It was bound to happen sooner or later; games designed for Kinect would eventually be ported over to PlayStation Move. MotionSports Adrenaline is exactly this: an extreme sports compilation that’s obviously initially designed for Kinect and has received a port over to PS3 with Move support for multisystem release. But does a simple Move port offer anything better over its Kinect competition?
Minigame compilations haven’t been too prevalent with PlayStation Move – surprising seeing how many have flooded both Wii and Kinect, but MotionSports Adrenaline takes the usual minigame compilation and turns it up a notch with six extreme sports: skiing, wingsuit flying, kayaking, mountain biking, kite boarding and rock climbing.
Each sport requires Move to be used in a fashion similar to what one’s hands would actually perform while partaking in the sport. Taking on a ski slope, you turn by holding the Move controller upright close to your chest and leaning your body left and right – yes, you’ll be getting off the couch for these activities – and jumping is performed with a quick thrust of the arms upward. Wingsuit flying is particularly interesting as you’ll be outstretching your arms like you’re actually strapped into a wingsuit and by raising/lowering the arms like a bird’s wings in flight, the on screen character shifts to either side of the screen accordingly, giving a somewhat realistic feel of gliding down the side of a cliff.
Learning how each sport controls with these motions can be a bit irritating at first if you try to ‘cheat’ the motions by sitting down, but by standing up and using wide motions, we found we got better end results. It’s worth noting that you’ll need every bit of 6-8ft of clearance space for the camera to recognise these large movements, which could be an issue for some who have space limitations. Even after figuring out how to control each sport it wasn’t always smooth sailing: rock climbing is singlehandedly our biggest nuisance, because regardless of how we performed the required diagonal motions to reach out and grab ledges, almost all of the motions went unrecognised, making the sport near unplayable. Kayaking also has its issues: holding the Move controller horizontally like a paddle and lifting and lowering Move to shift across the screen, the motions required are so large that it’s hard to find a centre point, which often had us bouncing off rock faces down the tracks on the verge of being out of control. It’s a shame that some sports suffer so greatly here, because where they’re used correctly it brings new control methods with Move that is full of potential and lots of fun.
Each sport features an arcade type of gameplay that reminds us of Namco’s stand-up arcade title, Alpine Racer. Excluding rock climbing, each track automatically moves forward with the goal(s) of performing tricks — performed by matching the on screen poses — and acquiring coins to achieve the highest score possible. In theory, jumping off a cliff in a wingsuit should be a much different experience than riding down a cliff on a mountain bike, but in the end all the sports feel too similar. Seeing as the forward progression never stops until you reach the end of the track with the only difference being the overall score, you’re basically playing the same thing over and over with a new coat of graphics.
Minigame compilations are primarily centred on multiplayer and MotionSports Adrenaline is no different. Adrenaline Party mode allows up to four players to jump into the action and duke it out to see who can claim top ranks in their crew of friends. This mode randomly selects events for your party to play, which does a great job of keeping the action on-going, as well as keeping any pesky arguments at bay. It’s a great feature that we’d like to see implemented in future Move party titles.
Try taking the game online and you’ll find that only by logging into or creating an Ubisoft Uplay account will you be able to access the online section of the game. Uplay is Ubisoft’s online user database, which tracks and rewards users for their extended playtime with Ubisoft products. Upon creating an account you can access weekly online challenges to see if you’ve got what it takes to be the best in the world instead of just your pals, but unless you create an Uplay account you’ll be stuck to local multiplayer only.
Regardless to what mode the game’s played in, achieving high scores in each sport will acquire unlock points for new gear for the multiple characters, as well as tracks and attributes for each sport. Unlockable content is a great way to bring replay value to any game and for this title it’s a much needed feature. But even with the unlockable content, once the handful of tracks are unlocked for each sport the game repetition sets in heavily and the only thing that we’re left with is a minigame compilation for parties.
MotionSports Adrenaline tries to bring a unique control interface to Move that can compare with what’s found on Kinect, but while there’s some potential to be had here, the overall experience is nowhere near as exciting as any of these sports are in real life. A quick read of the MotionSport Adrenaline Kinect review at our sister site Kinectaku, shows that the game is indeed better with Kinect, especially as the rock climbing is actually possible, even if it’s still not great. What we’re left with is a mildly entertaining minigame compilation that can indeed be the life of the party, but for everyone else it’s only worth checking out if it’s found in the bargain bin.