Kinect Sports screenshot
Kinect Sports screenshot

The other five activities are better. Bowling is much like it is on the Wii, except without the Wii-mote. There's no B button to release to let go of the ball, so the game automatically releases it when Kinect detects a swing with enough momentum. Arrows on the alley will glow depending on your alignment, allowing you to prepare your aim before sending the ball down the lane. Boxing is much better than the Wii version, too, with options to move about the ring, strafe left and right, block high, block low and throw punch. Rare decided to ditch the stamina bar that many boxing games use, knowing full well that the player's own stamina is just as useful a resource. Boxing is by far the most physically demanding event in the game.

Volleyball and Ping-Pong are fairly similar, requiring good hand to ball co-ordination and precise timing. The game makes use of a 'if it turns green, do it' mechanic, which is applied via icons to smashing volley balls, jumping over hurdles and throwing discuses, amongst other things. Due to a slight lag, however, you need to execute the required actions just before the object in question changes colour. This, as you might expect, is quite frustrating, but pre-empting the switch quickly becomes part of the game.

Track and Field was perhaps my favourite of the six sports, entering players into a pentathlon of hurdles, sprint, javelin, discus throw and long jump. Your points in each mode build up cumulatively, meaning consistency across all five events is crucial if you're gunning for gold. During my time with the game I set world records in no less than three disciplines – and I felt a great urge to repeat the two where I didn't. This will be what keeps players coming back - the rivalry between friends and families in who can throw the furthest javelin or run 100m in the quickest time.

Whenever you set a new record, ace a serve or nail a strike, licensed music will fill the air as your avatar jumps and woops and thrusts his fists into the air. Of course in the real world you're likely to be celebrating in a similar manner, and unbeknownst to you, Kinect will be filming the whole thing. At the end of an event, a video of these celebrations and other pivotal moments from the competition will be shown. This is where a large percentage of the fun from Kinect Sports is derived from: laughing at yourself acting like a prat in front of the TV. The game goes one step further than that though, giving you the opportunity to share this footage with the world. You can upload video highlights from within the game to the Kinect Share website, where it can then be downloaded and distributed as you wish.

As with many of the launch games available, Kinect Sports could have done with a little more refining prior to release. The football is shoddy, avatars glitch out and every now and again and the responsiveness of the game is occasionally brought into question - but none of this stops the experience being enjoyable. To conclude then, the answer to a question that has been on everybody's lips: is Kinect Sports better than Wii Sports?

Without a doubt.

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Hazell13's Avatar

Hazell13

Just played my 1st game of Kinect sports, and have to say it was great fun.
I do think that maybe it could be the start of some good family evenings around the 360 instead of the wii.
Posted 11:48 on 11 November 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Played it now, albeit only a bit, and it's great fun. The replays are hilarious and I think this is where it scores over Wii Sports. However, it doesn't quite have the same charm. It's still something I'd really love playing with the family.
Posted 14:28 on 07 November 2010
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ firstandlastpost

C'mon man, don't be too aggresive to other members.
Posted 22:17 on 06 November 2010
firstandlastpost's Avatar

firstandlastpost@ enviro-bear

enviro-bear, are you looking through every game on the net trying to find a title made by Rare just to criticise it? Well done, you've finally got something right and found one that they have actually developed. Go on, have a look at Dance Central and criticise that, oh wait, they didn't make that, but you probably didn't know that and thought they've developed that too. Waste of time. You see I read news articles that I'm interested in. What are you doing, it's like Adolf Hitler reading a book called, '100 Reasons Why Great Britain is Great,' and saying to himself after reading all 300 pages, "I hate Great Britain."
Posted 21:40 on 06 November 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Good review, But is it better than Sports Champions? Sounds about the same to me?

Also, do you mean it's technically better than Wii Sports or all round more fun?
Posted 17:03 on 04 November 2010
enviro-bear's Avatar

enviro-bear

good. enough said
Posted 16:56 on 04 November 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
7
Out of 10
Kinect Sports
  • Video playback is great fun
  • Requires actual skill!
  • Football is rubbish
  • Avatars are prone to animation glitches
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 04/11/2010
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 2,166 345
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