Despite its myriad of shortcomings, Kinect does an admirable job of putting players in its world. Take MotionSports, for example, a game where your face is plastered across buildings and billboards, as well as the front pages of newspapers underneath glorifying headlines. In the game itself, a live stream of your actions can be seen on huge plasma screens, and your own personal commentator follows you through each of the six sports. It's a narcissist's delight. In treating the player like a sports celebrity, however, the game masks horrendous controls, crippling lag and strange design choices. Five minutes of cyber-fame really isn't worth the grief.
While Kinect Sports and Sports Island Freedom are essentially party games, MotionSports takes things a little more seriously. Instead of Avatars, each activity is brought to life with realistic character models and an impressive degree of realism. Red sunsets paint a backdrop for your hang glider as it swoops through expansive canyons. Horses bound across fences with authentic animations and skiers career down mountains with an appropriate sense of speed. MotionSports might be a hopelessly flawed game, but it does an admirable job of making you think otherwise.
Horse riding is perhaps the worst offender, which sees wannabe jockeys whipping imaginary reins to spur their horse onwards. As your steed approaches a fence, the idea is to jump in the air to command your horse do the same thing – because you know, that's what jockeys do in real life. As if realising their passenger is rather rudely jumping on their back, the horse will often decide to ignore the command, running straight into the fence head first. It's as funny as it sounds, but the novelty quickly wears off, and all you're left with is the frustration of the laggy, unresponsive controls.
It's a similar story for the other five games on the disc. In addition to horse riding, MotionSports includes hang gliding, American football, actual football, skiing and – what all sports game compilations can't be without – boxing. Each sport plays host to six or so different challenges, each offering a slight variant on the theme. This means there are actually 40 challenges in total, but only six – one for each sport – are available at the beginning. While there's an argument that it would have been nice to have all of these unlocked from the off, it does give the game a much needed sense of structure. As you progress you'll acquire points contributing to your overall fame, with new challenges unlocking as you become more famous. Your celebrity status differs with each sport, however, meaning you could be the biggest thing in the world of horse riding but completely unheard of in the boxing ring.