Sometimes good things come in twos – like the Chuckle Brothers for our UK readers, or the Jonas Brothers for the US readers. Oh wait, I’ve just received a large telling off from a younger sister – there are actually 5 members to the Jonas Brothers, so maybe I’ll use that analogy when comparing fitness games for the Kinect instead. But I digress. On the Kinect we have a likely duo that anybody could have guessed: two rival sports games. In the blue corner: Kinect Sports – Microsoft and Rare’s venture into the world of getting you off your bottom, and then, in the red corner, we have Motion Sports – Ubisoft’s attempt to smash the competition and reign supreme in the world of sport titles for Kinect.
The first thing you’ll undoubtedly notice about Motion Sports is that it’s not really your typical set of sports, and that’s a good thing, it’s nice to see them going out on a wing to try new things out, such as horseback riding, hang gliding and skiing. Other more traditional sports include soccer/football, American football, and the stress relieving boxing. When you look at the lineup, you can only dream of the scenarios a group of players may encounter – laughing at your friend for riding an imaginary horse, or maybe playing the hang gliding game with a hangover, trying your best not to vomit, which is actually quite a lot of fun!
Trouble is, the same cannot be said for the other sports on offer here. It’s not that I’m a hater of sports or somebody who fears exercise, quite the opposite, but I’m also a man of high standards, and Motion Sports lets me down at every hurdle. Each game, and I have trouble calling them games as they’re quite small, is riddled with problems and bugs , making this one a little more like Motion Sickness as opposed to Motion Sports.
Each game feels restricted too, American Football is pretty much an on-the-rails dodge fest, where you have to vault your body left and right to dodge the tackles, and the soccer-football is just a bunch of aimless kicking. Boxing is a soldered bunch of problems – for a start, you’ll be lucky if it recognises your punches, and if it does it lags worse than any other sport on the disc. Perhaps the more serene sports in this package are the best of a bad bunch, but I think this is down to the smaller amount of movements involved. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to be said for the relaxed yet gratifying experience that hang gliding provides, aiming for the markers and gliding at a slow, comfortable pace. Skiing’s more of the same, left and right movements register quite well – another favourite on the disc. As for horseback riding, well, it works as you throw your invisible reigns and rock your horse to ride, but I promise this particular sport isn’t for the self-conscious, because you won’t half look a fool doing this in your lounge.
The graphics are pretty good in Motion Sports, particularly the environments on the more praise-worthy sports above, and the music, while not brilliant, does a good job of filling the background. If only there were a way to mute the announcer guy, as he always seems to repeat the same lines over and over!
Maybe Motion Sports would have fared better if it wasn’t going against the bigger, better Kinect Sports – but even if it wasn’t, you’d have to be pretty spineless to let the none-responsive software go undetected. There’s nothing more frustrating than forking out for a Kinect, only for it to be let down by poor games, and unfortunately, Motion Sports is one of those poor games. Perhaps this sounds harsh, but the only saving grace for Motion Sports is if it finds its way into the bargain bin ASAP – then it might be worth a play for the more unusual sports in the package.
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