reviews\ Dec 13, 2011 at 9:00 am

MotionSports Adrenaline Review


Haven’t Kinect users already suffered enough with the bad games they’ve had to put up with?  Sure, there have been a handful of great ones (Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Child of Eden, The Gunstringer), but on the flip side, there have also been some truly atrocious efforts that no one should have to put up with, not even by accident (we’re looking at you, Hulk Hogan’s Main Event).

But no, Ubisoft thinks we haven’t suffered enough, and so with that, it’s produced a sequel to its somewhat average 2010 sports effort MotionSports, co-named Adrenaline.  That name is kind of misleading, because you won’t feel an ounce of adrenaline here.  Well, maybe you will, but it’ll be all anger-induced, as you scream at your Kinect and wonder what the heck you’re doing wrong.

MotionSports Adrenaline

MotionSports Adrenaline does feature six completely different activities from the original game, which serves as one of its few benefits.  We’re talking rock climbing, kayaking, kite surfing, mountain biking, skiing, and wingsuit skydiving.  The problem is that only two of these sound somewhat appealing when it comes to motion controls in the first place.  Do you really see yourself performing paddling motions with your Kinect?  Or, for that matter, trying to grab a rock in the right place while spread out in an awkward Spider-Man position?

Along with performing the main actions in each activity (as you would in real life), you’ll also need to occasionally perform stunts and collect points that are scattered on each course in order to bump up your score.  High scoring here is vitally important because you can compete against other players’ top scores online.  That would be appealing if the boards weren’t actually in dire need of competition.  Seriously, there aren’t that many people beckoning to become MotionSports gods.

There’s a good reason for that – the game sucks when it comes to controls.  Each activity relies on motion support to get things done on-screen, whether you’re moving arms and legs for rock climbing, sprawling out like an eagle for wingsuit flying, or jerking left and right to avoid crashing with biking and skiing.  The timing of said controls is way off, often leading to a number of mistakes that cost you the precious time you need to compete.  Worse yet, pop-up windows will get in the way of menu interaction, forcing you to start from scratch on the menu screen.  When all you’re trying to do is finish the activity you’re on, it’s a completely frustrating affair.

Between inaccuracies and delays with the controls, you probably won’t get into any of the activities whatsoever.  This makes the modes offered in each activity moot, including Quick Play, Adrenaline Party, and You Against the World.  The last two require competition in order to get the most out of them, and like we said, the community’s really a ghost town here.  They’re more than likely playing the heck out of Kinect Sports Season 2 instead.  Can’t say we blame them.

MotionSports Adrenaline

Worse yet, in order to get all the content out of the game, including tracks and activities, you’re required to sign up for a separate uPlay account.  Considering how badly the menu interaction is, we were unsuccessful in our first two attempts.  Finally, on the third, we got it, but it just never really lives up to the effort.  This is one of those times where Ubisoft should’ve made its networking plan optional, instead of required.  Ugh.

MotionSports Adrenaline has no appeal when it comes to presentation.  Most of the activities, save for some interesting wingsuit levels, look dull compared to other sports games, and too many glitches pop up to give this serious consideration.  The music is lifeless, and the sound effects rarely provide any background setting for the on-screen action.  This is a first-generation game at best – we’re talking 2006 quality, if that.

Chalk up another stinker for Kinect.  Like Blackwater and Hulk Hogan’s Main Event, MotionSports Adrenaline serves no purpose whatsoever, with its laggy gameplay, lame sports, lacking modes, uPlay limitations, and boring presentation.  You’re better off playing a game seeing who can chuck this back onto the store shelf the quickest.


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