Kinect Sports Rivals Review
Kinect Sports Rivals Box Art
System: Xbox One
Dev: Microsoft
Pub: Microsoft
Release: April 8, 2014
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Mild Violence

Finally, Target Shooting is hands down the worst game this compilation has to offer. You point your finger like a gun at the screen and try to line it up with targets. When you do that, you automatically fire and rack up points. There are numerous reasons why this doesn’t work. First of all, all your hand is really doing is controlling a cursor. Your actual hand position has absolutely nothing to do with where the cursor is on screen, you could be looking straight down your finger at the screen and the cursor will likely be off to the side somewhere. It’s a lot more like an overblown motion control mouse. Second of all, the cursor hops around a lot, unable to really lock on to a single space. You’ll frequently find that it recalibrates as you move it, making you spend extra effort to make it line up with a target. Third of all, simply lining the cursor up with a target gives you points. There’s no extra points for precision or anything like that. Fourth of all, you are supposed to avoid hitting skull targets which make you lose points, except these targets just pop up out of nowhere half the time and if they pop up under your cursor, well, sucks to be you. There’s nothing interesting or compelling about this game, and the fact that it was made when we already have had motion control games with fun and interesting archery competitions feels like the programmers were just being lazy.

Kinect Sports Rivals Screenshot

The biggest problem with the game, is that multplayer just doesn’t seem to work. The Kinect senses one body just fine, but two bodies causes every game in the compilation to either spaz out or suffer from serious input lag. So you can’t challenge your friends to endless games of tennis, like you were able to in Wii Sports, without getting frustrated. This leaves the single player mode, with its uninspired cutscenes, meaningless level progression, and online leaderboards to hold you over, and honestly it’s just not enough. I don’t care if someone has a better time in Wake Race than me. I don’t care if someone is a motion controlled tennis master. It still doesn’t feel like I’m actually playing the games any better when my score goes up. I’m just mastering a flawed control scheme a little bit more. That’s all.

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You can squeeze a little bit of fun out of Kinect Sports Rivals. Some of the games aren’t so bad and it certainly stands as a great demo of what the new Kinect can do. You can also have the game render a rule 63 version of yourself and… shut up… I was just curious what female me looked like. You even get an achievement for it. So that’s kind of neat. It’s just that every game in the compilation is shallow when done in single-player and broken when done in multiplayer. Even though you may have fun with the games that actually work, there’s little here to keep you coming back to play them again a second time.

By
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: April 16, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The graphics for characters kind of hit the uncanny valley, but for everything else they are pretty impressive.
2.0
Control
Hey look. More motion controls that only work half of the time.
2.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is wholly unremarkable and generic and the voice acting is made up of cartoony performances and forced grunts of exertion and jubilance.
2.8
Play Value
There are some good games here, but you won’t play them more than once.
2.7
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A challenger comes forth - And that challenger is you. The all-new, unparalleled Kinect technology instantly scans you and captures your likeness as a super you: your champion. Now the game is all about you—how you look, how you act, how you compete.
  • Precision unleashed - Xbox One’s all-new sensor technology reinvents motion game play. With specific tracking not only of limbs, but fingers, hand gestures, even facial movements and expressions, Kinect Sports Rivals makes competition more meaningful.
  • Always a new experience - With different sports happening in multiple zones, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a world of gaming and adventure that grows and evolves based on your tastes, skills, and experiences.
  • Join a team - Teams add a whole new layer. They bind the community and bring life to the competition. When you step into an event, you’ll be able to surround yourself with people that play the way you want to play.

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