Rare’s solid Kinect Sports series is among the best experiences available for the Xbox Kinect, and with all the new features that the new Kinect offers the Xbox One, one might think Kinect Sports Rivals could just be the best casual motion-gaming option ever. But after our time with the demo today, that last statement for now is far from accurate.
We’re not going to go into detail about how much more powerful the Xbox One’s Kinect capabilities are because you either already know about the features and if you don’t, this is the first look of a game.
I played this game in two separate sessions, both times playing a different minigame that was offered. With my first crack at the demo, I tried out the rock climbling. The game’s controls are simple. Players just reach up and do a grabbing motion following by reaching up with the other arm and doing a grabbing motion. You have to make sure that when watching yourself climb in the game that the character you’re using is actually grabbing a rock, otherwise your avatar goes nowhere.
As impressive as the minigame generally was, I couldn’t help but wonder why anybody would even want to play a rock climbing minigame. Then again, that seems to be a recurring theme with motion party games like these.
The other minigame featured in the expo demo was a jetski racer. In this game, you have to hold your arms out like you’re actually steering a jetski and the direction that you tilt your core in will maneuver the jetski left and right. You can also catch air by going up ramps and pulling your arms down to perform flips while catching extra speed upon landing back in the water.
When watching other people play, I noticed people trying to move their arms like they were steering a car, and that resulted in all sorts of problems, but those issues were nothing compared to what I had to go through.
As I moved into second place, I took a sharp turn under a boardwalk that ended up going wrong as my avatar was going around in circles as if a whirlpool were sucking the jetski down. The Xbox One expert monitoring me tried to fix the problem, but he actually ended up having to restart the Xbox One and praised me for discovering a glitch he’s never seen before.
Hopefully they get all the kinks worked out when the game comes out on day one of the Xbox One launch in November, whenever that may be. For more on Kinect Sports Rivals and other games featured at the GameStop Expo, stay glued to SmashPad.