The Halfrican Warrior's Frontline Report: Randall Reviews Kinect Sports Rivals


Kinect Sports Rivals  


     Have you ever wanted to actually be in a game? Not just immersed in the experience but actually apart of the game? Well look no further than Microsoft Studios' Kinect Sports Rivals. Not only is this a fully immersive sports game, but it scans your body and actually put YOU in the center of all the action instead of some silent protagonist or faceless hero! So what does this gaming experience have to offer? There are 6 exciting and amazingly designed activities, a 'team story mode' and endless hours of fun and excitement all while getting in a bit of an exercise on the side! So lets get into it shall we?

Starting the game.
     When you first launch Kinect Sports Rivals, you will be greeted with an opening cut scene followed by the 'champion creator.' This is where you get put into the game. Using the Kinect, the game captures your body figure, size and facial features just to name a few items and creates your own unique character to use for all of the events! Of course, you can always change this or customize these features whenever you would like!

The Events.
     After creating your champion, you would think that it would be time to dive head first into your favorite activity such as shooting or bowling right? Wrong! Unfortunately, like most games, you are forced to do "training" in each game type to unlock the next sport. Not only do you have to do training, you also have to do at least 1 event in the sport you just trained for before being allowed to play the next sport.
     Now, this isn't a major issue because you should eventually play all of them anyways, but when I buy a sports game that has multiple options of things to do (i.e. Wii Sports) I expect to be able to pick and choose which one I start with or which one I do or do not want to play. That being said, I enjoyed the banter from Coach when he is 'training' you as well as the way the events flow together. But, you cant like everything all the time, so lets get into the details on each sport. On each section, I will first go over how each sport uses the motion controls than get into the 'review' part.

Wake Racing
     The motion for this sport is like holding handlebars, you hold your hands straight out away from your body leaving your right hand open. To accelerate, you close your right hand like you are grabbing the handlebar and to decelerate, just open your hand again. To turn, you push one arm toward the screen and pull the other back towards yourself, again, just like turning a bike! Keep in mind, the hand that comes back towards your body is the direction you turn.
     This sport is very exciting but also challenging in the fact that you are constantly holding your arms straight out for up to 5 min at a time. In playing a few races one after another, sometimes I would get lost and forget that I was supposed to be controlling the vehicle like handlebars and instinctively reverted to a steering wheel motion. Along the racing aspect of the sport, there are also ramps, mines and power ups involved! If you choose to use them, the ramps will help you perform tricks to build up your power ups & speed. If I'd rate just this sport, id say 3.5 out of 5.

     This sport is fairly self explanatory, raise your hands above your head, make like a monkey and climb! Need more detail? FINE! You alternate raising and lowering each hand while grasping as you raise your hands as if you were grabbing an invisible hand hold. If there's a gap you crouch down and jump than grab the next set of hand holds!
     Just like the last sport, climbing is exhausting as dicks! Honestly, I haven't sweat that much since I was in high school running 'the mile' in gym! While not exceedingly challenging, it very rewarding when you make it to the top after putting in so much physical effort. This is one of those games that you play where you wake up in the morning and go "did I get hit by a bus last night?!" That being said, climbing would be a very good tool to use in an exercise regiment right along with many of these games! Overall, id give it 4.5 out of 5!

Target Shooting
     Ever had an imaginary dual with a friend in elementary school? Well, this game uses the same principal. The good 'ol index finger and thumb in the shape of a gun just point and shoot... In a manner of speaking.
     In target shooting, the goal of the game is to hit targets and avoid being hit by a specially activated turret. The turret can only be activated after successfully hitting a number of targets thus 'charging' the turret. However there's no "shooting" actually involved in the game. By that I mean there is no action to make the gun shoot its pretty much point at a target and watch it disappear. Don't get me wrong though, its still pretty fun but id like a trigger or something when I shoot!! Overall, id give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Soccer (or Football if you're across the pond)
     So here are the controls as they were explained by Coach. Kick towards the screen with the side of your foot to do a low pass, kick with the front of your foot in an upward motion for a high pass. When shooting, time your kick with the ball & swing your leg sideways for after touch or to put 'spin' on the ball.
     With that said, this is what actually happens, pass, pass, shoot straight to the goalies hands, repeat... Unless you have a living room as large as an actual soccer pitch, this sport in Kinect Sports Rivals is ABSOLUTE CRAP!!! It took me almost 2 hours to beat the training mission and than the required story afterwards just to get to the next sport! I'm hoping the reason it so crappy is the fact that I don't have a huge amount of space in my living room so as not to unfairly review this section, ill just leave it at that.. Review status... 1 out of 5

     Just like most other bowling motion sports, you grab the ball, pull back and let go! You can also either swing your arm inward or outward for a bit of curve or flick your wrist to add spin.
     We now come to the coup d'├ętat, the alpha to the omega, the Charlie to the Team DBAH, Bowling! This is obviously the best sport in the entire package! The reason I purchased this game was mainly for bowling, and it doesn't disappoint! Unlike other motion sports bowling games, this one doesn't appear to have a 'cheat motion' where you can get perfect strikes all the time which is awesome! Obviously this gets a 5 out of 5.

     Again, like other tennis motion sports games, you throw the tennis ball up with your off hand and swing with your power hand to serve. While the ball is in play, you can use forehand or backhand motions to return the ball. Along with that, you can slice downward for a drop shot or upward for a top spin shot
     At first, I completely forgot tennis was included in the package but was glad they included it! Though you don't have very much control over your champions movement, its fairly simple to learn to time your return shots. One thing that's a bit irritating is it doesn't always serve how you want it to and its a bit buggy as far as the motion capture for the serve. But again, very fun to play and very tiring for your arms, overall 4 out of 5!

     There's one more feature I haven't been able to try out which is Rivals aspect. This requires a friend to have the game which you compete against and earn Rival stuff (again I haven't tested it so I'm not exactly sure)

So there it is!
     In summation, forced training sucks, Bowling and Climbing are the 2 best sports to play out of this entire game, soccer is shit and wake racing, shooting & tennis are pretty good when you get bored of bowling and climbing! There are a few additional modes I have yet to play for each sport but for now, we'll just leave it at that! 

Overall I'm going to give the game 4 our of 5, its fun, its healthy and it gets you off the couch while still actually playing games!!! If you have an Xbox One I'd highly suggest getting this game ASAP (and maybe challenging me to a match!)

I hope this was informative and entertaining! Leave a comment with any questions you may have!!!

Halfrican OUT!

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