As you probably know, the big box for Active includes the game itself (which has its own, standard Wii case), the Nunchuk leg strap, and a resistance band with separate handles. The latter part immediately struck me as odd, because you have to thread the stretchy, peppermint-smelling band through holes in the handles and then tie it off in knots. On the bright side, it means I can later switch to tougher bands for a better workout, as I have several different kinds left from my rehab after a skiing injury last winter.
The neoprene Nunchuk holder is fairly large, with a long Velcro strap. However, it had to be fastened VERY tightly to keep from sliding down my workout pants. I had to reattach it twice during my 25-minute workout, which was annoying. The little pocket for the Nunchuk is just barely large enough to hold the controller; you really need to stretch it out while pushing the Nunchuk down, so it takes both hands. The tightness keeps the Nunchuk from slipping out, but the process of removing and later replacing the controller into the leg strap can be tedious when the activities are changing so often.
Despite some annoyances with the accessories, I like the software a lot so far. You create an avatar at first, but you'll be exercising within just a couple of minutes. The nice thing about Active is that it automatically generates a workout for you; my first day was 25 minutes long, not including all the one-time videos showing how to do each activity. There's a ton of variety, even within a single day's playlist. Active had me walking, running, squatting, lunging, curling, rowing, kick-boxing, and in-line skating within the first workout, and most of these exercises came up twice in the playlist. Each one is obviously pretty short, less than two minutes. The rapid-fire pace seems like a good way to prevent boredom or complacency, but the game doesn't flow so well when you account for all the equipment-switching between activities. Having to reposition the Nunchuk, set up the resistance band, or drag out the Balance Board every two minutes is a bit much, and I was soon wishing the exercises had been grouped by accessories to minimize the gear shuffle. Active does allow for a lot of workout customization, so I hope to find a way to do that organizing myself, but a built-in function would be preferable.
There's no doubt that my first workout was effective, even with all the interruptions for explanation videos (which won't be displayed next time). I broke a sweat within the first five minutes, and I was exhausted by the end of the routine. The in-game calorie count, which constantly creeps upward as you play, said I burned off 140 calories in my inaugural session. I'll be using the Wii Fit Channel to record my weight every morning, since Active does not seem to have a weigh-in feature. Tomorrow should have completely different exercises, as the game targets various muscle groups to prevent overworking anything with back-to-back days of intense workouts.
Cumulative Weight Loss = n/a (first day)