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Kinect review round-up

Update: It's launched in the UK - but is it any good?

You've probably read our Kinect review - but now the device has launched in the UK, it's a good time to recap what the rest of the critics think.

Looking at the single game reviews on CVG, Kinect Joyride received a 5.3, Kinect Adventures got a 6.3 and Kinect Sports got a respectable 7.9.

The wider web also reviewed software and hardware. Here's what they had to say...

Kinect hardware

  • TechRadar - 3.5/5: "We like Kinect a lot. But it's not a perfect product by any means, and many hardcore gamers out there are going to be disappointed by it."
  • Gizmodo - No score: "Right now, the answer to the fundamental question of "are you having fun with Kinect" is, unfortunately, "not really." Unless you like dance games. The potential is there, but you need to think of Kinect like the launch of a new console".
  • Engadget - No Score: "The Kinect as hardware is great, but there's plenty of room for software engineers and UI designers to improve. And speaking of room, if you're worried about cramped space, you might want to get a measuring tape before shelling out $149."
  • Joystiq - No score: "For now -- to a novelty peripheral that is in no way geared towards the day-one buyer or "core" gamer. Microsoft conceived a potential game-changer with Project Natal, it just seems like Kinect was born prematurely."
  • Shacknews - No Score: "Kinect lands a solid hit with the tech but its real-world practicality remains in question to me. All of the current games are intended to be use in a full-size recommended play space. That will require special setup for many."
  • Cnet: 4/5: "Kinect won't cater to the hard-core gaming market -- it's just not accurate enough. But it's rollicking great fun. Exhausting and ridiculous, you're guaranteed a giggle if you get the kids involved or set it up at your next party."
  • IGN - 7.5: At $149.99, a motion-tracking camera add-on for the Xbox 360 is a tough sell, especially considering that the entry level variation of the Xbox 360 itself is only $199.99. It may sell very well to families and casual players, but for more traditional players, the cost of admission may be too steep."
  • Eurogamer - No Score: "Kinect will get better with time and its defining games are still to come. Here's hoping Microsoft and its partners can rise to the challenge of this new form of gaming better than most have with the Wii. Kinect deserves it."
  • Kotaku - No score: "It's not even a sure thing as a games platform, not until it has its first great game. But it doesn't have to be. If Kinect becomes nothing more than a replacement for the TV remote, it'll prove to be a winner. For its launch price, though, it needs to be more."

Kinect Sports

  • Joystic - 4/5: "Rare's work on Kinect Sports really demonstrates what the camera is capable when it's used by a capable developer. If you've already got the hardware to play it on, consider Kinect Sports a must-have."
  • Gamespot - 7.5: "This motion-controlled sports collection doesn't do much for solo players, but it's fun to play with friends both locally and online."
  • Destructoid - 6.5: "It's definitely a more well-rounded package than something like Wii Sports. But ultimately, there aren't enough fresh ideas here to vindicate it as the new king of motion-controlled sports mini games."
  • IGN - 8.0: "As an example of what Kinect can do, and as a point of entry for gamers and casuals alike, Kinect Sports delivers an easily accessible but surprisingly nuanced game...there are some stumbling points here and there"
  • NowGamer - 6.4: While party titles will come and go, as it stands, Kinect Sports does nothing for assailing our fears that Kinect can't do 'Core'."
  • EuroGamer: 7.0: "As a demonstration of the tech, it offers fleeting glimpses rather than a comprehensive examination of the potential of controller-free gameplay...as a lively, funny, polished and varied genre title that will slap a smile on the face of the most jaded cynic, Kinect Sports does its job admirably."

Kinect Adventures

  • NowGamer - 7.0: "A limited amount of content doesn't defer from the fun that can be had trying out Kinect."
  • EuroGamer - 6.0: "Within a couple of weeks it will be gathering dust: another brave bundled game, first up out of the trenches, first to fall."
  • Kotaku - No score: "laying a game with nothing in your hands takes a bit of getting used to but Kinect Adventures manages to both ease you into that experience and make the learning curve fun"
  • IGN - 6.5: "I'd recommend playing around with Kinect Adventures for a while, but definitely go out and pick up another game, because the fun won't last long."

Kinectimals

  • Gamespot - 7.5: "The minigames are shallow and repetitive, but Kinectimals is too lovable to stay mad at for long."
  • Joystiq - 4/5: "Kinectimals breaks the spell of owning a digital animal by occasionally being too "gamey.""
  • IGN - 7.0: "It's a Kinect game that is probably worth picking up if you've got youngsters, but it's not the immersive family experience it should have been."
  • EuroGamer - 7.0: "Of all the Kinect launch titles, this is perhaps the one with the most actual substance. Hopefully it's but a hint of things to come."

Kinect Joy Ride

  • EuroGamer - 5.0: "It's a bland cartoon racer with an easily exhaustible gimmick. It's fun for a while, but by no stretch of the imagination is it worth £35."
  • NowGamer - 7.0: "Lacks the tight controls that a cart racer needs, but is nonetheless a great showcase."
  • IGN - 6.0: "This is not an unplayable game by any stretch of the imagination, but, Kinect Joy Ride isn't as tight as it needs to be."
  • Joystiq - 2.5: "If there wasn't a decent racer attached to the gimmick, I wouldn't recommend it at all."

Dance Central

  • EuroGamer - 8.0: "Dance Central will show you a really good time."
  • Joystiq - 4/5: "Dance Central is undoubtedly one of the strongest games in the Kinect's launch lineup, but it's hard to ignore the untapped potential awaiting the franchise. Ultimately, Dance Central's greatest shortcoming is that it can't actually teach you how to dance."
  • IGN - 8.0: "Dance Central is great fun, it gets you moving, and it's absolutely perfect for parties. Although it's disappointing to see so few features and unlocks included"
  • Destructoid - 8.0: "There's room for improvement in terms of what the game offers, but Harmonix nailed the core experience, and that goes a long way towards making it one of the most compelling Kinect launch titles."
  • 1UP - A-: "Honestly, it's hard to pinpoint a significant problem with Dance Central. The selection of jams, from Pitbull's "Calle Ocho" to M.I.A.'s "Galang '05", are all bootie-bouncing material"

Your Shape

  • Joystiq - 3/5: "Your Shape Fitness Evolved won't replace your gym membership or motivate those who aren't already fitness-inclined, but for those looking to mix up their current routine or supplement their workout regimen, it may do the trick"
  • Destructoid - 8.0: "If you have the space and the inclination for getting a decent workout in your living room, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved delivers."

Microsoft expects to sell five million Kinect units this Christmas, up from its previous forecast of three million. Will you be picking one up?

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