What parents need to know
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.
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.
Families can talk 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?