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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While the Hulkster may encourage and tell players they are doing well, players are slamming, punching, kicking, clothes-lining, and smacking other players with objects.
Positive Role Models
This emulates the moves of a professional wrestler and while it is an athletic endeavor, this is also an entertainment medium predicated on violence. Not too many ways it can be colored to give an overall positive vibe.
Ease of Play
This is a Kinect game only, meaning that in order to play this game, there must be a Kinect sensor hooked up to the 360 console. The big drawback with this title is that while wrestling is a reflexive endeavor (your opponent moves, you react and/or counter), the Kinect doesn't always see the moves or register them. While Main Event can be a physical activity, the delay for move input interrupts the flow of the events and robs the game of some of its in-ring urgency. The menus are easy to work through, and the create-a-wrestler mode doesn't offer a lot of variety, but players can end up with a decent, albeit cartoonish, customized character. Two players can go head-to-head on the same console.
Violence & Scariness
Players will perform many of the antics of professional wrestling, including body slams, high leg drops, choke slams, punches, and kicks -- all of which deplete their opponent's health bar. The first character to have their health bar wiped out can then be pinned for the win, offering little resistance to the finishing moves. In Hulk Hogan's Main Event, the idea is to beat on your opponent until they can't fend off attacks. This also includes using metal chairs to smack your opponents, or ladders to pummel them into submission. There are some bone-crunching sounds, and opponents will stagger about with stars over their heads or will grunt and groan as the damage accumulates.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hulk Hogan's Main Event is a game that is built on violence -- with fists, feet, legs, forearms, and hands choking, as well as with chairs and ladders -- and requires the Kinect sensor to play (this game cannot be played with a hand controller). Since you are doing the motions of the wrestler on screen, this is a more visceral experience than games played with traditional controllers. The point and goal of the game is to beat an opponent into submission -- either through the career mode, or in head-to-head competition on the same machine.
Is It Any Good?
Hulk Hogan's Main Event is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the Kinect may be able to do. Putting players into games is a relatively new concept and this title certainly has a good idea, but bogs down when it comes to the timing and recognition of moves. At times, it seems as if the Kinect can't read fast moves. The game is like a body slam that misses the mark and ends up with the wrestler doing a face plant -- close, but not quite there.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.