting, you’ll have to take the wind into consideration. The closer the kicks are to the center of the goal posts, the more points you score. When you feel the blue bar is in a good location to make the kick, step forward and swing your leg forward to “kick” the ball. You get three attempts at each distance before moving back 5 yards.
Lineman Obstacle Course
This course begins with a short jog, before running through the “ladder” by quickly moving your feet in and out. Then, you push a blocking sled by holding your hands out in front of you and pumping your legs. Finally, there is a sprint to the finish line.
Here your task is to “shed blockers” by avoiding the tackling dummies that are coming toward you by throwing you arm out to the right or left all while firing your legs. There will also be the occasional ball carrier that you must tackle by throwing your arms forward and up.
Running Back Challenge
This challenge require you to run through a tire drill by pumping your legs, avoiding the tackling dummies with stiff arms by throwing your right or left arm out to the side, and “jumping” over obstacles.
Defensive Back Challenge
In the DB challenge, you perform lunges in towards all four cones and then attempt to catch footballs thrown to either side or over your head. You do this by lunging for the ball with the wii remote or jumping up.
Wide Receiver Obstacle Course
The WR Obstacle includes the same ball catching drill you’ll find in the Defensive Back Challenge…
and a second drill where you run a go pattern and reach to catch a pass.
Each NFL squad has a team workout. These are real workout routines that are typically about 30 minutes long. Although, you can choose choose to disable any of the exercises you don’t wish to do before the workout begins.
These workouts include activities like Jump Squats (see pic below), Reverse Lunges, Rainbow Squats, Foot Fires, Heel Lifts, and a lot more.
60 Day Challenge
I haven’t tried this because as I’m writing this the game has only been out for a few days (but we’ll update as we use it more). The idea is you ca plan a workout schedule 60 days in advance. This schedule has you working out 4 days a week and resting for 3. It charts your progress and and updates your “Draft Status” as move through the challenge.
Overall, I am really enjoying this game. Everything about it is active, which I like. And, that is an important thing to understand if you are on the fence about buying it. Pretty much every activity will make you sweat, with the possible exception of the Punting and Field Goal Challenges.
The position challenges are a little less intense, and a little more “fun,” than the team workouts. However, you still will get moving and raise your heart rate with these challenges. The workouts are just that, a workout. It isn’t too much different than working out with an exercise DVD.
If I have any complaints it would be that I’d like to see even more position challenges, especially for the “skill” position players like QB, WR, and RB. I would also have liked to have some drills against players. Like WR and DB one on one drills, or Running Back trying to score on the goal line drills, etc.
I definitely would recommend this for the football enthusiast who wants to get up off the couch and get some exercise. I’m in my 30’s and in pretty good shape and I found this game to be an impressive workout. The fact that you are participating in football drills and challenges, and not just following an exercise video, makes me more likely to want to do it day in and day out. With winter and the calorie-heavy holidays just around the corner, that’s a really good thing.
Want to try it for yourself? You can get EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp on Amazonby