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Full Version: [Deca Sports Freedom] Review: I didn't think it was possible [1.5/10]
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Deca Sports Freedom

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYu5xjHSc0OtZb0GnSikH...-DV33M65JQ]
  • Official site N/A
  • Developer: Hudson Soft
  • Genre: Sports
  • Alternative game name: Sports Island Freedom
  • Modes: Exhibition, League, Multiplayer, Tournament, Tutorial, Versus
  • Players: 2
  • Online Features: Achievements, Custom Match, Leaderboards, Online Multiplayer, Player Match, Quick Match, Ranked Match, Voice, Xbox LIVE Family Settings
  • Kinect Features: Players 1-2, Voice Enabled
  • Kinect Activity Level: Standing - Active
  • Uses avatars?: No
  • Age group: Kids

Deca Sports Freedom - The good
  • The graphics are ok
  • You can build a custom team of the in-game characters
  • They are onto something though with the paintball game, see below for more details
  • Very in depth tutorials
  • It has a tournament and league setup in game so this could easily be a party game, only if...

Deca Sports Freedom - The not so good
  • Menu System
  • Has avatars but not yours
  • Cannot pause during play
  • Cannot exit during pause, oh yeah there is no pause!

Deca Sports Freedom - Story
Thankfully there is no story to this game.

Deca Sports Freedom - Kinect experience
Kinect was coded only to work properly with a couple of the events. I am guessing the others were too difficult or they did not have enough time. Oh just a note! If you have your kinect high, like above 6' then there is an option within the game to change it from eye level to higher up. No idea why.

Deca Sports Freedom - Graphics
Basically they are HD Wii graphics, want to see a Wii game with HD, then get this guy! Big Grin

Deca Sports Freedom - Gameplay
Ok here's the big detailed list of problems and not so problems I experienced. I will go into detail about each event as well. Now I had very high hopes for this game, I even tried everything twice! MotionSports is honestly better than this game. Sad

First, the menu system. In the main screens, it works decent enough. The problem is when you start an event. During an event, there are often times you'd like to skip a scene. It gives you the pleasure of being able to skip that scene, however you have to use your invisible hand and guess where that button is! It is its own mini-game inside of a game! Archery did the worst, because you have to keep skipping as you shoot, computer shoots, you shoot, etc...

Next I was playing volleyball. I order pizza prior to playing this. Knocking on door, do the universal pause gesture. Kinect hub pops up, game is still going on in the background. I was like you have got to be kidding me. I then try using a controller, that has no effect. It lets you bring up the guide if that helps? The game still plays on in the darkened background. Then I wanted to exit, no exit without basically returning to dashboard or letting the game finish out.

Avatars - every preview you see has avatars in it, so you automatically think cool I can at least play with my avatar. Not the case! It has built-in avatars of made up teams that all have their own skill levels! Like average joes, are all average people, all 5 of them. Some have more power, some are better at running. After this, I seen where this became a Wii game very fast.

Ok those were just main problems - now onto the events!

Tennis:
- Main problem was it was hurried, and kinect doesn't detect accurate enough. As soon as you cross your arm in front of your body, you have a 50/50 chance of hitting it. Then get this, kinect is not accurate enough, but the game WANTS you to be accurate by swinging high and low. Now I played tennis in high school, so I was playing for real. This game was not playing for real.
- The computer controls your in-game character to run around. It guesses what you want to do, and it's based off a horrible algorithm. I believe the Nintendo game "Tennis" did a better job? 90% of your returns are forced backhands. Now with the problem of kinect tracking losing your hand as it crosses over your body, this becomes a problem. Amazingly, on easy it will let you win!
- One cool thing I actually did like, is during a serve, if you leaned left or right your character would move left or right instead of being stationary. Unfortunately this was not the case for the regular gameplay.
- Also you get automatic aces sometimes just by throwing the ball up, I think my problem is I was playing for real, so when I serve, I turn to the side. It confused the heck out of the game and automatically hit my serve before the ball would leave my hand but I ended up getting a ton of aces that way lol

Beach Volleyball:
- Kinect Sports did a superb job, not sure if they were trying to do better or if they took this straight from the Wii version. Anyhow, the automatic running system doesn't work. It's stops you just right of the ball if you have to run. If you are stationary, you do get to hit the ball back, if not, then forget about it.
- The actual ball has no physics or the game itself. When you hit the ball, it floats like a balloon. When you spike the ball it travels fast, then comes to a dead stop.
- The controls were also not accurate enough, I experienced similar problems as in tennis.

Archery:
- This one actually worked decent enough to play. You will probably never get a bullseye but it gives you false hope. The game does have you turn sideways in order to shoot, and to shoot you have like flick your hand back that's holding the arrow. This sometimes throws off your aim.
- Only other problem is playing the invisible skip button game as it's very repetitive in this event.
- I would actually been glad to spend like $5 on a plastic bow that you could pull to gain accuracy than trying their control scheme.

Kendo:
- Amazingly this one worked somewhat well, but I think it's because they kept it simple.
- It's real kendo rules, only one hit per turn. You only have 3 different attacks, and one defense move. You can only attack once per turn. You can however, evade as much as you want.

Mogul Skiing:
- I'm not sure what is going on with this one. It has the hills but you go over them at about 1mph if that. During this, it wants you to do the twist like chubby checker. After that, you come to this ramp, where once again, this defies physics, that is at a 90 degree angle. It launches you straight up about 50 ft, yet you somehow travel forward, and you are allowed to do 1 of 3 tricks. Then after you land, you redo the same exact process.
- I really didn't get it, but maybe because it was meant for a Wii and not the Kinect.

Figure Skating:
- Again, I don't get why this is in here. It has nothing to do with figure skating, except it tries to have you play simon says and stay in a stance that is somewhat relevent to the move your character does.
- There are 3 concertos to choose from, oooooo! lol

Dodgeball:
- Again, I was shamed with utter dissapointment. The slogan for this one is, "There is no dodge in dodgeball". What this means is you cannot dodge and you cannot catch. Whatever actions you do, you do for all 5 of your players simulatenously. I believe this is confusing the heck out of the game and it doesn't know what you are even doing.
- I was really looking forward to a real dodgeball game, but it's just not fun if you can't catch to get your players back in. I even went through the tutorial/practice to make sure it wasn't something I was doing wrong.

Snowboard Cross:
- This is just basically snowboarding. You only get 3 tracks to choose from. It has a different concept, lean forward to get speed, lean backward to slow down, and lean left/right to turn. It sorta works. Clean it up and it would work pretty good, I just don't know if 3 tracks would satisfy the snowboarders.

Boxing:
This is just Wii Boxing on Kinect. Seriously, wail away and its done. No skill necessary!

Paintball:
- Now believe it or not, this one worked fairly well. I think this is where Hudson Soft put all of their effort in. If the big developers build up on this idea, we will definitely have FPS, just like Core explained, this shows you how its done. I will try to explain.
- You have a box. In this box are 2 dark grey feet imprints. Where the feet are is dead center. You can move around in your box (essentially it's a very small probably 2x2 play area that kinect can see). Now your real feet are white. If you move forward, your white feet move forward and your character moves forward. You can move backwards, on an angle, and left/right. You can also crouch and lean out of cover left and right. Very cool concept, glad that it actually worked.
- Next, they have you point your hand out, I know the trailers show like a gun, but I was like whatever, and just left it in a fist, it worked fine as its only tracking the hand. You have a red reticule on screen and if you move your hand left and right, you can turn your view left and right and your reticule moves as well. The only problem with it, is you can't aim worth a crap, which is why I believe it auto-targets when you get close enough.
- So amazingly it worked. I was suprised. There's a slight learning curve, but after a couple times you get the hang of it and FPS's are going to be very fun shortly here Smile

Game Name - Multiplayer options
Unfortunately this one was so bad, I didn't even want to try Multiplayer.

Conclusion
Well, I didn't think it was possible, but this one is worse than MotionSports. MotionSports at least tried, this one reminded me of the Wii Deca game and they just ported it to Kinect and only worked on the paintball portion.

If you do want to see the future of FPS gaming though, I do recommend renting this or if Kinect FPS's aren't out yet, then get this out of the bargain bin to check it out. It is going to be sweet once a real developer perfects this. Smile
Just to update - I did poke through the manual in case I missed something. There IS a pause option. You have to hold your right hand down in the lower right corner, but once again this is during invisible mode, so good luck with that!

Also I found this odd - there is an achievement called:

Star Athlete!
Play using your own avatar!

But no where in the instruction book does it tell you how to use your avatar. The only thing I can think of is if you play online, you can then use your avatar. That's the only positives I was able to find, sorry!

More Deca Sports Freedom on 123Kinect
[order game here] [news] [trailer] [gameplay] [achievements]
Thanks for the review! I am glad to see that you were impressed with the paintball games movement controls. Perhaps there is hope for non-rail core games!!!!
No problem! Me too. I really hope a major developer improves upon this, it could easily become a standard to play FPS. The other thing was that I forgot to mention, I know the "hardcore" gamers complain about standing. Yeah some of the kinect games make you tired of standing, however, the way they made the paintball game, you don't get tired. Now if you got older legs like me, crouching for awhile does get tiresome, but it's so fun! Tongue

Also here's a pic of the feet thing, to give you an idea. The gray box on the bottom is your walk/run area. If you go to the very outer edge of the box in each direction, your guy runs, where as if you just move up a little bit, he'll walk. I am really eager to hear a major developer announce a FPS Big Grin

[Image: paintball01.jpg]
Thanks for the pic TheZeeMan. I am halfway tempted to get this game just for Paintball. Looks hoakey but as you said, a good example of how fps would work with Kinect. Do they have online play for paintball?

Also, when you are crouching in this pic, are your legs spread apart as pictured? Or are they together and you are just bending you knees? I imagine if you truely were positioned as your avatar shows, it would cause problems with the movement control scheme we are excited about.
Yeah it's just bending your knees. It's a start though!
Just to update: They realized they made a horrible product, and lowered the price to $39.99 USD nationwide, however this is still not a good reason to buy it. If they get off their asses and fix the broken game, then it'll be worth it.
thanks for the review, I was considering trying this game, but I know now that would be a waste of time, I'll save my money and wait
No problem! I know game developers don't care about wasting $ that's why we're here! Smile
(11-20-2010 11:07 PM)TheZeeMan Wrote: [ -> ]No problem! I know game developers don't care about wasting $ that's why we're here! Smile

haha very true, can't wait for an FPS to come out though because that screenshot you took of paintball looks pretty good
Actually not my screenshot TongueBut all the same, it's definitely one step closer to getting FPS on kinect Big Grin
I'm really disappointed, I thought the game was going to be a good complimentary game to Kinect Sports. SadIt's good to hear the paintball works though so I might rent it just to try out that and kendo. Surely it's going to be patched for at least the "no pausing" thing? Lol!
I would hope so, they just lowered price, but they really need to fix it. If it is patched, I will revisit it, but unfortunately there is no like "official update list" that would let us normal gamers know when games are patched unless we pop it in one day and it prompts for an update.
I might rent it just for the FPS, you know just out of curiosity.
(11-21-2010 02:43 AM)TheZeeMan Wrote: [ -> ]I would hope so, they just lowered price, but they really need to fix it. If it is patched, I will revisit it, but unfortunately there is no like "official update list" that would let us normal gamers know when games are patched unless we pop it in one day and it prompts for an update.

Lowered it to what? It came out at 39.99 and I figured that would be as low as Kinect titles would go.
It was originally slated for $49.99 at time of release, but they changed that right away.
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