Kinect Sports: Season Two

Common Sense Media says

Active game burns calories and is fun to play in a group.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game promotes physical activity and social gaming experiences between up to four players in the same room.

Positive role models

The game’s characters and players' avatars express only the most basic of wordless emotions: happiness at victory and sadness at loss. Announcers provide rudimentary play-by-play commentary, noting when the player is doing well or poorly but with little in the way of support or judgment. Smiling human actors appear occasionally to demonstrate how the game is played, with a congenial British narrator providing audio directions. 

Ease of play

The actions and voice commands required for most of the activities are very simple. However, in games requiring subtler movements, most notably the darts game, the Kinect had some trouble with accurate motion detection. Beating computer-controlled opponents is a piece of cake at first, but becomes more challenging as higher difficulties are unlocked.  

Violence & scariness

Football players occasionally dish out hard hits, but players never get hurt.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy concerns. Players can challenge people in their Xbox Live friends list to best their scores in certain activities. No communication is involved; players simply choose a friend, carry out the activity, and send off their results. Players can also upload videos of their performance to the KinectShare website, where it can be distributed to other people at the player’s discretion.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kinect Sports: Season Two is a family-friendly sports compilation game that requires Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. It’s barren of profanity, sexuality, and, aside from a few hard-hitting football tackle animations, violence. The movements required to play can be mastered by even young gamers, and avatars and computer controlled characters seem to be good sports. The game promotes physical activity (it even counts calories burned) and social gaming for up to four players in the same room.  

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What's it about?

A follow-up to one of the most popular Kinect launch titles, KINECT SPORTS: SEASON TWO offers six new sports for fans of motion controlled games to take part in, including football, golf, baseball, skiing, tennis, and darts. There are plenty of ways to experience these sports, ranging from semi-simulations to fun little mini-games. Up to four players can play together in QuickPlay mode, which runs teams of players through a series of random activities. You can also go up against your friends online by posting a score in a particular game and challenging them to beat it. Other new features in this year’s edition include the ability to use voice commands to initiate activities and control certain aspects of some games (you can say “hike!” to start a play in football), and a calorie counter that estimates the energy you’ve burned in specific activities as well as the entire play session.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kinect Sports: Season Two doesn’t shine as an example of innovation, but Microsoft’s latest sports compilation is polished, well made, and, most importantly, fun. Swinging for the bleachers and then running in place to get to first base in baseball is both satisfying and tiring, and the sense of speed as we crouch and lean left and right to fly through slalom gates in skiing is intense. Games that require more subtle movements can be a little frustrating sometimes -- the targeting reticule in darts sometimes jumps around, and it’s too easy to put too much power into a swing in golf -- but patience and a willingness to experiment with subtle changes in stance and physical movements usually pays off.

Perhaps most importantly, Kinect Sports: Season Two is just as much of a workout as the original. Play for two hours and you’ll burn off a couple hundred calories and wake up with stiff muscles in the morning. It should act as a fun and healthy way for families to spend active days indoors when the weather isn't cooperating.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about playing games as a family. How do you deal with competition between family members?

  • Families can talk about social gaming. Do you prefer to play games alone or with friends? Do you enjoy the pressure to perform well when playing with friends, or do you find it intimidating?

  • Families can also discuss maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. What sort of physical activities do you take part in outside of movement-based games? Have motion-controlled games led you to become interested in any of the real-world sports they depict?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:October 25, 2011
Genre:Sports
Topics:Sports and martial arts
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief (Xbox 360)

This review of Kinect Sports: Season Two was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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