12th December 2010 - It's selling well, and it's pleasing a lot of consumers, but what does the Kinect really have to offer? What games are there on the line up that you can really get a feel for and enjoy? Kinect Adventures? Kinectimals? Sure, if you’re a child, or a childish person. But Sport games is where the platform makes a break for the older audiences. And MotionSports is the first of what I believe will turn into many sports games, or sports trainers, designed for Kinect. But is that to say its actually good or just designed for sales? Read on to find out…
MotionSports is, for all intents and purposes, a collection of mini-games. Mini-games built around a series of world-class sports. It may sound like your average Wii sports rip-off, or standard Kinect flagship for selling numbers, but MotionSports actually has some tricks up its sleeve.
There are a wide range of sports available to play in MotionSports, from Skiing and Boxing, to Soccer and even Hang Gliding. Each sport features a number of different mini-games, which become unlocked as you play more and more, and earn more and more points. It’s a standard progression system, and easy to grind, but for a game like this is complete rubbish. Don’t get me wrong, it great to see a wide variety of playable mini-games and sports, but when I have a few mates over and we boot up Kinect for some multiplayer mayhem, I don’t want to get through the menus to see that we cant play the most appealing games or enjoy the best the package has to offer without first playing and replaying some of the lesser ones. For a game built around multiplayer (at least I hope that’s what Ubisoft had in mind…), its not an awful lot appealing as a pick-up-and-play game when you cant access everything from the get go.
Aside from some design issues though, MotionSports actually has some great sports gameplay. The boxing reads moves surprisingly well, the soccer can pick up kicks on imaginary balls very well, and the Football (American Football - Gridiron, NFL etc.) games are my personal favourite.
Compared to the other Kinect titles ive had the joy - or joyless - experience of playing, MotionSports is the best looking. The character models are great for a game of this type, complete with believable textures and fluent animations, even when its mimicking your body movements. The environments too, while not particularly impressive compared to a ‘real‘ game (i.e., not a Kinect game), match perfectly with the games modelling style and are all quite colourful. Its quite impressive truth be told, but im sure the future will behold some great improvements for this genre and the Kinect in general, so don’t go thinking this is all the machine has to offer. But for the mean time, this is as good as it comes in visual terms for the Kinect, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Absolutely standard - a great display of mediocrity. MotionSports is dull as a roll of mint Mentos in the audio department, with a sheer lacking of anything and everything that makes you go wow. It hasn’t a decent score or soundtrack, the sound effects for each hit, slide, tackle, kick and jab sound like the kind of thing you’d find on a free sound byte website and to top it off, bad commentary and voice tracks make you simply feel like blaring music as you wale on each other or kick goals to victory in the various sports mini-games.
In a similar bid to how most titles turn out on the competitor, the Nintendo Wii, MotionSports has very little value when played by a single gamer. In order to get the most, or anything out of it really, you must play with at least one friend or family member, and the more the merrier really, as a lot of the games value either comes from the rush of beating on your older brother or best mate without the nasty consequences or the embarrassment on everyone in the rooms faces when they see the MotionSports mid-game action shots after the dust has settled. So really think before you buy this one; do I have a good enough contact list to get lasting appeal from this somewhat expensive mini-game collection?
While it may be one of the better games on the Kinect so far, MotionSports is still lacking in, well, almost everything. It’s a great example of the type of gameplay and mini-game possibilities that im sure we’ll see legions of in the future, but it really doesn’t have enough substance to keep the style holding this one high. With a few good points failing to outweigh the cons, MotionSports is ultimately yet another miss for the Kinect line-up, unless of course you really want to be playing the same sport games over and over with a few good mates - and even that’s pushing it when you’ve given each sport a good try or three.
AAG SCORE: 4/10
+ Some good sports game ideas
+ Quality Kinect visuals
- Some very bad design choices
- Single-player has little value
- Terrible audio
- Repetitive even in multiplayer
Reviewed and Written By John Elliott