MotionSports Adrenaline Review (Xbox 360)
If you feel you’ve outgrown the kiddie and casual feel of games like Kinect Sports, MotionSports Adrenaline may seem like the logical next step. It replaces the mild events with “extreme” alternatives, favors realistic graphics and adds a lot of unlockable content. Yet beneath the hard(er) surface, MotionSports Adrenalin is just as mundane and pedestrian as many other motion-based mini-game collection.
MostionSports Adrenaline contains six events: mountain biking, kayaking, kite-surfing, wing suit gliding, rock climbing and skiing. None of these games are as “extreme”-- or as fun -- as one would hope.
First, many of these games are simply variations of one another. Tiltling left or right to steer your wing suit isn’t that much different than leaning to steer a bike. Only rock climbing feels different from the rest, yet isn’t engaging enough to make up for the title’s lack of variety.
All of the rest are racing events, with the only variations lying in coins to collect or tricks to pull off. There are a few different courses to unlock for each event, but essentially you’ll be attempting to get from point A to point B as quickly as you can while dodging obstacles, grabbing coins or pulling off tricks.
What makes all of this worse is that MotionSports Adrenaline seems to be following the trend for second generation Kinect titles. Instead of fine-tuning the motion controls or using them in more creative ways, this game just dumbs them down (see Hulk Hogan’s Main Event). There’s little to no lateral movement or voice commands; it’s all waving arms and jumping around.
Even more egregious were the too many times that these dumbed down controls didn’t seem to work. Turning felt sluggish; tricks sometimes didn’t register. It took me too long to get my kayaker to stay upright. At least Hulk Hogan’s dumb and simple controls worked relatively well.
This game does look good in spots, eschewing the cartoony graphics of the Wii and Kinect Sports for a more realistic style. The environments are lush and varied enough, and the player models look fine.
There are a lot of clothing options to unlock, but also a heavy amount of gratuitous advertising. Compared to other aspects of this game, the graphics are a strength.
Beyond unlockables, and maybe the slightly increased fun of multiplayer, there isn’t much to bring you back. Online challenges are available, but seem to be registered at random and without your prior knowledge. It's a half-hearted system that doesn’t come close to persistent challenge modes we’ve seen in other games.
When you add up this game’s elements -- similar feeling events, clunky and uninspired controls, lack of depth and fun -- you get one pretty lousy title. I can’t say that this game is the worst Kinect game I’ve experienced, but it’s repetitiveness and dysfunction make it one to avoid at all costs.
Speaking of costs, this one is retailing at around $50. To be honest, I can’t say I would recommended even if it were a $15 download.
Learning Curve: As with other Kinect games, an interactive tutorial seems a natural fit, yet is missing. On screen symbols help, but lack of any real feedback will cause frustration
Control Scheme: Watered-down and sluggish controls won’t change anyone’s mind about Kinect games.
Visuals: An attempt at photorealism is a welcome change from the standard bright and cartoony graphics these games are known for.
Audio: Nothing dramatic here: generic music and decent enough sound affects.
Variety: Only rock climbing stands out; the others are simply point to point races where you try to beat the clock or best a previous score.
Score: 2.0 (Bad)