Xbox 360 Review: Motion Sports: Play for Real

Can you really play for real?

Motion Sports: Play for Real is an attempt in recapturing the magic of Wii Sports but via Kinect. I was excited by the idea, but then I went to play it…

The selection of sports is a bit of an odd choice, really. The first is horseback riding and uses your hands to guide and make your horse go faster. You can also kneel and stand up to activate a jump over fences and obstacles. It sounds like it should work, but it doesn’t…the accuracy is poor and the controls leave very little to be desired.

The second is skiing and asks you to use your hands as you would in the event, but to also bend and twist to increase speed and to turn. There are items to collect down the slope so you have something to focus on, but as with the horseback riding…the controls are just terrible and it never really feels like you’re skiing.

Next up is American Football which has variants of the gameplay, but it’s essentially the same. All you do is run, jump and duck with incredibly poor detection, resulting in failure most of the time. It almost feels like it’s broken. The same can be said for the hang gliding events that just seem to bring your hand glide to a standstill. I was following the instructions properly and I had more than enough room for it to work, but it just plain refused to do so.

Boxing is perhaps the best out of the bunch, but yet again it’s another fighting game that doesn’t let you move around. Instead it only concentrates on a first-person view as you hold your hands up to your face to block and then throw punches. It’s not as bad as the others, but it’s pretty basic and offers no real challenge or accuracy in terms of where you land your punches. The final sporting event is Football (or Soccer if you are American). I was looking forward to this until the controls let me down yet again.

It started to work ok during the penalty shootouts, I placed the ball…kicked it and scored. Became the goalkeeper and saved a shot. But then on the second ball, I couldn’t place the ball on the ground…no matter how hard I tried. You have to look like you’re holding a ball and then put it down, but the game just refused to accept that I was doing that. I have more than adequate space for Kinect to work, so why did this happen? I have no idea and maybe it’s just an isolated case, but it’s poor when Kinect is clearly capable of so much more than this.

None of the sporting events have any redeeming features that make you want to unlock the other variants of the sports that are just as disappointing. If only the controls were better then maybe it would have been worth the effort, but it really isn’t. It’s a shame because I had high hopes for this, but it just ended up being a huge letdown. The visuals also are pretty weak for this generation. The 360 is capable of much more and instead the game looks poor. Sound effects are average and the menu music is irritating.

The Verdict

Motion Sports: Play for Real is a poor attempt in trying to bring the Wii Sports experience to Kinect. Its odd choice of sports events is one thing, but having poor controls as well all adds up to a major disappointing gaming experience. Kinect is capable of so much more than this.

1 Comment

  1. This game is pitiful.
    I think hang gliding is the least worse.
    Otherwise this game is lame.
    The controls don’t respond well.
    There is no sports just sports-like actions, there is no gameplay simulation.
    Football is 6 activities: avoid a tackler by jumping, avoid a tackler by ducking, avoid a tackler by sidestepping, quarterback (fling your arm in the air), Kicking (this is best, except half the action is placing the ball on the ground, and the targetthrowing, I havent opened this, but I bet it’s lamer than it sounds, every stinking activity is like that.
    The instruction for football (US) are : Find your receiver. Throw the ball at the receiver. Throw it fast.
    All you do is make a throwing motion. 4 times. thats it.
    And the commentary is beyond g-d awful.
    I can’t believe Microsoft allowed this to be licensed.

    Absolutely do not buy, don’t even rent

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