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Kinect Sports Season 2 expands its repertoire of motions and sports. Walking the line between simplicity of Kinect and a genuine videogame challenge is no easy matter, but Season 2 looks like it will continue the first game's success in this respect.
Kinect Sports has been a big success for the Kinect controller, and you can instantly see why when you play it. Not only are there some well executed activities to challenge anyone from a casual to hardcore player but you get to play them all as your own Avatar.
Seeing my much toiled over virtual self moving in time with your own body on screen is simply a magical experience that always makes me smile. There is such a strong sense of connection between the player and the game because everything you do, your on screen character matches.
Kinect Sports Season 2, takes this approach but greatly expands the number of gestures it can recognise. A year with the hands-free controller means that Rare (and other 360 developers) are getting a much better idea of how to get the most out of it.
These new gestures and poses mean that Season 2 can address new sports - and activities that didn't seem possible the first time round. There are some, like Golf and Tennis that build on techniques learnt in Bowling and Table Tennis in the original. Others though create a new experience all together.
Kinect Sports continues its tradition of turning videogames into living-room theatre.
Skiing promises to add a reaction based challenge to Kinect Sports. Steering, jumping and balancing your way down a mountain will combine a number of different physical skills, as well as plenty of anticipatory driving.
Darts will slow things down some and prove the level of detain in the Kinect controller. With a well judged arm motion and orientation to the board you will work your way through a full game of darts.
Although the experience here is more about general movement and motion than high fidelity controls, and there is a sense that you initially miss having something to hold and press, this is to miss the point (and the fun). Like the original though, these games are as much fun to watch as they are to play, I'm not really talking about watching the screen here but the person playing it. Kinect Sports continues the hands-free controller tradition of turning videogames into living-room theatre.
Kinect Sports Season 2 will be released for Xbox 360 Kinect on October 28th.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: