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Namco Bandai



Namco Bandai



E (Everyone)



August 11, 2009



- Active entertainment for the kids

- Active Mate seems to be relatively durable



- Games get really difficult once the dial is turned up

- Experienced control lag with some of the games



Review: Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

Review: Punch-Out!! (Wii)

Review: Boogie (Wii)



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Active Life: Extreme Challenge

Score: 7.0 / 10


http://www.armchairempire.com/images/Reviews/wii/active-life-extreme-challenge/active-life-extreme-challenge-1_small.jpg          http://www.armchairempire.com/images/Reviews/wii/active-life-extreme-challenge/active-life-extreme-challenge-1_small.jpg


It seems that most if not all reviews of Active Life: Extreme Challenge fail to take into account that the game is aimed at little kids.  I would say that this isn’t one of those games you play beyond about age 11.  Fortunately, I had numerous reviewers – 10-years old and under – to play this game as it was intended.  While the review below is a departure from the norm on The Armchair Empire, it’s absolutely necessary in this case.


The participants are aged 10, 7, and 5.



The 10-year old thought the graphics were “awesome” and “kind of like playing a cartoon.” The 7 and 5-year old were also impressed, with the 7-year old specifically stating that the graphics “make it easy to see everything.” So, that sounds like a pass to me.





- Wii Game Reviews

- Sports Game Reviews

- Games Published by Namco Bandai

The Mini-Games

It was no real surprise that they all loved the games, but it was only the 10-year old that could articulate why he liked the games (beyond giggling and laughing at everything on-screen that the 7 and 5-year old did).  He picked-up on something I noticed during my play session behind closed doors. Among the games like


Skateboarding, BMX, Double Dutch, Street Luge, Inline Skating, Rock Climbing and Kiteboarding he noticed an occasional lag between the controls – the included Active Mat and, sometimes, the regular Wii controls – and the action on-screen. While it bothered me quite a bit, everyone else was a lot more accepting of this problem.  But that’s the mindset of a pre-teen gamer, I suppose.  No matter how frustrated they got with something – either because the challenge was just too much or the control quirks instigated an end game – they’d just switch to something else.  It also helped that the 10-year old was helping out the younger ones getting the timing right or performing the correct motions.


After many hours of hammering on the included Active Mat, it’s still in good condition. Maybe the only problem that I saw from a parent’s point of view was that the mat isn’t wireless. It connects via a wire to one of the GameCube controller ports and, in my mind, wires have always meant the possibility of a console being accidently yanked off a shelf.


The Score

The 10-year old, the most experienced gamer of the bunch, really hemmed and hawed about the score. “I think it should be a 7 because it’s fun but it’s also kind of really hard sometimes.”  Maybe the 7-year was a little unclear on the concept or she just wanted to goad her brother on but she gave it a 7.5.  And the 5-year old, well she gave it a solid “12!” which puts it well beyond the 10 out of 10 threshold but there was no convincing her otherwise.


- Aaron Simmer’s kids

(September 17, 2009)


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