X – Kinect Sports
Lure your non-gaming friends into the wonders of the entertaining onscreen enjoyment. The controller-free gaming has made its entry, and with Kinect Sports it’s doing quite good. Everyone will find at least one game mode fun.
The disc is full of fun sports, and gives a relatively good feel about the actual thing, though this game shouldn’t be used for training to the Olympics. You go from bowling, to table tennis, volleyball (yes, with cheerleaders) all the way to track & field with a series of sports including 100 meter sprint, javelin and discus throw, long jump and a quite engaging and fun hurdle race.
Make a team mate out of your friend
While football (soccer for the Americans) is the biggest sport in the real world, it is not the biggest one on the disc – to be fair, a little tournament mode could have been nice, as one match only lasts a couple minutes, and just restarting the match over and over will make it a bit repetitive. The AI lacks of intelligence and can get quite frustrating at times. Your teammates tackles your opponent randomly, more often than not to your favor, giving the opponent free- and penalty kicks that you have to deal with as goalie. That being said, it’s still fun and enjoyable to kick the ball to your friend, yelling: “shoot” and hope that your friend scores that important goal. Goalie works really really good, though the lag that the sensor suffers from refrain you from saving the most rapid balls, usually taken by the AI in corner kicks.
Bowling is by far the game I will be playing the most. Most of my friends won’t be down with running and jumping in one place (my boyfriend won’t! I, myself, feel a bit retarded when doing this, so I don’t blame him) and bowling doesn’t ask you to do this. Everyone knows bowling, and what to do, so I don’t have to explain this game, even to some of my very few really non-gaming friends, that I plan on put in front of my Kinect. It feels like bowling, but without the weight, so you can play for a pretty long time without the risks of a sore arm that lasts for a few days. This is one of the most precise games on the disc, but I have experienced that my avatar didn’t want to let go of the ball so the game isn’t flawless. Once you find the style and feel of the game, you will start to slam down those pins.
Now i am contradicting myself a bit here – I said I couldn’t make my boyfriend play any jumping games with me – but I actually got him to play a bit of beach volleyball with me, and we both find it really fun. This felt even more co-operative than the football, not to mention I’m loosing my breath more because of the jumping – and slamming the ball down on the sand feels satisfying.
The minigames is made by the different sports the main events list is made of – but with different twists and rules. A good example is “Pin Rush” which basically is bowling on steroids. Bowling balls spawn in your avatars hands(yes, both of them) rapidly, and you have to knock over the pins as fast as possible within a time limit.
Get your groove on
Well, the graphics are what you expect from the games that uses the avatar from your Xbox Live profile, they aren’t fancy at all. But it does work, and there’s no clipping or other really ugly fails here – though, if you scratch your neck, your avatars hand will go through either the hair or neck of your avatar, but that was expected, and in my opinion this isn’t a big deal, it doesn’t ruin the experience. While the sound effects just fit in, there’s a really great soundtrack for when you hit the nail in the game you’re playing (strike in bowling, making a world record in long jump, score a goal in football/soccer and beach volleyball…). Nothing better than hearing “We are the Champions” composed by Queen after making a goal in football/soccer, or “Celebration”, “You can’t touch this”, “Another one bites the dust” or “I got you (I feel good)” after making a strike in bowling or a world record in javelin throw.
People called this game a Wii Sports clone, even before it’s launch, and yes, there’s similarities, but the two games are far apart – Kinect Sports is so much more. You can’t cheat the game into thinking you are doing the exercises just by flapping a controller, because the sensor will catch you cheating. I can feel my concentration getting bettered for every time I fire up this disc, and I can’t wait to try out my improved skills in a real bowling alley. I will go back to this game now, pushing my opponent on the start line before that 100 metres hurddle race begins.