Kinect Sports Rivals
Developed by Rare
Published by Microsoft Studios
*This is where Champions are created*
Kinect Sports Rivals doesn’t have much of a storyline really. Basically you are turned into a virtual champion and end up having to compete for a position with one of three different teams across 6 different sports. Not a great story but most sports games are not exactly known for their story modes.
As the title suggests; Kinect Sports Rivals primarily focuses on the use of motion controls through the Kinect 2.0 Camera which monitors all your movements. To start the game though you must get your avatar made by allowing the Kinect to analyze your face and body so it may carve pixels around your bone structure to make an exact digital replica. The game features 6 sports to choose from which are Jetski Racing, Bowling, Rock Climbing, Football, Tennis & Target shooting. For the most case; The motion controls in sports like the Jetski were incredibly fun with the motions actually requiring you to move around which does make a change from Wii Sports however some of the sports like Football and shooting showed off some of the faults with the game with the controls occasionally failing to respond however I have faith that Microsoft and Rare would be able to easily fix this with updates in the future. Another problem I spotted was the fact that the narrator for the game said that my room was dark making it harder to spot my motions even though it was daylight and I had the lights on and everything bright however this could also possibly be fixed in future aswell.
Kinect Sports Rivals has a great tracklist which includes some great songs from well known artists such as Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, Avicii, Nero, Madeon and even more aswell as some original pieces made especially for the game by none other than Rare worker & composer; Robin “The Bean” Beanland who has worked on many Rare titles in the past such as Conker: Live & Reloaded and the previous entries in the Kinect Sports Series. The voice acting for the characters in the story campaign such as Coach can be a little bit bland and stale at times however all of that is made up with thanks to the narration by Dr. Who Favorite; David Tennant who keeps serious yet relatable to the subject matter of the game such as the instructions on how to create your avatar.
Kinect Sports Rivals has nice visuals and while it appears slightly cartoony; You need to consider that it is a family game however it is by far the most realistic an in game avatar can look taking facial recognition to a whole new level. In addition to this, The courses/stages for all the different sports look visually beautiful with the water in the Jetski event looking extremely realistic aswell as nice vivid colors. One of my biggest gripes however is with the cutscenes which get repetitive and dull and to make things worse you cannot skip them. Other than that though; The Graphics are fine.
Kinect Sports Rivals while it has a story campaign is not about the campaign at all; Its all about the sports which can be played over and over again for good sporty fun with both friends and family and with the online ranking board; there is plenty of reason to replay the sports to become the ultimate virtual champion.
All in all, Kinect Sports Rivals is a great leap for the series to the next gen however there are still minor faults primarily to the sometimes unresponsive Kinect which unfortunately means it still lacks what made games like Wii Sports in particular so special however if Microsoft & Rare look over the very few problems in this title; They will be able to iron things out and make the next game a perfect sports simulator in your living room.
My Score – 7/10
- Fun Sports & Motion Controls
- Excellent Song List
- Great Narration by David Tennant
- Plenty of Replayability
- Graphics look nice
- Great Pixel work to create an exact replica of you
- Not much Story to the Campaign
- Controls sometimes unresponsive
- Some problems with Kinect picking up Light
- Bland Voice Acting
- Unskippable Cutscenes
Kinect Sports Rivals is available from all good retailers now exclusive to the Xbox One. Thanks go out to Microsoft for supplying the game and the assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit & YouTube.
Review by Matt McNamee