Thu 27 Oct 2011
Kinect Sports Season 2 for the Xbox 360 is exactly what you'd expect: more sports, voice commands, some neat multiplayer options, and that's pretty much it. Older gamers or people looking for a deep experience are going to be let down; this is aimed at younger gamers, casual gamers, and people looking for a fun activity at parties using their Kinect. The game is able to provide these things with few problems.
The games offer differing amounts of control, and while playing Tennis or Baseball it's mostly a matter of timing. In Skiing, you simply lean left and right, and jump to get air off the ramps. Darts requires a steady hand as you aim, pull back, and throw. Each game is easy to pick up and play, but precision and control are the trade-offs; once you learn the movements for each game, that's pretty much it. The fun comes in comparing your scores with the other players in the room, setting up competitive matches both online or off, or even sending challenges to those on your friends list so they can compete with your best scores asynchronously. It's an addictive touch that goes a long way towards keeping your interest in the game.
I played online with another reviewer, and we had a wonderful time with the trash talking, and the game throws a huge amount of goofy music at you while you play. It's like a celebration of one-hit wonders, which goes a long way to maintain the game's fun and goofy feel. It goes out of its way to be inviting and friendly, and the voice commands used to scoot around the menus work well and are a fun parlor trick to show people who've never seen the Kinect.
The $50 asking price seems steep for a game with so many familiar concepts, even with the high level of polish given to the experience. If you have kids or frequent family gatherings, you're going to enjoy this. If not, think of it as a weekend rental. This isn't a bad game by any stretch, but we need to move past the Wii Sports model for these games if motion control is hoping to stay around for the long haul.