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MotionSports • Page 2

Tack and field.

Put simply, your job as star quarterback is to fling your hand at the screen when prompted. As with most of these activities, there's no real sense of control or ownership over what's happening. You might as well be pressing X.

Field goals, meanwhile, are the award-winning Midfield Kick all over again. To make adjustments for wind direction, you simply step to the side, so the camera follows you, and then kick diagonally. Once you do that, the ball will go over the bar every time.

At this stage, you might be wondering about the structure of MotionSports and how these mini-games fit into the overall scheme of things. Note that I use the word 'scheme' lightly here, as that implies there's one in place.

2
Determined to show her cleavage, Jenny slipped up on the imaginary snow.

Each of the six sports on offer has seven or eight events to unlock, which you do by earning medals and thus increasing your 'fame' points. The fact that your fame level dictates progress is something the game never makes clear, a blatant oversight. It's extremely confusing, not to mention aggravating, to earn a gold medal and yet have the subsequent event remain locked. Playing with friends only heightens the confusion, as fame points are individual to each user.

Terrible loading times, cheap presentation and a shoddy translation certainly don't help the cause.

That's not to say MotionSports hasn't done certain things well on a very basic level. The horseback riding is amusing for about ten minutes before you realise the first two events are repeated over and over. Seeing a friend bounce up and down like a lunatic while using a whipping motion to drive the horse onwards is arguably the game's strongest selling point. Also, at the risk of sounding both sexist and ageist, little girls will probably enjoy the show-jumping event.

Meanwhile, the hang-gliding makes for a good tech demo, but a terrible game. Holding your arms out like the wings of a plane, your goal is to reach a landing point while collecting optional rings along the way. Pilotwings it isn't. Not only is this gliding event boring, but holding your arms out like that, for minutes at a time, is extremely difficult. That's considered a tough exercise in boxing training.

1
Realising this was his only chance of escape, John posed as an idiot.

Speaking of which, Ubisoft clearly based the MotionSports boxing on Audley Harrison, who was clobbered by David Haye in a heavyweight world title fight recently. After three rounds, Harrison didn't register a single punch – which, funnily enough, is exactly the same experience I had with MotionSports boxing, despite being a competitive boxer myself. Even by MotionSports' terrible standards, the boxing is a broken, unresponsive and frustrating low point.

In fact, there are so many things wrong with MotionSports that Microsoft took something of a risk including it in the launch line-up. With unresponsive controls, bare-bones game design and a bewildering lack of in-game guidance or tutorials, it's only likely to confuse the casual market, not win it over.

More than that, however, it's just going to annoy people. Bad games are frustrating enough without asking you to stick your arse in the air and twist from side to side, or do a fancy twirl that doesn't register. Besides, that's what dance floors are for.

Hopefully this is the last we'll see of the human d-pad experiment. I spend enough time under the thumb as it is.

3 /10

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Ronan Jennings

Ronan Jennings

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