MotionSports isn't a good game overall, but it does offer one of my favorite Kinect activities so far which is hang gliding. The rest of the game isn't so good, unfortunately, but the hang gliding alone makes it worth a rental just so we can dream about the possibilities of future PilotWings-style games on Kinect. Find out the details on the little bit of good and loads of bad that is MotionSports in our full review.
- Kinect Sensor Required
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Ubisoft Milan
- ESRB Rating: “T" for Teen
- Genre: Sports
- Pros: Hang gliding is amazingly good; good menus
- Cons: Most events have awful controls; some odd event choices
MotionSports is a collection of six events - football, soccer, horseback riding, boxing, hang gliding, and skiing. Each event only has one game open when you first start the game, but as you play each event you earn new game types for that event. The events start out pretty simple, but add more elements from each sport as you play and unlock new stuff.
The menu is noteworthy because it actually works pretty well. Similar to one of Ubisoft's other Kinect launch titles, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, your body is sort of in the middle of all of the menu options, and you select what you want by reaching your hand out to touch it. It works well and is easy to use, and actually bucks the trend of bad games having bad menus. Instead, this is a good menu in a pretty mediocre game.
What is bad about it? Well, most of the sports either don't work, or just aren't fun to play. Football consists of simple minigames that have you jumping or ducking over obstacles, sidestepping tacklers (and using the occasional stiff arm), and making easy throws to wide open receivers. You aren't playing real football, just doing practice drills. Yawn. Boxing is just broken here. You throw punches, just like in Kinect Sports boxing, but it doesn't register what you're doing most of the time. Using jabs is almost impossible because it just doesn't see you doing it for some reason. Also, the A.I. of your opponents in boxing is absolutely brutal. They kick your butt. Soccer events have you being a goalie or penalty taker, sometimes with special circumstances, but the lack of precision (and often misinterpretation of what you're doing) make both sides pretty hard to enjoy. Horseback riding isn't awful - you shake the reigns to go faster, lean to the sides to make the horse turn, and squat down then stand up to make the horse jump - but it is pretty slow and boring and isn't all that fun. Maybe that is just because I'm not a horse crazy 8 year old girl, though. It does at least work okay. Skiiing also works okay - you push with your poles to get going, lean side to side to turn, and crouch to gain speed - but it is very difficult to actually stay on course.
Hang Gliding Is Awesome
The real star of the show, though, is hang gliding. What a weird thing to be so impressed by, I know, but it is completely amazing here. It works basically like the hang gliding in PilotWings 64. There are currents of air that lift you up, rings to fly through, and a landing zone. You fly through natural canyons as well as cities. The controls are surprisingly intuitive, and work pretty much perfectly. You hold your arms out like you are holding onto the hang glider, pull them up to lose speed and climb, put them down to gain speed and descend, and raise your left arm to turn right, or your right arm to turn left. The hang gliding events are a bit slow, but they work incredibly well. I started it up and sailed in for a perfect landing the very first time I played the event. That isn't to say it is too easy. Far from it. But it controls so well and so intuitively that it just feels great to play. I have high hopes for future flight games just like this. Seriously, just shamelessly copy everything from PilotWings and it will be the best Kinect game yet.
Graphically, MotionSports actually looks pretty decent. The environments and stadiums you play in look surprisingly good, but the character models are only so-so. All in all, though, it isn't bad.
The sound is also all right. The music is okay, and sound effects for everything you do are spot on. The announcer isn't so good, though, as lines repeat a lot and sometimes they forget if you're a girl or boy. Awkward.
Ultimately, MotionSports is just more Kinect bargain bin fodder. Some events are just broken, like boxing and soccer. And others work okay, but aren't fun like skiiing, horseback riding, and football. There is one great, amazing, must play standout event in hang gliding, though, which makes MotionSports worth a rental on its own. There isn't a lot to it, but it will give you hope for what awesome flight games we might potentially get for Kinect down the road. Rent it.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy