Move Over Wii Sports: Kinect Sports Rival PreviewFiled inside: Games
Back in 2006, Nintendo introduced the Wii, a gaming console that immediately gripped players with its simplistic motion control. It came packaged with Wii Sports, a collection of sports mini-games that literally placed gamers into the action. Thanks to Nintendo’s patented Wiimote, and a sensor bar, gamers could enjoy a round of Tennis, go Bowling, and even participate in a Home Run Derby from the comfort of their own homes. It made rainy days that much better, allowing both kids and adults to stay active when the weather prevented them from playing outside (yes, gamers do leave the house). Wii Sports was arguably one of the best titles to release for Nintendo’s Wii, and it was definitely one of the most family friendly additions to the company’s interactive line up.
Microsoft obviously noted this sports-based success and is attempting to recapture the same craze in 2014, with an upcoming addition to the motion controlled genre. Kinect Sports Rivals may look a lot like Wii Sports from first glance, but Microsoft is promising that this title will be its own experience, one that is amplified to the nth power by the company’s impressive kinect peripheral. The first and most noticeable difference between these two mini-sport saga’s is the subtraction of the Wiimote. The Kinect requires no additional controller to enjoy its motion-based content, which makes it much easier for multiple individuals to join in on the fun. With the Wii, additional control units were needed to add each extra player, but the Kinect allows anyone to immediately jump into the action just by placing themselves in front of the device.
The Kinect’s powerful motion capturing camera tracks the entire body, and does so in a much more efficient manner than the Wii. This allows for much tighter control, and should provide gamers with a much more “customized” experience when they log in to Kinect Sports Rivals. Tennis in Wii Sports was a matter of swinging the remote back and forth, with a limited range of motion and play styles. The Tennis experience in Kinect Sports Rivals showcases varying swing speeds, hit styles, and promises to offer a better experience by allowing players to “move” back and forth easily across the virtual court.
Another unique feature of Microsoft’s upcoming title is the “champion” sub-section that “scans in” a virtual version of yourself and then tracks your individual play style over the course of your Kinect Sports career. This allows your character to play against others and compete in competitions even when you aren’t present. Microsoft wants Kinect Sports Rivals to be an everlasting competitive event, one which keeps battling on even when you’re unable to attend personally. This makes it even more important to play at your best when you do decide to take helm, because you’ll be leaving an A.I. imprint that the game will follow in the future.
This title attempts to have a storyline. It may be small addition, but it will hopefully add some exciting depth to what many would consider to just be “mini games.” Players will be tasked with choosing one of three teams. Join the powerful ranks of Wolf Clan, show your cunning side by becoming part of the Viper Network, or stand for the sanctity of the games by soaring with the Eagle Legion. Each team has its own play style, but every squad has the same goal of achieving ultimate victory over its rivals.
When it releases, Kinect Sports Rivals will come packed with six different games. Wake Riding, Tennis, Bowling, Rock Climbing, Target Shooting, and Soccer showcase what the Kinect is really capable of. Of course, with all of the advancements in DLC and the progressing state of the cloud, it is very possible for Microsoft to add more game types and variations in the future. You can check out videos pertaining to all the different events on the Kinect Sports Rivals website. The minisport mayhem kicks off on April 8th and is available on a physical disc, as well as direct digital download via Xbox Live.