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498 of 510 found the following review helpful:
Fun Game! Easy to Control Movements! Nov 05, 2010
By V. Hutson
I just got finished playing all of the sports in Kinect Sports and here is my evaluation:
1. Track & Field: This area includes a variety of different activities that work well with the basic body movements the Kinect can control. These include running , jumping, and throwing things (javelins & discus). I think young and old would both have fun with this! This may actually be my favorite activity in this game.
2. Bowling: Not as much control as Wi Sports bowling--but it is actually feels more like bowling when you can just stick your hand out to pick up the ball and then swing your arm to bowl. No controller to hold on to or push buttons. Once again this is an activity that would appeal to both young and old. Personally, I still like the bowling in Wii Sports better because of the more precise control.
3. Boxing: I like this better than the Wii Sports Boxing--but there is still some lag time and I just don't get the feel that all my moves are translating accurately. Plus, like an earlier reveiwer indicated it seems like punching wildly is actually a winning approach in this game. I do like how you can just hold your arms up to block--this felt very natural. I'm waiting for the Kick Boxing version because when you kick your legs in this activity your avatar kicks its legs--but they don't seem to translate to "hits" in the game.
4. Beach Volleyball: This one will take some time to master. It can get a bit confusing because there are several different techniques involved--jumping, hitting, and blocking. If you're tall--make sure you don't have a ceiling fan above you--or at least make sure it's not on!
5. Table Tennis: Once again it was fun to play without a controller in my hand but I felt there were a few times when the intensity of my hits were not reflected in what actually happened on screen. For example, when an opportunity comes up for a "smash" the game announces it and then actually does it regardless of whether I swung harder or not.
6. Soccer: Fun and interesting. You don't have to run around the field yourself. Your player magically appears where the ball is kicked to. Simple body movements control your kicks and blocks. Gray directional lines on the screen show the directionally options when kicking and your location when blocking.
Throughout the games the Kinect takes photos and short videos of your movements. These are played at the end of each game. The images are saved so you can share them with others. This feature will appeal to some and not to others. For example, I find the images of my son interesting and humorous--but I need to find out how to erase the images of me!
Adding a second player was extremely easy. If I wanted to join my son all I had to do was step in front of the TV and the Kinect added me to the in-play game. The graphics are also much better than the Wii! Kinect Sports looked great on a 40" HDTV. We don't even play the Wii on this TV because of how bad it looks.
Bottom line: If you have an XBOX already--adding the Kinect and Kinect Sports really adds a nice dimension to your video game experience. If you have young kids or older folks that have trouble remembering what buttons to push on a remote--it doesn't get any easier than the Kinect.
P.S. It is a neat and strange sensation to be standing in front of your TV and the avatar on the screen is doing the same movements that you are. You can sway, move your arms and legs, and dance, and the avatar mimics it. This alone makes for good entertainment!
84 of 91 found the following review helpful:
A little touchy, but fun! Nov 14, 2010
By A. Eide
"The Night Ogre"
Honestly, I mostly read the reviews to see what people think of games, but this time, I felt the need to share my own thoughts. My wife and I purchased this title, and we were amazed at how much fun it can be. There are a few glitches here and there, and I have noticed them with both single player and two player local games, but they are not deal breakers.
The boxing portion has a hard time recognizing movements, even with multiple calibrations of the Kinect. I can be a technical as I want, and it just won't pick up on certain movements of the hands, which can be frustrating when you are getting your butt kicked.
A few other games, like the Javelin and Soccer can be frustrating as well, but I think with practice at how the Kinect picks up your body movements can help. Bowling is fun, it feels better than any Wii bowling game. The other games, like ping pong, volleyball, track and field, and so on are all fun, and respond very, very well.
This game can be a heck of a workout. I spent the first three days with it just playing all the different games, and I have lost about 10 pounds in the process. My arms and legs are sore from doing exercises I don't normally do while playing video games, but I feel great, honestly.
One other note I would like to add, make sure to check on the stability of your floors, and if you live above neighbors, see if you are bothering them. The track and field has running and jumping involved, and can lead to a lot of punishment on the floor. The long jump in particular has you running in place, and then jumping as high as you can, which can be noisy, or, if you are a large person like me, punishing on the floorboards.
All in all, I feel this is one of the best of the Kinect launch titles, albeit with its few flaws. I have had more fun with this than any other game in a long time. My wife has very, VERY, limited video game skills, and she hopped on in, and was able to play instantly. And beat one more than one occasion.
98 of 111 found the following review helpful:
Early Adoption, Don't Wait! Nov 04, 2010
By B. Klinko
This game is a lot of fun, my favorite out of the 5 games I have purchased at launch. Soccer is hilarious, basically you pass the ball down the field (choosing from a left pass, right pass or straight pass), while your opponent attempts to block the pass. Once you get past defenders and are 1v1 with the goalie you can shoot, and your opponent can try to save. It sounds simple enough but the camera is very responsive and the game gets frenetic and fun while playing. There are also opportunities for throw ins, corner kicks and headers etc, but the nuts and bolts is the simple pass and shoot.
Next there is bowling, which is a lot of fun and again the camera is very responsive.
Track and field has 5 events. Sprint, pretty basic....run in place. Next is Javelin Throw, also fun. Then there is the long jump, which is cool. Following that is discus, actually very lame, could not consistantly get good flights from discus. Lastly is hurdles, not really all that fun, but ok.
Next up is Boxing. Boxing is ok, but by far the most effective tactic is throw wildly rather than take a methodical approach...that actually kind of ruins it for me, I wanted something a little more strategy and skill based.
Beach Volleyball is a lot of fun, but it really seems the most forgiving with its camera response. I feel like a lot of times if you are just in the general viscinity it will count as a bump. Scoring can take a lot of volleys but I guess that is ok.
Last is Table Tennis. Response is pretty good not much variation in shots and putting spin seems rather difficult.
There are also minigames for many of the sports listed, helps keep the replay up. The comparisons to the Wii SPorts are inevitable and in all honesty, besides the superior graphics of the xbox, the comparison is merited. The thing that really gives this title the one up may or may not have anything to do with the game itself. The Kinect camera I think is what sets this game apart. You can play in darkness in the middle of the living room, you can play with people of all sizes (I have two kids that played and it calibrated them seamlessly), the camera really responds! The funny replays at the end of each event is awesome too, you really look completely foolish playing these games and the playback is a helpful reminder not to take these games too serious! This title is worth the $50, some of the other games you can just rent (fighters uncaged, sonic riders etc). Great Party Game, Great to play with kids, and a great guilty pleasure to just play by yourself! Online play is supported too by the way, so a great way to meet some new people.
70 of 80 found the following review helpful:
For casual gamers only Jan 02, 2011
By Rob V.
Pros: Slick presentation; fun the first few times you play it; great party game
Cons: Shallow gameplay; exposes the shortcomings of Kinect; questionable long-term replay value
Kinect Sports can be fun, but to continue enjoying this game after the novelty wears off you need to set your expectations right.
First the good news: the overall presentation of this game is excellent. The graphics are good, keeping in mind that the makers of Kinect Sports went for a cartoonish look and feel that's consistent with the spirit of the game. Kinect Sports contains many licensed music clips which you'll be sure to recognize. The music comes on when you do something good, like scoring a goal or bowling a strike. It's an unexpected touch that really adds to the atmosphere of the game and makes you feel like celebrating.
I was disappointed when I first learned that "Kinect Adventures" would be bundled with the Kinect hardware instead of Kinect Sports. But after playing both titles, I now believe that Kinect Adventures was chosen for the bundle because it provides a superior gaming experience. Whereas Kinect Adventures highlights the strengths of the Kinect hardware, its limitations come into full view when playing Kinect Sports.
One such limitation is Kinect's lack of a trigger mechanism, which is a problem for games that require you to throw things. This is prominent in Kinect Sports bowling. Without a trigger, there's no means for the player to tell the game when he or she wants to release the ball. As a result, Kinect must choose the release point for you, and it's usually sooner than you think it will be. The result is a lot of frustrating moments: unintended trajectories, the ball sticking in your hand when you thought you'd thrown it, and even rare instances where Kinect decides to launch the ball out of your hand while you're attempting to position yourself. It's frustrating when you're in the later stages of a good match, only to have one of these moments take you completely out of the game. With Kinect Sports I found myself frequently checking the Kinect lenses for smudges, fiddling with the lighting levels in the room, and recalibrating the Kinect hardware in search of an ideal Kinect Sports gaming experience that simply doesn't exist.
Another limitation is the Kinect hardware's inability to "see" wrist motions and twisting movements. Because Kinect cannot detect them, the makers of Kinect Sports had to invent new ways for players to do things that require these types of movements. For example, to put spin on the ball in Kinect Sports bowling, you need to whip your arm across your body in a sidearm type of motion that has nothing to do with real-life bowling. If you play these sports in real life, you're less likely to enjoy the Kinect Sports versions. Here's a tip: if you're struggling with muscle memory from real life getting in the way of your gaming experience, try switching hands. I'm right-handed, and I found that I could more easily teach myself to play Kinect Sports table tennis and bowling with my left hand. The muscle memory in my right side kept wanting to do motions that don't work in Kinect Sports.
If you're looking for a simulation of your favorite sport, stop right now: Kinect Sports isn't for you. This game is best enjoyed in a party atmosphere and by people who play video games casually. It's not intended for serious gamers. For the most part, the gameplay experience in Kinect Sports is shallow and unrealistic. I'll briefly describe what these means for each sport.
The best "strategy" to use in Kinect Sports boxing is to just keep swinging your arms and do it faster than your opponent can.
In Kinect Sports bowling, the most successful players will be the ones who practice the most simple arm motion to throw the ball straight down the alley toward the headpin. This simple motion is consistently detected correctly by the Kinect sensor, and the unrealistic pin physics in this game do not produce as many splits as you'd see in real life with this approach. As a result, there's little incentive for players to adopt practices that work best in real life, like putting spin on the ball. It still looks way cooler if you do this, but the Kinect sensor's lack of precision will punish you with inconsistent results if you try to do it every time.
Volleyball and soccer in Kinect Sports play less like a fluid gaming experience and more like a sequence of tiny mini-games that have been sewn together. Imagine a mini-game where one player chooses between 3 directions in which to kick the ball, while the other player makes a guess try to intercept it. Then imagine a bunch of these mini-games played immediately one after the other, and that's what Kinect Sports soccer is like. Volleyball feels similarly disjointed: wait for an instruction, follow it, wait for the next instruction.
Table tennis is the best game included in Kinect Sports. Of all the included games, it's the one that translates most naturally to the abilities of the Kinect hardware, and at times the result is superb. However, it's still occasionally plagued by imprecise motion detection, and like the rest of the games in Kinect Sports the gameplay is not particularly deep.
Your continued enjoyment of Kinect Sports will largely depend on your expectations as a gamer, and on who you're playing it with. If you're looking for a fun party game that's sure to please casual gamers, look no further than Kinect Sports. But if you're looking for a simulation of your favorite sport, or a gameplay experience that's consistent, deep, and rewarding to players who hone their skills, be warned: the more time you spend with Kinect Sports, the more you'll realize the depth you're searching for isn't there.
33 of 36 found the following review helpful:
awesome sports game! Dec 24, 2010
By Patrick H. Nguyen
Kinect Sports is the Kinect's version of Wii Sports and it is one of the games you should have for the Kinect. If you're looking for a modern version of Wii Sports, Kinect Sports is just awesome. I loved Wii Sports to death. The key difference is that you will definitely move around in Kinect Sports like no other game. For example, you can be literally diving toward the ball in volleyball or jumping in the air to perform a spike smash. I have not sweated like this in a long time. You can't just reach out with your arm and be successful in any of these events. It's absolutely a great party game and not only does it have great single and multiplayer for a party, it has online play so you can take your athletic skills to the Internet.
Note that you should clear space so you don't hurt yourself. I thought I moved the table away far enough but when I dived for a ball, I banged my shin against the table.
Upon booting the game, you have 3 main categories to choose from: Party Play, Main Events, and Minigames.
Party Play is for when you have 2 or more players and you break up into 2 teams to compete against each other in a series of minigames. You can dress up as a number of costumes such as wearing a shark outfit or as a clown. Party play cannot be played by a single player and there is no online multiplayer in this mode.
The main events can have up to 4 players and has online multiplayer in addition to single player and local multiplayer (people at your house). The main events include soccer, bowling, track & field, boxing, and beach volleyball. Note that if you choose track & field, you must complete all the events which include the 100 meter sprint, the discus, hurdles, javelin, and long jump. If you want to do individual track & field events instead of the entire medley, you can access them in the minigames section instead of the Track & Field main event.
Now once you choose the soccer or beach volleyball main events, you are presented with 3 options since these are teammate events: 1) play against a computer opponent, 2) play with someone cooperatively, or 3) play against someone. With the other main events, there are no teammates so you either play against the computer or you play against someone.
If you play against a computer opponent, there are 4 skill levels: beginner, amateur, professional, champion. Beginner is very simple. The computer doesn't really try to win. They'll just keep the play alive. This mode is for people to learn the gaming mechanics and for children to play. The computer is not very smart and if you're above the age of 5, you should win without losing any points. At the professional level, the match play can become very competitive and you will be getting a lot of close matches with some wins and some losses. Champion level is for the elite athletic gamers. Strategy and physical skills become critical to winning at this level. Unfortunately, unless you're in the prime of your physical life (late high school/early college), it'll be hard to have the physicality/reflexes to keep up with the computer. You can compensate for slower reflexes with cunning skill for some points but at this level, you really need a good combination of reflexes and strategy. I think most people will play at the professional level.
Soccer can have up to 2 versus 2 humans with the rest being computer players. You basically either play as a striker, a defender or a goalie. The position of the ball will determine which position you are playing. When you are goalie, you'll be using whatever part of your body to block the ball. So you'll definitely be stretching out, moving, and jumping to block. When you are in the field, the ball will be at your feet and you can pass in 3 directions toward a teammate or you can shoot toward the goal. A typical sequence is something like pass, pass, shoot. There is no running around. You are trying to pass from player to player and then try to shoot in the goal. You have to make split second decisions as there won't be much time to decide where you want to kick before the ball is taken away from you. If you see your teammate streaking for the goal, you have to get it to him in time. There is some decent strategy such as kicking toward an empty part of the field and letting your teammate run to it. The normal rules of soccer are in play. For corner kicks, your teammate will kick it to you and you can head the ball in or kick it in depending on the height of the ball. As a defender, you have to guess where the opponent is going to kick the ball and you have to try to jump in front of the ball.
You can kick across your body, kick strong side, kick weak side. Kick with the point of your foot. Kick with your foot open faced. Once you get adept at it, you have some decent control over the ball, especially the shot on goal.
The irony is that soccer should have the most movement of all the events (except track and field) but in gameplay, it has some of the least movement. The great part of soccer is that it takes away the tiresome mundane running aspect of it. But if you think this means this is a leisurely game, you are definitely wrong. You will be doing quick darting moves to block the ball or to get the ball to your teammates in rhythm. I grew up in the United States so soccer/football is not a major event for me. However, I had a lot of fun with this game, especially as the goalie. Being a scorer is fun too. Being a defender is not fun and it's more guesswork than anything. For me, soccer was a good event but it's not the reason to own this title.
The next team event is beach volleyball. Let me preface that I grew up in Southern California (the land of beaches) so beach volleyball is very second nature to us and rivals football and baseball as grade school/high school events. I had a lot of fun with volleyball. Especially if you know the rules and strategy to beach volleyball, you'll have an amazing time. If you don't know the basic strategies of volleyball (as a lot of people have never played volleyball), there are on-screen prompts on when to hit the ball or when to jump to spike. But if you depend on the on-screen prompts, you won't have long term success because the prompts are a little slow. For example, when you see your teammate perform a set, you should already be jumping to perform your spike. You shouldn't wait to see the jump instruction or else you'll be a little late in your spike. But if you play as if there are no prompts and play just as if it's real volleyball, you'll be super successful.
And since the game tracks your whole body, you literally have to move! To reach some balls, you have to really go toward the ball! You can't just stick your arm out there. And to spike you actually have to jump! And you can do jump serves as well. To do a jump serve, you throw the ball up and then jump and smash the ball.
Strategy does come into play in this game. If your opponents approach the net, you try to spike over them. If they stay back, you just barely dunk the ball back over the net so they can't approach it in time. It's first team to 7 points and you have to win by at least 2 points to finish the game.
Table tennis is just plain awesome! You start by holding your hand out on your hand side. For example, if you're left-handed, you hold your left hand out. That becomes your paddle side. It's actually important where you stand in relation to the table. You can't just swing your arm. If the person hits a ball wide, you actually have to step or jump to the side to reach the ball. For serves, I stand closer to the table. For return of service, I stand farther away from the table. The trick you have to remember is that your hand is not the paddle. You have to think of your hand gripping a paddle (so your hand is in the shape of a fist). You can direct shots toward any part of the table depending on how early or late you hit the ball. You can impart top spin by having an up-and-over motion or slice by performing a downward motion. As rallies get longer and the ball gets faster, you'll be using slice to try to slow the ball down and change the pace or you can just get the paddle in place without actually swinging it just to block it back. You really do feel the ebb and flow of a rally. It just feels great. Strategy becomes key especially against players who have better reflexes. For example, you should try to keep the ball on the opponent's backhand side since most people aren't as adept at their backhand motion. Winner is first to 11 points and you have to win by 2 points.
Bowling is another event that is a winner. I was a huge huge huge fan of Wii Sports bowling. Let's start by saying that if you like Wii bowling, you'll love the Kinect version. Since the Kinect is tracking your entire body and its position in the lane, it's harder to lock in an easy strike like it was in Wii bowling. In Wii bowling, once you figured out how much you wanted to click to a side and a consistent motion, it was easy to get a strike. In Kinect, if you want to stand closer to the left side of the lane, you just step leftward. You can pivot your body or your arm. There is a light indicator on the lane (where the lane arrows are located) that helps you indicate the direction your ball will travel. Since the position of you in the lane depends on where you're actually standing, it's much harder to find the exact spot you want to bowl from like it was on the Wii. The Kinect is pretty flexible in how you can bowl. Everyone can bring in their own bowling swing and once you get the feel for how you want to bowl, everything just feels great. I bowl with spin and finesse. I start off in a crouching position, I bring back my arm as I'm striding forward I swing forward, upward, and toward my shoulder to impart some good spin. Now, you can't take multiple steps toward the line like in real-life bowling. But you can do the entire motion of that final step like in real-life bowling. My brother bowls straight with power (you can see little flames around the ball when he bowls). It just feels awesome. If you get a strike, a clip of a pop song will play which will pump you up. And there's plenty of cool little touches. Such as if you throw the ball high and it lands and cracks the wood. Or if you throw the ball a particular way so that the ball double bounces. Or if you throw the ball into the crowd and they gasp as the ball is heading toward them. Not all your Wii bowling habits can directly transfer over to the Kinect version. But once you're in the zone and powering toward that 300, you'll love Kinect bowling just as much.
Boxing is an intense event. I'm just not very good at boxing. Maybe because it requires conditioning, reflexes, and strategy above what I have. You have multiple types of swings ranging from the upper cuts to the jabs to the haymakers. You can block high or block low. The advantage of the block is when you are successful at a block, it increases the strength of your next punch. So if someone is wailing away at you, you block them to build up super strength and you can knock them out with a single punch. The trick is being able to block so it depends on part strategy/anticipation and part luck if your opponent is adept at going from high attacks to low attacks. At the beginning difficulty levels, the computer doesn't put up a battle. You can wail away as if you're 5 years old and knock out the computer very easily. But at higher levels, if all you do is offense and wail away, you'll be giving major power to your opponent and if they get in a blow, you'll be down for the count. When you get knocked to the ground, you see stars. The first knockdown, you'll only see a couple of stars. Each subsequent knockdown, you'll see more stars. To get back up, you have to punch out all the stars before time runs out.
Boxing is the most difficult sport for me because I've never been a good fighter on any level. I was horrible at all the fighter games (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, etc.). I have a problem with when to be on offense and when to be on defense. So not having the mental strategy will affect your physical strategy in boxing.
Track and field is a series of events including discus, javelin, sprint, hurdles, and long jump. These are mostly physical events. The faster guys will dominate. Strategy is not really part of the track and field events. The key for the speed events is to have high knee lifts. The faster you do the high knee lifts, the faster you run. Rapid baby steps won't help you. Picture a little dog shuffling his feet really fast versus a human walking with bigger strides and you'll realize that big strides is far more important than how fast you move your feet. The long jump is you sprinting toward the line and then jumping straight up to do the long jump.
The throwing events are by far the hardest events in the game for me because it'll take you a long time to figure out how the game wants you to throw. The tutorial isn't very good for the throwing events. While the people that figured out the gaming mechanism can throw 100-140 meters, people like me can only throw 30-70 meters. I still can't get a consistent distance. The discus is you grabbing the discus, twisting toward a side, stepping forward, and throwing the discus. The far harder throwing event is the javelin where you run with the javelin in hand and then chuck it as far as you can.
Now, the minigames bring a lot of life to all the events. Minigames allow 1 to 4 players. There are only single player and local multiplayer. There is no online multiplayer in the minigames. If you want to learn the game mechanics, minigames are the best way to learn them. For example, playing the table tennis minigames will teach you all the nuances of how to swing your paddle. When you first start playing the main table tennis event, you often are just hitting the ball back without much control. But once you do the minigames, you'll have far more control over placement and pace of the ball. Playing the bowling minigames will teach you all the nuance of your bowling motion such as when to release the ball.
Note that there is a free party pack download for Kinect Sports that added some extra games to the minigames and Party Play. You should download that now even if you don't have the game yet but plan to get the game eventually. Who knows if it'll be free indefinitely.
There are 3 soccer minigames available: 1) super striker, 2) super saver, and 3) target kick.
Super striker is the corner kick. Your teammate will kick the ball toward you and you have to head the ball in or kick the ball in. This is a pretty fun event where your teammate will perform a corner kick and you have to receive the ball and either head the ball into the goal or kick the ball into the goal against the goalie. This minigame is not about actually doing the heading motion or the kicking motion. It is a reflex event. You have 3 lives. Either your teammate will kick you a soccer ball to score or will kick you a soccer shoe which you are to avoid. You try to accumulate as many goals as possible. If you miss a ball or if you get hit by a shoe, you'll lose a life. You have 3 lives. There will be an on-screen indicator to tell you where the ball will be heading. So as your teammate sends you balls and shoes faster and faster to you, you're constantly moving around to head/kick the ball in while at the same time dodging the shoes. You are literally going to be moving quickly left and right to get to the ball in time while also ducking the shoes and jumping over them. As you get a higher score, the balls come faster to the point where a ball or shoe is coming every second. It really get crazy.
Super saver. You are the goalie trying to prevent goals. Computer kicks penalty kicks. If you block enough kicks, you can earn extra lives. Once lives run out, game over. This is a reflex/endurance test. As your score gets higher, the computer is kicking in faster repetition to the point of kicking a ball against you every split second.
Target kick is more a strategic event than a physical event. You are kicking the penalty kicks against the computer, trying to knock out bullseye targets. The trick is to trick the computer goalie to jump to the side so that you can hit the bulleye target behind him. You try to hit as many bulleye targets before time runs out. If there was a relaxing event in Kinect Sports, this is it (of course, the most relaxing event in Kinect Sports is bowling).
I liked the soccer minigames more than the actual soccer main event. Partly because you have a high score for each minigame that you can strive for. Partly because it's a better workout since you have to duck, dodge, aim, and move a lot more. And I like how you're given multiple lives so that one bad move doesn't end the game like in some other minigames like table tennis.
There are 3 bowling minigames.
The first is called Pinvaders which is a parody of space invaders. The pins will advance toward you and you have to use bowling balls on your left hand side and your right hand side to knock down the pins. You are bowling with both hands. The strategy comes from the fact that they don't refill the bowling bowl immediately. So if you throw the ball astray you have to wait for the next ball during which time the pins can advance and reach you before you can knock them down. And the pins advance in waves, not a smooth steady conveyor belt-like progression. So when the alarm sounds, the pins will jump forward like a few feet. You'll be side stepping a lot. You have to figure out are you going to throw both the left and right balls at the same time (leaving you with no balls to throw until it refills) or throwing one at a time so that you always have a reserve to hit pins that you missed. Pinvaders is where I learned about the position of your wrist and whether your hand is open-hand or not. You see, I'm left-handed so throwing out of my left hand was normal. But the ball kept being stuck to my right hand and I couldn't figure out how to release the ball until I figured out I had to have my right hand open-faced and then flick my wrist up to close-face the hand. That released the ball from the right hand very easily.
One bowl roll is an event where they strategically place some pins in front of you and you have 1 ball to knock them down. Usually it's an arrangement of 3 pins but it varies both in configuration and number of pins. You have 5 lives. You lose a life if you don't knock down the pin arrangement. This is the bowling event that takes the most skill. You have to really know how pins will fall. It's not like you can miss balls and then clean them up in a spare. You get one shot or you lose a life.
Pin rush is by far the most exhausting bowling event. Your job is to knock down pins as fast as possible before time runs out. As soon as you clear the current set, a new set will appear. Balls will be available as soon as you throw the ball in your hand (as opposed to Pinvaders where there's a delay to refill the ball). Here, like in Pinvaders, you are bowling with 2 hands again. You can throw 2 balls at once. You can windmill the balls. Whatever strategy. Just keeping knocking down pins as fast as you can. You don't have to wait for the ball to hit the pins down the lane. As soon as you throw, grab another ball and throw. You have to strategize. For example, if you throw 2 balls at the same time and they hit each other, the hit can cause the balls to careen toward the gutter instead of going down the lane. So you may need to offset your throws so the balls don't hit each other. Your strategy will change on the fly. You do get a small time extension bonus for rapid knockdown of all the pins.
The Track & Field minigames are the most basic of all the minigames.
The unique minigame is called Rapid runner. Here, you are sprinting around the track from green zone to green zone. The green zones are intermittently placed and while you're in the green zone you can rest for a couple of seconds. Then sprinting to the next green zone. Time is ticking down. If you get to the green zone, you get some added time. Once time runs out before you get to the next green rest zone, game is over. You will be gassed in this event like no other event since it's almost nonstop sprinting that is only ended when you can't run fast enough to get to the next green zone.
All the other minigames are just the individual track and field events (discus, hurdles, javelin, 100m sprint, and long jump). If you wanted to do the javelin without all the other T&F events, then minigames is the only way to do that.
There is one boxing minigame called King of the Ring. This is where you have to rack up as many knockouts as possible before time runs out. What happens if that you are boxing against an opponent. Once you knock him out, you rotate in the ring and face the next opponent. If you're great at boxing, you'll do great at this minigame. But if you're like me, you'll struggle in this minigame. It's exhausting because you have to really get in the punches to get a lot of knockouts. If you're slow an methodical, you'll only knock out a couple of guys.
Beach volleyball has 3 minigames.
In Fruit splatter, you have fruit and bombs are launched at you. You have to hit the fruits to earn points while avoiding the launched bombs. So you constantly be going from ducking and diving away from the bombs while trying to hit back the fruits.
In body ball, you must hit the object with the designated body part (head, hand, feet). If it says to hit the ball with your head, you have to use your head. As you progress, it gets faster and faster. At high speed, you'll see graphical icons flashing on the screen like "head", "head", "hand", "foot", "hand", etc. and if can't keep track of the rapidly incoming objects and you hit the object with the wrong body part, the game is over.
Bump bash is like dodgeball except you don't get to return the pain to them. A bunch of guys are on the other side of the net throwing objects and you must avoid all thrown objects. So you'll definitely be ducking, diving, and jumping.
There are 3 table tennis minigames.
Target smash has a set of scrolling targets. The first layer is worth 1 point, the layer behind it is worth 2 points and the furthest layer is worth 3 points. To rack up a lot of points, you can need to strategically place the ball back so that you break the first two layers to get to the third layer. When you hit 3, a big explosion occurs to break a bunch of targets. If you just hit the ball back, all you can hit are 1's which don't deliver many points. You have to accumulate as many points before time runs out. For me, this is the worst event of all the events in the game because I'm terrible at this event.
Paddle panic is actually one of my favorite minigames. You will definitely be feeling like Forrest Gump. You have a paddle in each hand. The computer opponent will be sending balls at you faster and faster. And you get points for getting the ball back in play. So at higher speeds, you are swinging both arms and you totally get into the Forrest Gump mode where you're almost windmilling the paddles. The feeling is amazing and you totally feel in the zone.
Rally tally is where you have to maintain a rally. You have 1 paddle. As the rally gets longer and longer, the ball gets faster. The only way to slow down the ball is to slice. The computer tries to trick up your rhythm by also slowing down the ball on occasion. This minigame is super tricky and can be frustrating as you try to keep up a high pace and rhythm to return the ball but the computer throws in a slice which causes your timing to be off, ending your rally and game. The computer is pretty smart to try to change the pace.
Whew! That was a long review. The bottom line is that Kinect Sports is a fabulous game! Rare is a company that is known for the little details in the gaming mechanics as well as the construction of a game. For example, when you're at match point, you feel like you're in a movie. The crowd noise drains away. All you can hear is your heartbeat and breathing. The play slows down a bit to simulate that championship point. To hear the heart beat and the breathing on a 5.1 stereo system was just amazing. You also hear the heartbeat/breathing effect when you have the chance to bowl a turkey. It amazingly builds the tension. Rare even put in a funny light-hearted event where you're standing in front of a stadium audience. If you raise your arms, the crowd cheers. If you point to the audience, that section will stand up and cheer. So if you move your hand across the audience, they'll do the wave where they stand up and sit down. If you point toward the sky, you see fireworks exploding. If you clap your hands, the stadium will clap with you. When you're getting ready to do the 100 meter sprint, if you reach into your opponent's lane and try to touch the person, the person will jump back and tell you to stop touching them and to get back in your lane. It's little touches like these that bring the humor.
There is an online leaderboard ticker so you can see your friends' high scores on all the minigames and compares it to you.
Rare also has a Facebook app so you can join international leagues for competition. And you can see your friends' high scores on any events. You can even see how many times you played each event and all the little details like how many spikes in volleyball you had, how many strikes you did, how many times you played table tennis, etc. It really is an impressive stat keeping app. My friends can see how pathetic I am at throwing events.
Note that during all the events, the Kinect is recording videos of your play. You can either upload these videos to your private account or not upload them. Luckily (or unluckily), the videos do not save to the 360. So as soon as you go on to the next event, if you didn't upload it to the Internet, it will be erased.
Another cool thing is that you can stream your own music from your 360 or from your PC during Kinect Sports. Being able to play all my MP3s from my PC just made the game that much more fun. Playing some thumping dance music while I was in the zone for Paddle Panic is just a moment you have to experience yourself.
Out of the first generation games, you have to have Kinect Sports and Dance Central. They'll provide you an amazing experience and workout. But if you want a real exercise game, Your Shape Fitness is a good one. If you guys have any questions, hit me up.
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