Product Type: Microsoft Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... these sports really boring in a game mode...and in real life. The Track and Field sport option is my favorite, along with football, so I wi... more
You might find it hard to be a good sport!
Kinect Sports - Kinect Compatible (Xbox 360)
Member Name: Luvlylana
Kinect Sports - Kinect Compatible (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Several games all in one
Disadvantages: Brings out your competitive edge!
I was very lucky in that when I decided to become an Xbox Live user, the membership deal meant that you would get a free game as part of the package of having Xbox Live for a year. The games you could choose from included Halo Reach and Kinect Sports - I can't remember the other two but I have a feeling it might have been something like Kinectimals and Assassin's Creed. You can tell which ones me and my fiancé went for can't you!
So my choice was Kinect Sports, as I wanted another game that made use of my Kinect and that I could play with friends on social occasions, and as it came with the Xbox Live membership, it was effectively free.
Kinect Sports was brought out by Microsoft in 2010, as a launch title for the Xbox 360 Kinect hardware. It was intended to not only be a family game but also to demonstrate the motion-sensing capabilities of the Kinect hardware. This was achieved through the six sports games based on Football, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Boxing and Track and Field.
There is now a new sequel to the game which was released in October 2011, which is called Kinect Sports Season Two, and this includes six new sports games - Golf, Darts, Baseball, Skiing, Tennis and American Football.
About the Game
When the game loads your first menu sees you outside a sports stadium, and you are asked to pick who the main player will be. I believe if you want to play as two players you can both select your profiles, but this is a little bit further into the game.
You choose options using your hands as you do with all Kinect-specific titles, and in Kinect Sports there are three game modes:
*Main event - you choose a specific sport to play, either alone or with/against a friend (who can either be in the same room or on Xbox Live if they have a copy of the game for their own Xbox.
*Party play - for large groups of players in a party situation where you can be in teams and take it in turns to compete against each other with mini games.
*Mini games - shorter games based on the sports in the main events, including things like time trials and survival games. Up to four people can play these games.
You can choose your opponents - these can be either friends and family in the same room as you, computer opponents (i.e. AI characters), or online opponents. This is a good feature as it means you don't have to play on your own all the time, though that is also an option if you don't fancy being competitive with anyone other than your own personal bests.
There are also varying levels of difficulty if you choose to play against AI opponents. You can play against beginners, ameteurs, professionals, or champions. The aim is to increase your own champion status, and each time you play a game and do well you level up, and this allows you to work towards achievements.
I'll go into a little more detail about each of the games and their associated mini games...
Obviously this game is based on one of our nations most popular sports. To control the ball you can kick to pass and shoot (if you wait too long you will get tackled!), and you can defend by either sticking your foot in front of the ball as an opponent tries to put it past you, or by using your hands if you are in goal. You will be given free kicks or penalties if there is any foul play from the opposing team.
In this game friends and family can't be both on your team and the opposing team, so this is more of a two player mode.
The mini games associated with this are Super Saver (you have to block the striker's shots, and each goal conceded makes you lose a chance, and you only have three to use!) and Target Kick (you are now the striker and you have to hit targets).
This game is controlled as you would imagine - you put your hand over the bowling ball to "pick it up", and you extend your arm towards the television to throw it. You can also put spin on your throw by bringing your arm across your body when you throw.
This game is available to play with up to four players, and there are two mini games based on bowling. The first is One Bowl Roll, where you have to knock down specific pin patterns with just one bowling ball, and this is very similar to the football mini game as you have several chances before the game ends. The second game is Pin rush, where you pretty much throw bowling balls as quickly as possible to knock down as many pins as possible in the time allowed. You can earn bonus time by reaching certain numbers of knocked down pins.
In this game based on beach volleyball you can serve the ball by throwing it up, and choose whether to hit it overhand, underhand or as a jump hit. The idea is to be the first to seven points, and you can play with another player in the room, or with more people online also, but not friends and family all in the same room.
The mini games based on volleyball are Bump Bash, which is a game of avoiding the items the opposing team throw at you whilst hitting targets, and also the other game is Body Ball, where you have to hit the ball with you head, hands or feet according to the game's commands.
The game is standalone - there are no associated mini games. You can control your character by punching high and low in front of you, blocking high and low, and by power punching, which is achieved by pulling your shoulder back before punching. This is obviously a one on one game, so you can play on your own, with someone else in the same room, or via Xbox Live.
This game uses your hand as a table tennis paddle, and your other hand is used to serve the ball. You can also perform power slams by hitting the ball extra hard. You can play this game alone, with another person in the room, or with people on Xbox Live.
The mini games associated with Table Tennis are Paddle Panic, which gives you two paddles and a time limit to return as many balls as possible, and Rally Tally, where the aim is to keep a rally going for as long as possible, until a shot slips through.
Track & Field
This is a bit different to the other games as you play a series of mini games to complete one complete athletic game. You do a sprint, throw a javelin, run a long jump, throw a discuss, and also jump hurdles. Each of these events can be played as mini games, rather than having different mini games associated with it as with the other sports.
The game graphics are fairly good and are based on your avatar from your Xbox. The connection between your movements and the Kinect receiving them and putting them on the screen are fairly fluid so there is no real delay, which I know sometimes occurs on other games consoles and is incredibly frustrating!
The sound makes the most of your television speakers, and there are some great clips of big hits in the games, such as "Celebration", "Monster" and other recent hits that many members of the family of all ages will recognise.
I really like this game as it gets me moving in a different way to my other favourite Kinect games, the Dance Central series. Admittedly some of the events do leave me out of breath, but then I haven't done serious physical activity since my P.E days at school!
The opportunity to be able to play this game with others both in your own home and online make it more enjoyable as there are different outcomes every time when you play with a selection of people.
There is also something like 70 achievements to be collected through getting to different stages of the game, which helps the longevity of the game if you are into collecting or are in anyway competitive.
This game is good for both adults and children, as it's not difficult to get to grips with how to control the game, and it is good as an activity to be played with parents and children rather than having to spend a lot of money on a night out together - though it could never be an effective substitute to playing the real sports in the fresh air!
The only negatives you might experience is that you have a lack of space to play as you have to kick, punch and swing your arms, and also if you're not a fan of seeing the competitive sides of your friends and family it might not be a good game to play.
If you are looking to purchase this game it will be a lot cheaper now than when it was first released due to the fact it has now got a sequel that has been released. Using an app I have on my internet browser, the cheapest you can get this new from one of the more well known companies is £19.95 from Zavvi, though you may find it cheaper on Amazon Marketplace, Play Trade, or eBay.
Also published on Ciao
Summary: A great game to get the whole family moving