MotionSports

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
MotionSports Game Poster Image
Hit-and-miss collection of active sports mini-games.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game requires you to get physically active, which is certainly a positive. Take note, though that the overall tone of the game can be somewhat crass at times (see "Language" above).

Positive Role Models & Representations

The announcers in the game are generally quite encouraging in the way they address the players. If you do poorly in an event, rather than dwell on it, they talk about how much improvement you can show next time. However, you will also hear your boxing coach yell at you to "Finish him."

Ease of Play

It's a mixed bag. The motion controls work pretty well on some events, like skiing, boxing, and soccer. But they seemed a little touchy on others, like hang-gliding and football. The instructions to each event are relatively clear, but  they're written out in rather tiny text and can actually be missed if you don't know where and when to look for them.

Violence

In ski cross, skiers can bump one another off the course. In football, players can be knocked down forcibly (you will see yourself falling from a first-person perspective, with the screen blurring). In hang gliding, you can crash, and the glass of the screen will appear to shatter. The most violence comes in boxing, though, where you punch at your opponent from a first-person perspective. You will throw actual punches in the air. When you get hit, the camera jerks to indicate your head flying back. When you're knocked down, the image goes blurry. During the fight, your coach will yell things to you, like, "Finish him!"

Sex
Language

When you do well in a sport, you may be "rewarded" with a newspaper, featuring your actual photograph, and a headline that reads, "The Rookie Kicks Ass."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MotionSports is the "realistic" sports game for the Xbox 360's new motion-controlled Kinect system -- as opposed to the cartoonish (but very good) Kinect Sports. There are no personal avatars in MotionSports, where you'll instead see realistic looking athletes engaged in a variety of sports. The realistic look can give more impact to some of the violent moments, especially in the boxing mini-game. Also be aware that some mildly crass language is used.

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What's it about?

MOTIONSPORTS is a collection of active mini-games for use with the new motion-controlled Kinect system. It is positioning itself as the realistic alternative to more cartoony sports collections like Kinect Sports or Deca Sports Freedom. There are six sports to choose from: soccer, football, boxing, horseback riding, hang gliding, and skiing -- each of which can be played in several different mini-game variations. In the team sports, you'll run drills and exercise specific skills rather than play a full game of soccer or football.

Is it any good?

MotionSports is a bit of a mixed bag. The skiing, for instance can be a lot of fun, while the hang gliding can be surprisingly dull. And its hard to get excited about playing "football," when that just means jumping over fabric hurdles or ducking around padded walls. You'll get to do stuff that's more like real football later on, but only after you've played through all the training drill games. The motion controls sometimes work really well and feel completely natural and intuitive; while at other moments they can feel a bit glitchy with slow reaction times. The way the game shoots real photos of you to use on newspapers and magazine covers is fun the first few times, but even that grows old quickly and you may find yourself wishing you could skip past the obligatory photo shoot. Kinect users seeking a fun party sports game should take a look at Kinect Sports before deciding.

Online interaction: The game will take photos of you for fake newspaper or magazine covers that tout your skill as an athlete. These can be shared online via UPlay, an exclusive online community for players of UbiSoft games. You can join and access UPlay via the MotionSports menu. Note: players can potentially do anything in these photos.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether active gaming can be a substitute for real sports and exercise. With Kinect, video games can make you more physically active than ever, but is it enough? Is the physicality in a game like this ever too much? How can you make sure you don't hurt yourself or someone else while playing?

  • When playing a boxing game in which you phyiscally throw punches at the screen, does the violence of the sport get amplified, as opposed to a traditional video game in which you may just press a button to punch somebody?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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