Reviews of All 2010 Xbox Kinect Games -Launch Title Games and More
With the Xbox 360 Kinect firmly entrenched in our family room and Christmas fast approaching, I thought I'd better be doing some research on the Xbox Kinect games which have been released so far.
Now I've reviewed each of the 17 original titles for the Xbox Kinect launch, as well as Get Fit With Mel B, Brunswick Bowling and Def Jam Rapstar -other 2010 releases for the Xbox Kinect- and I figured I may as well share what I've learned with you. It's true, some of these games are lame, were probably rushed for production purposes and never should have been released in the first place.
And which are which? Which Xbox Kinect games should you spend your money on and which should you just pass on? Read on to find out! Though I've divided them into categories such as Sports, Children, Music and Dance, Fitness, and Fantasy, most of these Kinect games will give you at least a small workout.
For unreleased game-titles, see New and Upcoming Xbox Kinect 360 Games.
Xbox 360 Kinect Games MOSTLY FOR THE CHILDREN
Kinect Adventures - Xbox Kinect Game
Kinect Adventures by Good Science Studios and Microsoft Software is the game you get when you buy the Kinect. In this game you ride the rapids, fly like a bird and jump your way up a mountain. Nothing too challenging or complicated here, just good basic family games to get the fun started. While the games are Wii-like for lack of a better term, the game-play is not. Besides the far superior graphics and processing speed, you quickly see what sets the Kinect apart from the others. You are the controller. You are not controlling an avatar in the game in any way, you are totally immersed in the game. Way beyond the whole Wii deal. This is great for families or groups of friends, and a great introduction to what it means to Kinect. It's getting good reviews. Nothing fancy here, other than the option to share your game photos on Facebook, but good staple fun for all ages. Rated for Everyone. Star rating based on purchased game console bundles, but is at 4.5 Stars on Amazon.
Kinect Wall Mount and Floor Stand
Kinectimals on Amazon
Kinectimals - Xbox Kinect Game
Kinectimals is developed by Frontier Developments and Microsoft Software and it offers virtual pets for the younger Kinect crowd, or anyone wanting to cuddle up to a cute wild animal. You have to show your pet how to do the tricks. Once your pet gets the hang of it, voice commands will suffice. Kinectimals is getting unexpectedly very good reviews for a virtual pet game except for one thing.
There's a Bumble-Bee game guide that won't stop talking. It holds up game-play repeatedly and can become an annoyance. Apparently there is no way to shut him up -off, I mean, no way to shut him off. Hopefully they'll issue a patch and fix the problem soon.
Otherwise it's reported to be very enjoyable and well done. The immersion into the game with the virtual pet is proving to be very appealing to children, of all ages, and a line of Kinectimals plush animals from the game is hitting store shelves as well. If you're really lucky you can find one bundled with the game. Rated for Everyone. 4.5 Stars on Amazon.
Xbox 360 Kinect SPORTS Games
Brunswick Bowling on Amazon
Brunswick Bowling - Xbox Kinect Game
Brunswick Pro Bowling is a Crave Entertainments game for the Xbox Kinect set to be released this week. This game always enjoyed high ratings when controllers were used -(when I was a kid, you had to push buttons on a hand-held controller to play video games).
Released with sensored movement control for the Wii, it didn't do quite as well, garnering only 3 to 3.5 star ratings. While a good deal of the negative reaction was no doubt due to the fact that the technique for the Wii Brunswick Pro Bowling was so much different than that for the Wii Sports Bowling that it was very difficult for people to adjust to the newer game. A lack of clear instruction didn't help, despite the fact that Brunswick Pro Bowling had more realistic play and far better graphics than the Wii Sports version.
With the release this week of the Xbox Kinect version we wait to see how this once good game will translate into the new controller-less era of video-gaming, and whether or not Crave Games and developer Farsight Studios added some depth to the game since the Wii version, along with clearer technique direction.
Kinect Sports on Amazon
Kinect Sports - Xbox Kinect Game
Kinect Sports by Rare and Microsoft Software comes complete with track and field, soccer, boxing, table tennis, volleyball and bowling. A must-have for the Kinect family library, these are again very basic games, but very fun! With Kinect Sports the whole extended family can compete in Team vs. Team mode, or you can challenge friends on Xbox live as well. Like Kinect Adventures there is not a large selection of games on this one, but also like Kinect Adventures, what it does it does very, exceedingly, better than ever before well. And it's a pretty good workout. Allows you to share your game photos on Facebook. Rated for 10 and up. 4.5 Stars on Amazon.
EA Sports Active 2 on Amazon
EA Sports Active 2 - Xbox Kinect Game
EA Sports Active 2 for the Xbox 360 Kinect by EA Sports brings us this fitness challenge game. While the game monitors your heart rate via an armband it encourages you to push yourself further and go the extra mile for fitness. Providing a broad range of activities to choose from, but only limited customizable workouts, and no real stat tracking at all. You can optionally use resistance bands and weights with Sports Active 2, and ideally it provides a good workout program. Unfortunately this game suffers from some problems with properly tracking movement. Rated for Everyone. 3 Stars on Amazon.
Motion Sports: Play For Real on Amazon
Motion Sports: Play for Real - Xbox Kinect Game
Motion Sports: Play For Real by Ubisoft offers over 40 sports challenges, including equestrian and hang-gliding, downhill skiing and more. There was a serious problem with lag however, but a patch has been issued which seems to have fixed the problem for most of the challenges. Boxing is still said to be especially bad however, and problems do still linger. The challenges are hit and miss on this one. Some are good, some aren't, some work great, some don't. Rated for Teen and Up. 2 Star Amazon Rating.
Deca Sports Freedom on Amazon
Deca Sports Freedom - Xbox Kinect Game
Deca Sports Freedom (known as Sports Island Freedom in Europe) is developed by Hudson Entertainment. Offering some interesting sporting challenges such as dodgeball, archery, kendo, snowboarding and figure skating. Unfortunately the game also comes with lots of bugs. Extremely poor interface, lack of response and proper player tracking. Needs work. Rated for 10 and Up. 1.5 Star Amazon Rating.
Fighters Uncaged on Amazon
Fighters Uncaged - Xbox Kinect Game
Fighters Uncaged is developed by Ubisoft and offers raw, no-holds-barred street-fighting. The story line involves being forced to participate in illegal fight tournaments. There's no weapons involved, just your body. It's a bit tricky to learn to do the fight moves exactly how they want you to do the moves, and the play is very limited. There are 70 fight moves available to the player however, and 21 different environments. It is a challenge, and you will work up a sweat and exhaust yourself. A bit more time in the stew pot wouldn't have hurt hit. Rated for Teen and Up. 3 Star Amazon Rating.
Def Jam Rapstar - Xbox Kinect Game
Def Jam Rapstar -a hip-hop karaoke game- was released in October for the Xbox 360, and you do not need to have the Kinect Sensor to play this game. However you can use the Kinect to record your game videos for uploading to the Def Jam Rapstar online community, so it is considered Kinect-compatible.
This game is brought to us by Konami, and becomes the first music-based video game to focus on the rap genre. To make things even more interesting Konami and Def Jam are sponsoring a rapstar contest to find the best Def Jam Rapstar performer in the United Kingdom. The winner gets a record deal!
The line-up of 40 tracks attempts to span the history of rap, from Run-D.M.C. through LL Cool J, 50 Cent, 2Pac and Dr. Dre right up to Kanye West and Rihanna.
Dance Central - Xbox Kinect Game
Dance Central is by MTV Games and Harmonix, the makers of the Rock Band video games. Here you get to try and keep up to the beat as you learn dance routines for 32 popular songs. There is your choice of expert or beginner choreography to master, more than 90 routines and 650 dance moves, and a 'Break It Down' mode to help you learn the steps. The Kinect monitors your progress via its full body motion detectors as you advance through the routines following the onscreen guide. Additional content will be available for this game from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Rated for Teen and Up. 4.5 Stars on Amazon.
DanceMasters on Amazon
DanceMasters - Xbox Kinect Game
DanceMasters (known as Dance dance Evolution in Europe) is developed by Konami and set to Japanese pop music. Like the music, the play is also in the tradition of Dance Dance Revolution, hitting the marks to follow the routine. While this makes the game much more challenging, it also makes it harder to learn and frustrating to people wanting to learn step-by-step, despite the lesson mode. The game has great graphics and no lag or other glitch complaints. Additional downloadable content will be availble, and you can challenge others on Xbox Live. Competing to become a Dance Master, there is a choice of play experience levels. Rated for 10 and Up. 4 Star Amazon Rating
Xbox 360 Kinect EXERCISE AND FITNESS Games
Get Fit With Mel B. - Xbox Kinect Game
I'm having trouble finding this one for sale in the U.S. I've also seen many differing North American release dates for Get Fit With Mel B for the Xbox Kinect and Playstation going back to early November, yet neither seem to be available anywhere. A January 3rd release is possible.
Either way, the game is out in the United Kingdom, and getting strong reviews. While Get Fit With Mel B. isn't as high-tech as Your Shape or The Biggest Loser, users like the simplicity of the interface and navigation.
Don't mistake simple with ineffective, however. Get Fit With Mel B offers over 200 exercises from 6 different aerobic disciplines. The Kinect Sensor monitors your movements, displaying your figure on one side of the screen trying to keep up with Mel's figure next to it.
A daunting aspect perhaps, but this video fitness game is forgiving in that should you not quite finish the activity in good form, let us say, you can still go on to the next activity in the routine if you choose. You don't have to get the movements perfect to keep going.
Get Fit With Mel tailors workouts for you to suit your physical condition and stated goals, which may include specific parts of your body being focused on for strength, weight-loss or increased stamina. Additionally you can customize your own workouts by choosing from the over 200 exercises available. Unfortunately these cannot be saved for easy use later.
Partnering with Fitness First, optional workout accessories are also available. I should probably mention that Mel B is a former Spice Girl, and plans are in the works for a future Dance With Mel B video game as well.
Zumba Fitness on Amazon
Zumba Fitness - Xbox Kinect Game
Zumba Fitness by Majesco offers dance fitness routines set to upbeat Latin and other international music tracks. But the complaints here are many. Poor movement tracking, clunky navigation, little to no instruction, and just has little to offer besides. It's basically designed as a jump-on-in and hopefully you'll figure it out as you go. Zumba Fitness isn't really keeping track of you anyway, so don't worry about it. Avoid this one, unless you're determined to workout to Latin music there's just way too many problems. Rated for Everyone. 2 Star Amazon Rating.
UPDATE FOR ZUMBA FITNESS - Patches have been released by publisher Majesco which are reported to fix much of what was wrong with this game.
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved on Amazon
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved - Xbox Kinect Game
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is a hands free workout game that is backed by the fitness industry. Developed by Ubisoft, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved offers you hundreds of exercises and customizes a workout for you based on your shape, preferences and goals. And it really works! Watch yourself -literally replicated onscreen- burn through the calories taking classes, working with a personal trainer or playing games with the family. The Kinect sensor casts a million plus dots over your body and monitors your actions in real time with no lag, ensuring you're using the right form and getting the most out of your exercise routines. Your Shape: Fitness Evolved provides classes in Martial Arts, Yoga or Tai Chi, and downloads will be available to keep your workout fresh, new and challenging as you lose weight and increase your stamina. That said, there is plenty of good challenging content to start off with. One of the few complaints about Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is that there is no automatic warmup or cool down, although you can take a yoga or tai chi class prior to or following your routine. When switching workouts midway through a program or switching profiles, tracking of your previous progress can be lost. And despite that it advertises that you'll never do the same routine twice, you in fact do. These issues aside the concept is great, the game functions very well and provides quite a workout regime. Most users are quite happy with it. Rated for Everyone. 4 Star Amazon Rating.
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout on Amazon
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout - Xbox Kinect Game
The Biggest Loser: Ulimate Workout comes to the market from THQ. Based obviously on the popular weight-loss TV series, The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout for the Xbox 360 Kinect offers recipes, calorie counters, personalized training, over 120 exercises, considerate game play waits for you to get it before moving on, scheduled weigh-ins, stats tracking and video diaries. Complaints about Kinect's Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout are mostly regarding the control functions and navigations. Yet other reviewers say it really isn't that hard to figure out at all. An over-sensitivity in the movement tracking seems to be the culprit, and once the player is aware of it it's no longer a problem. This situation no doubt affects the user ratings however, as shown. It may take a bit to get used to using this game, but is supposed to be well worth it and easy to use once you've got it figured out. Rated for Everyone. 3.5 Star Amazon Rating.
Xbox 360 Kinect FANTASY OR CHARACTER Games
Kinect Joy Ride on Amazon
Kinect Joy Ride - Xbox Kinect Game
Kinect Joy Ride is a wild ride for the Xbox Kinect. Brought to us by Big Park and Microsoft Game Studios, Kinect Joy Ride is a go-cart racing game that uses your whole body to steer through the courses. You can play Kinect Joy Ride competing against up to seven other players over Xbox Live, and share your Kinect pictures on Facebook like with Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports. But there's not a whole lot to the game, and what there is doesn't always work that great. It seems somewhat lacking, and at times defective to boot. Rated for Everyone. 3.5 Stars on Amazon.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on Amazon
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Xbox Kinect Game
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is by EA Games and is getting mixed reviews. While action-packed and fast-paced, the graphics are lacking and some of Potter's powers are pointless. Additionally, only certain portions of the game utilize the Kinect aspects. Enjoyable enough for casual gamers who are Harry Potter fans, however, but maybe only if you catch it on sale. Might be a good idea to wait for Part 2's release set for next summer and see if they've made it more interesting. Rated for Teen and Up. 3 Star Amazon Rating.
Adrenalin Misfits for Kinect on Amazon
Adrenalin Misfits - Xbox Kinect Game
Adrenalin Misfits (known as Crossboards 7 in Europe) by Konami has players battling it out on racing cross boards through a series of imaginative lands. You can use your Xbox 360 avatar in this game and compare your rankings to others on the leaderboard. The actual gameplay is fun, you basically use your body to fly through the air while battling various monsters and collecting crossboards. But there's alot of dull lead-in time expended and in the end the game doesn't really offer a whole lot. A beefed up version with a slimmed down storyline would have been better, but again the actual game play in Adrenalin Misfits is good fun. Rated for Everyone. 4 Star Amazon Rating.
Sonic Free Riders on Amazon
Sonic Free Riders - Xbox Kinect Game
Sonic Free Riders by Sega brings the iconic kid, adult and family favorite Sonic the Hedgehog and Crew to the Xbox 360 Kinect. Can you imagine using your body to navigate your favorite Sonic character through crazy Sonic courses? How about at crazy Sonic speeds? In Sonic Free Riders, you can become one with the Hedgehog. You are Sonic, or another Sonic character of your choosing, or your own avatar. While this game is proving a frustration to some, it seems to only go to show exactly how out of shape society has become. If you pay attention to the tutorial and really try to get the moves right, in a couple of days you'll start to get it. Most people aren't patient enough to learn the moves and so blame the sensor instead, and if they do get the moves down, they discover it still takes some physical exertion to keep up with a full body motion Sonic game. Don't buy this one for someone who demands instant gratification or is out of shape and not willing to work on it. Do buy this one if you liked the Sonic series and think you can keep up with the speedy little hedgehog. Rated for Everyone. 3 Star Amazon Rating.
Xbox 360 Kinect MISCELLANEOUS Games
Game Party: In Motion on Amazon
Game Party: In Motion - Xbox Kinect Game
Game Party: In Motion by Warner Brothers for the Xbox 360 Kinect is a multiplayer party game featuring several activities such as Darts, Horseshoes, Pool and more. While it accomodates up to 16 players -which is a nice feature- Game Party: In Motion is receiving the worst reviews. Poor interface, lack of control and in some areas just a bad game design leave Warner Brothers' Game Party with much to be desired. Avoid. Rated for Everyone. 1 Star Amazon Rating.
Most Recommended Xbox Kinect Game Launch Titles (Not In Any Particular Order)
Article Copyright 2010 Anesidora and not to be copied or reprinted without author permission.
Additional photos courtesy of individual companies via the Fair Use law.
Opinions expressed herein are based on personal experience and thorough research. Author is not affiliated with any of the companies which may be mentioned herein.
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