Our First Take on Kinect Sports: Season 2

Posted by at 12:44 pm on June 13, 2011

Microsoft announcedthe sequel to Kinect Sports during its press event at E3 this year. Kinect Sports: Season 2 features a slate of new sports, including tennis, darts, skiing and, US football and golf. I was able to try out the football and the golf while at the MS booth during E3.


Football

I did play testing in the the two-player mode. I was the quarterback. As quarterback, players select a play, each with different degrees levels of success. I did passing plays since the my first try at a running play looked like it was going to lock up the game. Please note these are alpha builds or beta builds at best at E3, so don’t let that alarm you.

Once a play is selected, the players gather on the line of scrimmage. To start the play, the person playing quarterback simply says “hike” and the ball is snapped. At this point, the play is essentially automated, with receivers running to their assigned locations. With an arm raised to throw the ball, the quarterback simply turns his body to select a receiver and then performs a throwing motion to toss the ball.

On the receiver side it appears the ball is automaticlly caught for you. I hope there is a setting to make you have to learn to catch the ball. While I know this is not Madden, I think catching should be a skill the Kinect could see. Now once the ball is caught, you need to run in place in order to send the receiver down the field as fast as possible. You can even jump to avoid being tackled. Overall the game is too easy to score and catch, even for a party/kids game.

Golf

Thank God, you can take practice swings with your Avatar before standing at the tee. By raising my left hand to my face the camera will go over the course and settle on the green to let you see what you are up against. By raising you right hand high, you can initiated practice mode. To adjust the aim of my swing, I walked left or right, parallel to the television. The camera adjusted as I walked.

Once you pick an angle, you swing. Then you are presented with the predicted arc of you shot. Let’s just say this game is more like the real world. So no hole in oneĀ for me or even par.

The play actions felt natural, though I did miss the feeling of actually holding a club in my hands. Judging the power of each swing is a little hard to know at first but it gets better as you play the next couple of holes.

As a set of simple party games, the Kinect controls were well implemented. While I did not score at will like I did at Football, the golf was definitely the more enjoyable of the two sports on display in the booth.

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