Kinect Sports Review

Motion-controlled sports games are a dime a dozen nowadays. Ever since Wii Sports laid out the blueprint, its been copied countless times. Odds are, you’ve already burned out on Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, Sports Champions, Deca Sports and countless other takes on the same real-life sports.

Microsoft is hoping that you still have an appetite for motion sports and you’re willing to pay for it. Unlike the Wii Sports series or Sports Champions, which are packed in with something else, Kinect Sports is a stand-alone game that retails for $50. Is this too much to ask for a different version of the same sports you’ve played many times before?

Kinect Sports has six different events. They are:

Track & Field (Hurdles, Sprint, Javelin, Discus Throw and Long Jump)
Table Tennis
Beach Volleyball

While Track & Field has five sub-events within it, they all use the same concepts of running, jumping and throwing. Of the games in the set, the track & field games felt the most artificial. While most of these games do a fair job at making you use real life motions, there’s nothing real about running in place to propel yourself forward. Granted, it wouldn’t be easy to run 100 meters in your living room either, but its worth noting nonetheless.

Overall, the sports here are mostly hits and comparable to the best of the best in this space. Beach Volleyball is my favourite, as it plays as you would expect it to and offers a sports gaming experience that’s new to me. It’s really satisfying to jump in the air and spike the ball into your opponent’s face. Soccer is another fun one, even though I’m not a soccer fan. Being able to bend it like Beckham into the back of the net is all sorts of awesome. Table Tennis is exactly what you think it is and works just as you think it would. Ditto for Bowling. The stinker of the bunch is Boxing. I found that Wii Boxing had a hard time registering the types of punches I wanted to throw, but Kinect Boxing could barely register any of my punches at all. Most of the time, I would tire myself out throwing punches, only to see my avatar just stand motionless. On top of the core games, there are mini games tied to each sport.

If you have a Kinect and are looking for more motion sports, Kinect Sports is the best of the launch sports games and one of the best sports mini game collections out there across any system. However, this game also suffers from the same follies as every other sports mini game collection. It’s not that fun to play alone. Online play sort of helps, but not having another person in the same room does hurt the experience. The experience is also going to wear thin in a relatively short period of time. If you burned out on Wii Sports or Sports Champions, you will burn out on this, too. As long as you know what you’re getting with this package, then it shouldn’t disappoint.

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