Up for re-review, this time it’s the first MotionSports title. In case you never heard of this one, here’s the short synopsis about it:

No controllers. No equipment. No gear. Just real sports played the real way, and  all you need is Microsoft Kinect. This collection shows off Kinect at its  purest, bringing six sports to life right in your living room. Run, jump, duck,  dodge, and soar through over 40 challenges that put your physical skills to the  test. You’ll dodge defenders and race to the end zone in football, flash fancy  footwork in soccer, and work that jab in boxing. You can also hop on horseback,  hit the slopes, and even hang-glide. You’ll go from unknown to superstar as your  every performance is broadcast on the in-game TV channel.

Overview

This was one of the original launch titles as well, and had many problems. Since then, a patch has been released and the game is actually playable now. It’s somewhat enjoyable for a few, but after a while it gets annoying because you end up repeating everything. There’s just not enough content to make it good, but its different. You have to be truly dedicated in order to unlock everything and it is quite time-consuming, you won’t be unlocking everything in one sitting unless you are very good at this one.

The Menu

The menu is a different style, it’s kind of a hover and lock, although it’s more of a push button menu. It works for what it is, but it makes you really stretch to get to the top items. The main events are categorized into the following; Horseback Riding, Skiing, Football, Hang Gliding, Boxing and Soccer. The last 3 options are Extras, Uplay and Ranking which just keeps track of all of your scores for every single event. As usual, I’ll break them all down.

Horseback Riding

This is kind of a strange one, but it works for what it is. There are basically only 2 different types. The first is a course where you have maintain a path and jump over the fences like the real thing. The other type is just a race, like the Kentucky Derby. As I mentioned earlier, everything is locked for the most part and you have to do well in order to unlock more events. Here is the list of all of the events:

  • Beginner Course (1-4 Players)
  • Short Race (1-2 Players)
  • Novice Course (1-4 Players)
  • Intermediate Course (1-4 Players)
  • Advanced Course (1-4 Players)
  • Deluxe Course (1-4 Players)
  • Super Deluxe Course (1-4 Players)
  • Long Race (1-2 Players)

For the courses, you basically have to use your hands like you are holding the reins and do an up and down motion to pick up speed. You then lean left or right with your body in order to turn. When you come up to a fence, you want to jump earlier than anticipated since there is a delay. It’s kind of a pain, but it’s neat. I did create a video of it so you can view for yourself:

For the race, it’s plain and simple, just use the reins as fast as possible and steer accordingly, the video probably explains it better:

Skiing

For the skiing, there is basically 3 different types, although with minor variances. The Bounty races have you collecting these coin things while trying to get downhill as fast as possible. The Ski Crosses/Super G’s are just races with others, although you have to stay within in the gates. Lastly, there’s a Ski Jump but there’s only one variation of it. The list of all events is below:

  • Bounty Super G (1-2 Players)
  • Ski Cross (1-2 Players)
  • Bounty Ski Cross (1-2 Players)
  • Ski Jump (1-4 Players)
  • Super G (1-2 Players)
  • Super G Extreme (1-2 Players)
  • Ski Cross Extreme (1-2 Players)

For the Bounty and Super G/Ski Cross modes, the controls are the same. You push-off using your imaginary poles and crouch and lean side to side to steer. When you build up enough boost (which I think is actually where they got the idea for the “Adrenalin” in the second title), you can crouch really low and boost yourself. That’s really it to the controls, I made a video of the Bounty Ski Cross which shows the badges and the gates, the only one different is the regular ski cross which has other CPU controlled opponents in it, but you can view it below:

For the Ski Jump, the controls are somewhat similar. You don’t have to push-off, but you do need to crouch to gain speed. You can crouch lower to boost again but you have to time it right. At the right time, you literally have to jump to launch yourself off the ramp. Once in the air, a particular pose will be displayed and you want to match this and hold it as long as possible until you land. That’s pretty much it, check out the video below:

Football

This one is an American Football attempt, it’s ok, but basically its a bunch of mini-games. They are broken up into running games, positions and throwing games. Here’s the list of all of the events:

  • Vertical Run (1-4 Players)
  • Lateral Run (1-4 Players)
  • Running Back (1-4 Players)
  • Quarterback (1-4 Players)
  • Kicker (1-4 Players)
  • Standing Target Throw (1-2 Players)
  • Moving Target Throw (1-2 Players)

The first 2 are the running events, basically you run automatically and just have to sidestep to the left or right, crouch and jump around barriers, being one vertical and one lateral. It’s fairly simple as long as you pay attention. You just use normal gestures to play. Here’s a video of one of them:

The Running Back game has you play the position. You have 3 waves in an attempt to score a touchdown. You only have 5 attempts in each wave. It’s kind of the like Big League Sports mode, where the defenders will come at you and then prompt you for an action. You will either have to jump, crouch or stiff arm. You can also spin, but no matter what I tried, a spin also ended up with me getting hit. Here’s a short video of it:

The Quarterback position gives you 4 attempts to throw a pass. It’s quite stupid to be honest. Somehow I ended up able to get a couple of perfects, but I couldn’t tell what the game wants you to do. If you just sit there, your receiver will run back and forth. Somehow it measures distance and whether your receiver is ready or not to catch the ball, but he should be ready since there are no defenders on him, so the game overall just doesn’t make sense to me. Here’s a video of it so you can judge yourself:

The Kicker position has another 3 waves, with 3 attempts per wave. You have to crouch to place the ball, then take steps back and step to kick the ball. The first wave is fairly easy. The 2nd and 3rd waves add some hurricane wind and you are literally sideways to adjust for the wind. It’s another kind of stupid one. Here’s the video of it:

The Target Throw games are kind of like an arcade game. You basically just toss a ball into a target area and gain points depending on where you toss it. The only difference between them is one is stationary and the other moves. There are 3 waves with 3 attempts in this one as well. The moving one is quite difficult but I made a video of it anyway:

Hang Gliding

Hang gliding is fairly the same. There are quite a few courses and the only differences between a few of them is some have these rings you fly through and the others do not. All of them can be played with 1-4 Players and the list of all the courses is below:

  • Leaving The Nest
  • As The Crow Flies
  • Rising High
  • The Stone Labyrinth
  • Summer Skyline
  • Cave Gliding
  • Rendezvous Point
  • Freedom

The controls are fairly simple, and you can also sit down for this one. You basically hold out your arms like you are holding onto a bar. You can raise your arms to gain altitude but decrease speed, or lower them to decrease altitude and increase speed. To turn you pretend you are holding onto a bar, so to turn left, you would raise your right arm while lowering your left arm simultaneously. At the end, there is a landing procedure, but all you have to do is make sure you are around 40MPH for speed and come to a slow stop. Where your person stops is how many points you receive, not where you touch down initially, so keep that in mind when trying to get the bullseye. It’s fairly self-explanatory, but here’s a video of one of the ring courses anyway:

Boxing

Boxing isn’t too bad. The events are just actual opponents and all boxing is for 1 player. There is a 2 player VS mode which is the only multiplayer option in here. The list of opponents are:

  • The Amazonian Devil
  • Professor Pound
  • Suleiman
  • El Chupacabra
  • Midnight Express
  • The Czar
  • This Time Its Personal (2 Player VS Mode)

Boxing is like normal boxing. You can guard by lifting your hands up in front of your face or lower for your body. You can jab by swinging straight at Kinect, hook by curving, and land upper cuts as well. You can also attack either the head or the body so it’s pretty decent. Knockdowns are all automated though, basically if either of you gets knocked down 3 times, games over, even though it should be a TKO, it still counts on the 3rd knockdown to 10. It’s strange, but here’s a video of it anyway:

Soccer

The soccer one is fairly different. All of them are kicking games, so you won’t have any type of enjoyable soccer that was introduced in Kinect Sports. They are basically soccer mini-games, although they slightly vary. The list of events are below:

  • Penalty Shootout (1-2 Players)
  • Scoring Zone (1-2 Players)
  • Midfield Kick (1-4 Players)
  • Target Shooting (1-4 Players)
  • Rewrite History 1 – 1990 (1-2 Players)
  • Rewrite History 2 – 1998 (1-2 Players)
  • Rewrite History 3 – 1999 (1-2 Players)
  • Rewrite History 4 – 2006 (1-2 Players)

The penalty shootout and the rewrite history events are the same thing, only different teams. You and the computer take turns at penalty shots and goalkeeping. It’s the best out of 5, or 6 if needed. You set the ball down just like the other kicking games, and then kick away. Blocking is similar to the football running back game, where time will slow so you know which way to defend. That’s pretty much all there is to it, here’s a video of one of the rewrite history games:

Scoring Zone was kind of cool. You start out with 1001 points. Your objective is get your score down to zero, like 301/501 in Darts. The goal is filled with different points and depending on where you kick, you subtract the points you earn. You have to get the exact number of points just like darts. I thought it was neat, here’s a video of it:

Midfield Kick was basically the same thing as the Football Kicker game, except it’s a soccer ball instead of an American football. Same concept and everything, here’s the video of it:

Target Shooting is a hard one, random targets show up all over the goal and you have to hit them. Some are stationary and some move. The more you get in a row, the more of a multiplier you get. It’s kind of neat as well, here’s the video of it:

Extras

The extras area just has some basic things in it. Photo Book allows you manage your pictures that are taken for the magazine covers. You can also view the Credits as well. Retake Pictures allows you to retake your “game face photos” that are used like everywhere in the game. Storage Device allows you to change storage and lastly, you can change the host player, which I’m not sure what benefit that has.

Uplay

As with mostly all Ubisoft games, there are Uplay actions and rewards in here.

Actions

  • 10U – Almost Famous – Take 3 pictures at the end of the welcome tutorial
  • 20U – Napoleon Complex – Become an international champion in any sports
  • 30U – I Am Legend – Become a legend in any sport
  • 40U – Look At You! – Appear on 6 different international magazine covers

Rewards

  • 10U – MotionSports Theme Wallpaper for your Xbox 360
  • 20U – Powered-Up Boxing Gloves that add extra strength to your punches
  • 30U – Gold Hang-Glider – I noticed no benefits
  • 40U – New Additional Challenge – Adds a new multiplayer horse racing challenge

Conclusion

Since the patch, it’s now a mediocre game. I still think MotionSports Adrenalin is better, but I suppose for a launch title, this wasn’t all that bad. You can probably pick this up for next to nothing (I did) if you absolutely must have it or looking for something different. Other than that, it was a fair attempt just as Big League Sports was, but that’s all it is.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of MotionSports: Play For Real
Scoring policy: What do these game review scores actually mean?