Play as your own avatar and pimp him in the marketplaceAt first glance, Kinect Sports appears to be quite low on content, offering just six sporting events: Bowling, Boxing, Track and Field, Table Tennis, Football and Beach Volleyball. However, there's quite a lot of extras, including challenges, co-op and party modes, online play, and the ability to upload and share videos of your antics on sites like Facebook. Furthermore, the track and field event - by far the best sporting event in the roster - is split up into a variety of disciplines, from the 100m hurdles to Javelin and Discus. So, you actually get 10 events in total to play, alongside challenges to complete, goals to aim for, and the promise of further free downloadable content in the future.
Being able to play as your own avatar, which you may or may not have already created when you set up an Xbox 360 profile, is a bonus and adds a personal touch to each of the events. And, if you want an even more personalised experience, you can visit the avatar marketplace and purchase extra items to pimp your player and make them stand out from the crowd. Though the graphics are cartoon-like, it's a polished package and the stadiums feel alive with the noise that the crowds generate which really gets you pumped up for the challenge. With the likes of Kool and the Gang’s “Celebrate,” the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibration” and the theme from "Chariots Of Fire," cropping up during momentous occasions, such as winning a race, there's a real feeling accomplishment when you beat a record, or come out on top. Overall, Kinect Sports is a basic looking game which lacks detail in some areas, but its shortcomings are quickly forgiven thanks to the stylish presentation, impressive audio work, easy to navigate menu system and the simple control scheme, which ensures that all the family can join in without having to learn complicated moves.
Before each event you have to ensure your play area is clear in front of the T.V. and then stand right in front the sensor, approximately 6ft away. Raise your hand above your head to play and the event starts and you can pause the game at any time by stretching your left arm 45 degress to the side. The pause function has been an irritation in some of the other Kinect games we've played and here it's no different. There's quite a subtle movement needed to move your hand out to the side and we found ourselves pausing the events by mistake during crucial moments. After a while, you do get used to the sensitivity needed to control Kinect, but we would like to see developers use a different pause method in future games so that the flow of games aren't interrupted so erratically.