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Old 12-29-2010, 03:57 AM   #30
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Kinect Sports (Xbox 360 Kinect)

So Kinect is here! Microsoft attempt to unlock the Xbox 360 to the casual gamer Market the Wii so brilliantly tapped up and whilst Kinect Adventures is the game you are getting in the box (at least here in the UK) Kinect Sports is the game that challenges the bundled Wii Sports directly.

Thanks to Wii sports minigames are now seen as normal and the similarities are on display here. There is football (soccer), table tennis, bowling, boxing and Track & Field and like the Wii these are a mixed bag of games. The easiest to directly compare is the bowling, whilst it's fun and my 80 year old granddad wanted to play it somehow it seemed a lot less playable that the Wii edition. Maybe it is because you are holding something on Nintendo’s version or the wiimote detects the spin more accurately. I don't claim to be the greatest bowler but I got the best result simply swinging my arm back and forth and keeping my body still, in rare instances my other arm interfered and even the people behind sat on the sofa caused an issue occasionally. So first blood to Wii Sports! Another direct comparison that can be made is the table tennis. True, the Wii had the non table version but Rare gets it right here. Seeing as you couldn't control your movement in the Wii version it seems more sensible to restrict this game to a table where it is simply about making the right shots, and I have to say it detects everything perfectly. Sliced backhands topspin forehands, smashes were all executed with ease and it's very responsive. I had some pretty epic battles with friends already and can see this being one of the standout games in what is a mixed package. Volleyball works in a similar way but plays more like Wii Sports Tennis which is never a bad thing but lacks the variety of shots that are on display in the table tennis.
Next up was football and this has never really been tackled using motion controls. Sure Pro Evos point and click to direct runs was a great implementation but you were still sat on your arse and Kinect Football has a damn good go at recreating the beautiful game. It's stripped down to the bare bones and you have 2 play mechanics, attacking and defending. When on the offensive the 360 will select one of up to 3 passes you can play which you then kick in one of the directions. Generally the detection is quite good but often you end up playing the wrong pass, it looks for the whole leg movement. Little flicks and side footed passes are a big no no here and for me that was annoying as I instinctively played these passes. Defending is limited to interception only. You jump your player in the way of the other players pass to block the ball. If you are in range of the goal you can shoot. Again it's fairly basic. You can't 'Bend it like Beckham' or anything. Whilst this all sounds negative the football is actually a lot of fun! Ok it won't compare to FIFA for depth but jumping around intercepting passes was a great laugh and I really enjoyed this sport in particular. However as with all the sports in this package it's better when played with friends. Then the biggest ‘Sport’ in the game is the Track and field which Includes Hurdles, Sprint, Javelin, Discus Throw and Long Jump): A selection of track and field events, all taking place at the Flame Stadium and the possibility to play a pentathlon. Each of these serve as throwaway games by themselves and pale in comparison to great track and field games of yester year such as Athelete Kings (Decathlete). The hurdles for me provide the highlight watching you leap up and down like idiots which provide massive amusement for all around. Again, you will rarely want to play these games alone as precision rarely comes into it but competing with friends is great fun.

The game also features the Kinect bells and whistles that you will come to expect if you played Kinect Adventures. Whilst you play the Kinect camera will snap away at you for your amusement. Though the pictures and captions are no where near as entertaining or carefully thought out as Kinect Adventures. The game also gives you little time to celebrate like you can with Kinect Adventures trophies which in sports would have been a nice touch to really rub it in an opponents face. But the whole game is well presented and polished. The announcer either is or sounds a lot like the announcer from the X-Factor and you can get the crowd going by clapping and dancing around before you start playing. The menus are also easy to navigate and never get you out of the action for long.

If you have a Kinect and Dancing games are not your thing you should certainly pick this up. So that’s it then… great game and a 90%+ review? Well… No. After the few hours of fun and laughter and when the day playing with friends is over you will rarely play this. Case in point, a friend of mine received this game on Christmas Day and he and the family played it all day and it was the stand out game. Come Boxing Day when the family were gone and the novelty wore off it was back to playing conventional gaming. Kinect Sports will reappear again and again when friends visit. But at 40/$60 a game it’s hard to recommend this aside from as a multiplayer romp. Still if you own a Kinect right now that’s why you purchased it.

Pros – Great fun with friends. Football is well implemented. Announcer sounds great.
Cons – Almost non-existent single player appeal. Better victory celebrations would have been welcome.

Overall 77%
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Last edited by GrantXP; 12-29-2010 at 05:52 AM.
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