Pros: Lots of fun, good assortment of sports
Cons: menu system is annoying, some games hard to control
Kinect Sports is a family oriented sports game much like Wii Sports but made for the Xbox Kinect device. It’s targeted for families mostly but some fun can be had online if you choose to. Kinect Sports has a wide range of sport games and they are split up into 3 different modes. First we have Party Mode which is for 2 or more players at a time, this is a mode where each side gets their own mascot and they try duke it out. The main mode is called “main event” and it features soccer, boxing, track and field, bowling, beach volleyball, and table tennis. And then lastly we have mini games which are just portions of the full games found in main event mode. And I also want to add, they have a free download add-on on Xbox live for extra mini games right now.
Each of the main event games you can either play by yourself versus a computer opponent with selectable skill levels, versus someone on Xbox Live, or versus up to 3 additional people in your living room.
The soccer game is pretty simple really, when your on offense the player you are in control of is the player who currently has the ball and your job is just to pass the ball to the next player without the opposite player blocking the ball. Once you get one of your players to the goal area you can take a shot for the goal. Most of the time this is very easy to do versus the computer. On offense you are trying to block the opponent from making the pass shot to his other players and recover the ball. If they make it to the goalie you will be controlling him and a ball icon will flash on the screen to show where you need to move to block the ball. This game overall is pretty good I just wish it was more like soccer to where you actually move down the field and not just pass from player to player.
Next up is boxing, I was hoping this was going to be like the Fight Night games using the Kinect but actually it’s only slightly better than the Wii Sports equivalent of this game. You can do various moves like high and low jabs and block either high or low, you can also move left to right to dodge your opponents attacks. Mostly I found this one a little buggy, sometimes the hits would register and sometimes not, most of the challenge in beating the opponent was because of this downfall. I do like when you get knocked out, you have to hit stars that appear in order to get back up. Overall, not bad but could be better.
Then we have track and field which is an assortment of Olympic style outdoor games. You first start out with sprint, 100m I believe. This really consists of running in place really fast and lifting your knees up high to go faster. Javelin is next and it just has you running in place and tossing your hand upward when you reach a certain spot on the field. Then you have long jump which is again running in place but this time jumping at a certain spot to get the longest distance. Discus is my least favorite, I couldn’t get it to work at all, your supposed to move your arm back and then upward towards the ceiling but my character kept throwing it 2 feet in front. And lastly hurdles is just like the sprint but you have to jump at a certain time when you are right about to reach a hurdle. Overall they are just a nice collection of mini games I prefer the sprint the most.
Bowling is my favorite game on here, it’s better than the one on Wii Sports. It’s much easier to line up your shot and make the ball go straight. What I really like also is there’s an option to grab the ball with your left hand if your a lefty. It’s a full round of bowling, not much more to say, pull your arm back and roll the ball forward, you can line up your arm with the arrows on the floor to show where you want the ball to go and you can twist your arm to put a spin on the ball. For me this was easy to get strikes with and loads of fun. Overall, best game on here.
Beach Volleyball is also really good. You start out on offense and you have to throw your left hand up to toss the ball in the air then whack it with your right arm. When the ball comes your way you will either need to move over to smack it or sometimes on screen it will say “jump” so you need to jump up and smack it. It’s loads of fun. I can see this being one of the better 2 or 4 player games on the package that would get lots of play. Overall, not bad.
Table Tennis is the last game and it’s quite fun too. You have to serve the ball and hit the ball when it comes to you. You can also do power shots by smacking the ball harder. I like to use an open hand with this one so it feels more like your using a paddle. Not a bad game overall just gets boring after a while.
The mini games section also has different variations on each sport such as bowling invaders which has rows of pins coming at you and you have to knock them down with unlimited bowling balls. There’s many other ones out there so check them out.
I also want to mention the menu system, you select things with moving your hand over the item for a few seconds until the icon forms a full circle. It’s easy to navigate but what is extremely annoying is after you finish a game and want to back out to the main menu, it takes so long. They could have made this a tad easier to navigate though.
Overall this is a great game for families or pretty much anyone who owns a Kinect. It’s definitely my favorite game on the Kinect at this point in time. You will get quite a few hours out of it and frankly it should have came bundled with the system. This will be a game you will want first after getting the system.