A couple of weeks ago I did a quick review of the game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved on this site. I talked about how I thought it was a leap forward for fitness video games, and how it was so much better than any other games in the genre that I had tried before. I’ve been enjoying the game, and I’m working my way through a series of Men’s Health weight training workouts, in addition to doing the cardio boxing and even a little yoga. It’s a great game, and it really draws you in every time you play.
Kinect Games Are Great For Fitness
One thing I’ve noticed since purchasing our Kinect is that not only are the dedicated fitness titles good for giving you a workout, a lot of the other games are as well! As such, I decided to take a look at several other Kinect games that we own, and look at some of the activities that will really get your heart pumping.
In this article today I want to do a brief review of the Kinect title, “Kinect Sports“.
Kinect Sports Review
One of the first games that we bought when we bought our Kinect sensor was the sports title called Kinect Sports. I don’t have a Wii, but some friends have mentioned that it compares favorably to the game Wii Sports, and in many respects surpasses it.
The basic premise of the game is that you can engage in a variety of sports, many of them olympic sports. The game makes it feel like you’re at the summer olympics or something along those lines, and that you’re participating in the competitive atmosphere there. From Amazon:
Turn your living room into a world-class stadium, bowling alley, soccer pitch or track-and-field arena. With “Kinect Sports” you’re not only the star player, you are the controller — through the magic of Kinect for Xbox 360. See a ball? Kick it. Spike it. Even give it a little topspin. “Kinect Sports” features soccer, beach volleyball, bowling, table tennis, track and field, and boxing.
Simple, intuitive and instantly fun, “Kinect Sports” delivers the ultimate party experience — whether you are trying to outmaneuver the goalie to win the soccer match or cheering on your friends at ringside. The first full-body, controller-free sports game, “Kinect Sports” is so real, you will almost feel the wind in your hair as you fly over hurdles and the sand in your toes as you set, bump and spike your way to volleyball victory.
While of course some of the text above is just marketing spin, I have to say I have been thoroughly impressed with the game. It really does feel very natural to walk into a ping pong arena, pick up your paddle and start swinging at the ball. Or if you go bowling to reach out and grab your ball, and throw it down the lane. Boxing? You just punch as hard and as fast as you can at your opponent! It’s extremely intuitive to play, even beginners can get into it no problem!
On New Years Eve we were at a friends house who had just purchased a Kinect for Christmas, and we brought all of our Kinect games with to the party. We played Dance Central (very fun), Kinect Adventures (another good game for getting active), and of course Kinect Sports. Of all the games we played, everyone enjoyed Kinect Sports the most just because of how easy it is to play, and the sheer variety of sports you can compete in.
Sports You’ll Find In Kinect Sports
There are a lot of fun activities to keep you moving in Kinect Sports – both the main sports themselves and mini-games.
Sports In Kinect Sports
There are a ton of sports you’ll find in the game. Among them:
- Track & Field: This one is a lot of fun with running activities, hurdles, javelin, discus, long jump among the activities. When you compete you’ll basically compete in all of the track and field events, which will give you a combined score at the end. Some of these activities, especially the hurdles and other running rounds will get you sweating.
- Bowling: This is a lot of fun, and while it isn’t particularly active it is a lot like going to a bowling alley and rolling a few rounds. More fun than the Wii Sports version I think.
- Boxing: The boxing portion of the game will have your arms feeling like jelly by the time you’re done. When we played this game on new years against each other, we were both exhausted by the time you’re done – you can really feel your abs tightening and your arms getting a workout.
- Beach Volleyball: You do have quite a few short burst of motion in this volleyball simulation. You’ll have to serve, set, bump and spike the ball as you try to win a game down at the beach.
- Table Tennis: I used to play a lot of ping-pong growing up, and I have to say I was impressed with how accurate this portion of the game felt with the Kinect. When I would slice the ball, it would slice on screen. When I added top-spin, it would add it on screen. Amazing!
- Soccer: Another part of the game that will get you moving as you dance around trying to block shots, or swing your leg kicking the ball.
As mentioned, some of the sports get you moving more than others. Bowling, for example, won’t get you to break much of a sweat, but boxing and track and field will for sure get your heart racing. All in all my favorite parts of the game so far are the table tennis portion and the track and field part. Both tons of fun.
Mini Games In Kinect Sports
There are also a ton of mini games that you can play in the game – which are based off of the main sports that you play in-game. For example, there’s a boxing mini-game where you have to knock out as many opponents as you can in a short period of time. This basically means you’ll be wildly swinging your arms and huffing and puffing by the time you’re done. For table tennis there is a mini-game that has you hitting as fast as you can and trying to hit targets for points. Very fun.
So Can You Get A Workout In Kinect Sports?
So the question remains – is it possible to get a workout by using Kinect Sports? Maybe. If you’re looking for a weights routine, or a hard core cardio workout – you might want to look elsewhere like Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. But if you want to get a pretty good cardio workout that will get you sweating – and maybe even a little sore – Kinect Sports might be just the ticket.
While it isn’t an all around workout option, Kinect Sports is a good piece to add to the puzzle when trying to improve your health and fitness. Get up off the couch and get active!
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