It's time to dust off that Kinect sensor with the release of Kinect Sports: Season 2, the sequel to what could arguably be the best Kinect game to date. While it brings us a decent collection of solid mini-games, a sense of deja vu cannot be avoided. Let's take a look at what it has to offer.
What Kinect Sports: Season 2 Got Right
Accurate controls - Kinect has been known to be less than accurate at times, but things feel just right with Kinect Sports: Season 2. Each sport feels responsive, and rarely misses a beat. Darts can feel troublesome at times, but as a general rule things behave just as they should. The ability to perform a victory dance at the end of a successful round is sure to get some fires started next time you have the family over for some games.
Great soundtrack - Surprisingly Kinect Sports: Season 2 has a banging soundtrack that really creates a spritely and competitive mood. Using licensed tracks ranging from top of the pops to electro dance hit "Duck Sauce", the mood in your living room will be lifted to new heights.
Voice commands - The voice commands used throughout Kinect Sports: Season 2 are expertly implemented to create a seamless experience. Simply tell Kinect what mini-game you want to launch and it will do it instantly. Despite the Australian accent, the commands rarely missed a beat. The best part however is using voice commands to change your golf clubs - simply tell Kinect you want to use a 9 iron instead of that 3 Wood and you're good to go. That is just awesome!
Friendly graphics - The environments and avatars all look slick, friendly and inviting. Everything moves at a great frame rate, and while realism takes a back seat, it provides a fun and easy to use interface.
What Kinect Sports: Season 2 Got Wrong
Lack of innovation - It's not so much that Kinect Sports: Season 2 does much wrong - in fact it's fairly solid. The major problem here is that we've been playing the same sport games since the release of Wii Sports all those years ago. How many iterations of Tennis and Golf do we need? A solid game that really needed to bring something new to the table.
The Final Verdict
If you have managed to stay away from the barrage of motion sport games from the last few years than Kinect Sports: Season 2 may be for you. If you've already had your fill of motion tennis, motion golf and motion baseball however, there isn't much of a reason to pick this one up.
By Stephen Heller