|System: X360 (KINECT)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Andrew Groen
Sports compilation games have been hands down the standout genre to come out of the motion sports revolution that began with the Nintendo Wii back in 2006. With Motion Sports, Ubisoft attempted to continue in the fine tradition of sports games like Sports Champions and Wii Sports, but as they likely found out, that's a lot easier said than done. In the end, Motion Sports isn't a great game nor is it a bad game, but it certainly gave me a lot of respect for the polish that goes into the other great motion-controlled sports games.
If Motion Sports was a pack-in sports game that released with Kinect, then I suspect many people would have liked it. However, the simultaneous release of Kinect Sports will likely drown out Motion Sports and steal any and all attention it might have received. Honestly, that's the way it should be. Motion Sports just isn't the best product that Ubisoft is capable of making, and it barely holds a candle to Rare's Kinect Sports.
Motion Sports problems begin with its mini-games, which is obviously a damning category for a mini-game collection to have problems. The major problem here is that you're not always actually playing the sport you signed up to play. Most of the time the activities boil down to little more than practice drills. Select football, and you might expect some kind of simplified football game the way Wii Sports handles baseball and Kinect Sports does soccer. Instead, you pretty much just run drills like a forty-yard sprint when you hop over and duck under obstacles. In Motion Sports soccer, it boils down to things like a shootout (which is still overly simplified) and a target shooting game.
Not all of the games are bad though. In fact, Motion Sports contains one of my very favorite mini-games ever: downhill skiing. There are a variety of different challenges, but most of them revolve around zooming down a track at great speeds. To gain speed when you're not going down a hill, you need to pump your arms as though you've got skiing poles in each hand. The detection works great too. It only requires a slight lean to alter your course and make a gradual turn. Plus the detection of your hands as you move the poles is perfect.
Boxing is another story; it's the worst boxing game yet released in a game of this kind. The motion detection is terrible and stacks up poorly against Kinect Sports' excellent boxing game. Where Kinect Sports includes tons of flash and personality mixed with great 1:1 boxing control, Motion Sports is a dry experience that barely replicates boxing at all.
The only fun part about Motion Sports presentation is the ridiculously over-the-top announcer. He'll scream that you're the best young sports star in history, and your most recent performance (even if it was terrible) was one of the most electrifying experiences anyone has ever seen! It's hard to tell whether this announcer is trying to be funny or if the team at Ubisoft thought this was a good idea. If it's the former, it's brilliant. If it's the latter, it's annoying.