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3 Reviews

Kinect Sports

Go on, be a good sport

Forget comparisons to the Wii, with Kinect Sports Rare has taken the idea of a sports game and smashed it out of the park. Not only is it enormously fun to play and rammed with different events and mini-games, we also reckon it's the launch title that makes the most of Kinect's abilities.

Our theory is that half of the fun in sports games is the celebration, and Rare seems to have spotted this as well. As a result, almost every time your Avatar is visible on screen, you're in some degree of control of them. As you jog past the crowds on the way to the track and field event, for example, you can wave at them, or do the aeroplane, or the choo-choo train.

Zoom

The same applies during many of the actual events - just because you're running the 100m doesn't mean you can't stick your arms in the air. The possibilities for larking about are endless, and if you win any of the events you get the chance to perform a full-body victory jig.

Beneath this gloriously bonkers exterior beats the heart of an extremely impressive full-body sports game. The degree of accuracy in the events is a remarkable feat, allowing you to put spin on a bowling ball to hit a corner pin or intuitively hoof a football into the top left-hand corner.

The only event that doesn't feel perfectly natural is the boxing - you'll have moments where you're in perfect control, but the first-person perspective can make things confusing. We were particularly impressed by the football: both the defensive blocking and the passing and shooting work brilliantly, and scoring a goal is massively rewarding.

It's just a shame the split-screen version is a smidge too cramped for our liking.
The six events on offer provide enough longevity, but there's also a brace of variations on the sports that act as mini-games in the Party mode. They're usually shorter, more frantic versions of the regular sports and are perfectly pitched for a party crowd.

If you want your Christmas to be characterised by tears of laughter, this is an essential purchase.

The verdict

A dream start for sports on Kinect

9
Format
Kinect
Developer
Rare
Publisher
Microsoft
Genre
Party, Sports

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