Kinect Sports 2 (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

Kinect Sports 2 is halfway between a great game and a terrible game depending on the age and experience of the player.

The second edition of Sports for the Xbox 360 Kinect comes with six new sports to jiggle, wriggle and romp around the living room to, as a way of trying to have fun and keeping fit. That is one of the biggest things right there, the emphasis on the word ‘trying’. If you are an experienced gamer then the low accuracy of the camera detection and shoddy voice activation will irritate and annoy you, thus leaving you with a less-than-fulfilling experience. If you are a novice then this kind of learning curve is perfect for you or for children with slow reflexes.

For example, tennis is a simple affair of swinging at the ball to return serves and volleys, but often a real swing can go undetected while stepping in the right direction can trigger the perfect return volley. That’s a terrible game experience if you’re trying to play for real, but for kids with terrible reaction times, it can work well and get them excited. The problem is that as soon as the skills are learned and mastery is achieved the player will want to transition to a real game with better accuracy and control.

Kinect Sports 2 rounds out the package with hit and miss sports. Tennis, darts and football (American) are terrible and patchy affairs. Golf, Skiing and Baseball can be loads of fun, but in a simplistic way that children and non-gamers may find engaging. Skiing is probably the best overall of the package with the leaning and jumping easily the best and most satisfying to get right.

Unlike some other sports games that require motion detection on the market (Wii Sports and Move Champions) the Kinect version, while controller free, is also accuracy and energy free. Being bound to a constrictive and limiting area of play, as soon as you start to get thoroughly into any game except skiing, the game stops and wants you to get back in the zone to be detected. Alternately, you can use voice commands to access menus and make selections, but that too is an accuracy-free zone and I found myself swearing at the Xbox rather than controlling it.

Pros: Good game for children and novices; with some great sports
Cons: Terrible control and low accuracy; not fun for experienced gamers; voice control patchy and some terrible sports

2.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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