Joystiq hands-and-feet-on: Active Life Extreme Challenge

April 30, 2009

Of all the games on display at Namco Bandai’s summer media event, none seemed to want more love than Active Life Extreme Challenge. After all, if you’d just watched the above trailer, would you truly be psyched to play it? Well, we’ve never been the type to pass on a game just because of a silly premise — if that were the case, we’d never have known the love of 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand — so we gave it a shot. Turns out it’s not half bad.

Sure, you might might be able to play skateboarding, BMX and other extreme sports with a controller, but then you wouldn’t look totally goofy — like we did! Trust us, you’ve never known humility until you’ve gotten down on your hands and kneed in front of hundred of other journalists to "rock climb" on a plastic mat.

That’s exactly what we did, though, and it wasn’t easy. Granted, we tried it on hard mode, but pressing and holding the icons on each handhold without slowing down to peek at the mat is tough. Fortunately the three other minigames (out of a total of 15) we tried were a bit more forgiving.

The skateboard half-pipe was decent fun. There was no worrying about, well, anything you’d be concerned in a full genre title — just jumping before the red line and tapping the various directional arrows with your feet to perform flips and other tricks. Next up was base jumping, something we never really expected to do in a casual title. This one was all about timing steps on the correct arrows before losing control in free-fall. We were told that more difficult settings require the player to "stomp" away at virtual walls on the way down.

The final mode we tried was wakeboarding. For this, we actually held the Wiimote sideways like a waterskiing tow rope’s grip. We tilted it left and right in the wake in order to pass through colored gates which were sometimes — but not always, it was tricky — followed by jumps. The better-timed our jumps off the mat, the fancier the tricks we’d perform.

In the end, our minds remained totally un-blown. But we must to admit to having some fun, although we’d never play this game in front of strangers. Wait a second …

This post has been written by Randy Nelson on Apr 30th 2009 at 5:30AM couresy of joystiq.com.

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