Since this one is on sale, I decided to grab it. If you haven’t heard of it yet, here’s the short summary:

Experience the most intense Kinect sports game in your living room with Red Bull Crashed Ice Kinect for Xbox 360. Fly down Ice Cross Downhill tracks at incredible speed, carve through turns, pull off crazy stunts and crash your way to victory across 5 authentic downhill tracks.  Take the prize and become the Ice Cross Downhill World Champion on the leaderboards, battling it out with other players from all over the world.

Overview

Overall, it’s a pretty mediocre game. I am impressed with the amount of gestures there are in it which I go into details in the review. For the price it is right now until March 6th, 160MSP fits it very well. The original price, I would have been a little angry about it. Anyhow, with it being an arcade title, it’s not very long, nor is there a lot of variation in it so don’t expect miracles with this one. As long as you understand that, it’ll probably be one to add to your collection.

The Menu

It uses the normal hover and lock method, except when it locks, it freezes the icon with ice – a nice little touch effect in my opinion. The menu is very simple which consists of Join The Tour, Extras, Help & Options and Exit Game. As usual, I’ll break each one down.

Join The Tour

This is the mode to play the game. You are first presented with a map of the world and 5 locations to compete in. Each location is rated with a star system for difficulty, ranging from 1 star (easiest) to 5 stars (most difficult). The locations are as follows in the difficulty order:

  • Valkenburg
  • Are
  • Munich
  • Saint Paul
  • Quebec

On this screen, there are also rewards in the left hand corner. These are 3 unlockables for your avatar that you get for getting 3, 4, and 5 gold medals. In the top right also states your world ranking. For whatever reason, even after I was ranked in the world in the cities, I still did not have a rank show up. When you choose a location, if you haven’t qualified for it yet, everything will be locked except to qualify.

Qualifying unlocks that location as your goal is to participate in “The Event”. To qualify, you just have to beat the clock which the qualifying times are quite simple. Once you do qualify, you will be presented with other options.

Set Rival allows you to set a rival and try to beat their time. For some odd reason, my account signed out and wouldn’t sign back in so I couldn’t test this mode to see how it actually works, I’m assuming you race a ghost race against whomever you choose. I’m also assuming this puts you in the world rankings since getting medals in the events did not.

Event is your main race. It consists of 2 races, the 1st race sets up 8 people in groups of 2. Whichever 4 place 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th proceed onto the final round. The only race that you have to place 1st or 2nd in the first round is in Quebec. In the final round, you obviously just want to win 1st and get the gold.

Leaderboards just show you the regular leaderboards from around the world. Badges are in-game challenges that you can complete in order to unlock additional gear for your rider. You’ll also notice in this main area that on the right side, a second player can step in and join. I didn’t have an able body to see how well the multiplayer worked.

Lastly, in the middle is your avatar and you can select him/her to customize your rider. There are 3 categories of customization that you can change which include 14 helmets and 9 jerseys and pants. I was quite baffled that with this being a skating game, you couldn’t change your skates.

I was also curious as to why changing any items did nothing for your rider, being its an arcade game and all. The developers could have went a little in-depth giving little perks here and there for unlocking and equipment certain things, but it’s not here, customization is only a visual effect. The only thing I noticed that makes a difference is there is a can of Red Bull in each race, if you get it, it states that its “Given you wings” and I think you get a little speed boost but it was so hard to tell.

That’s basically it for the gameplay. There’s only 5 tracks, 15 races basically and you beat the game. I’m assuming if this one did well, they would have added other tracks since it seemed so simple to do so, but there’s nothing for it even for the while it has been out. I created a video of one of the tracks so you can get a feel for it and you’ll notice they add in little fun facts during the introduction. I’ll go into detail about all the things in the game in the How To Play section:

Extras

Extras just consists of the achievements (which are quite easy to achieve), Leaderboards again and Recommendations which just recommends Wreckateer, Hole In The Wall and one other game which I forgot already. It does show you how many of your friends have played each game though.

Help & Options

In here you have How To Play, Change Profile, Kinect Guide, Music/Sound FX volumes, Credits and Reset to Defaults. All of these are self-explanatory so I’ll get right into How To Play.

How To Play is broken up into 3 categories – Controls, How To Play and Trick Poses. With the controls, it lists what you are able to do. You first grab the gate to get ready. At the count of GO you swing your arms down to get going. Doing it on time I noticed has fire on your skates. To skate, you swing your arms back and forth. To speed up, you swing them faster. You are able to lean left and right to steer. You can also crouch and lean (which is a pain) to steer really hard, but I didn’t have to end up using it. You’ll notice in the video there are rails and ramps, you can jump on these to get them going. There are also obstacles where you must crouch to pass underneath them. The other obstacles you have to block to break by sticking your arms up vertically in front of you. The “Road Rash” characteristics of the game allow you to stomp with your left or right foot to knock down an opponent. I did kept having the tendency to use my arms instead of my feet so I wasn’t comfortable with that gesture.

How To Play basically explains the game. You collect stars to get powered up, reach left or right to collect rail powerups when you are on a rail, and skate fast to fill up your powerbar. Performing tricks also adds to your powerbar. Once you are powered up, you can enhance your tricks and attacks on the other riders. Lastly, you can crouch after a big jump for a power landing.

Trick Poses allows you to do tricks during the jumps. First, perform a jump. You can do tricks either regular or powered up mode. Depending on your pose, you can do one of the following tricks:

  • Spread Eagle (Arms straight up)
  • Split Rocket (T-pose with arms out to side)
  • Cannonball (Crouch)
  • Luikang Grab (Grab right hand to right foot)
  • Safety Grab (Grab left hand to left foot)
  • Spin Tricks (Turn sideways)

Doing tricks I noticed no difference in performance, which as I mentioned I was impressed with the amount of gestures for an arcade title, but there is no point system at all. Sure racing is typically about time, but even the real racing games still have some kind of point system. Anyhow, that’s basically the entire game.

Conclusion

As I stated earlier, this one is on sale right for only $1.99USD, which is quite a deal and why I scooped it up. For $2, its worth it, anything more, I’d have a second thought about it. It’s a mediocre game albeit quite short in my opinion and not enough things to do but at least the controls work very well. I like the concept but was expecting a little more to it. As long as you understand this isn’t a full-fledged title then you’ll probably be satisfied with it.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Red Bull Crashed Ice Kinect
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