Latest Reviews

  • 0

    Xbox 360

    Review Avatar Superstar

    Lacks the X factor

    It feels unfair being overly critical of an Xbox Live Indie game. For a measly 80 Microsoft Points you know you're not going to get an experience on-par with the best games out there, but we must still be truthful in our critique of Avatar Superstar. The screenshots and branding suggest that this is a karaoke experience, whereas...

  • 2

    Xbox 360

    Review Kinect Fun Labs: Kinect Sparkler

    Fizzles out

    Kinect Fun Labs is a set of interesting toys, tools and gadgets designed to show off what Kinect can do, and while the service started off free, it's now embracing paid add-on content with Kinect Sparkler. While the price is a measly 240 Microsoft Points, however, it's still expensive for the content. Kinect Sparkler is a doodle pad,...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review Wipeout In the Zone

    Good grief

    Few things in life are as satisfying as some good ol’ schadenfreude, and the producers of hit ABC show Wipeout know that more than anyone: it’s like an obstacle course interpretation of home-movie clip shows where everyone gets knocked in the balls — fitting, as the most iconic obstacle is a set of huge red balls. There's a...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Let's Dance with Mel B

    Zig-a-zig arrggh

    Every Kinect sold comes with a demo of Dance Central tucked away on the Kinect Adventures disc, meaning everyone has a chance to play the sensor's best dancing game by far. Now you have the chance to play one of its worst, Let's Dance with Mel B. We've always had a nagging feeling that developer Lightning Fish Studio overachieved...

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness System

    Muscle bound?

    Quite why it's taken so long to combine the testosterone-fuelled sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) with fitness software is beyond us; the predominantly female-targeted exercise game may rule the sales roost, but with UFC rapidly gaining popularity the two mediums have finally come together in UFC Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Fitness...

  • 7

    Xbox 360

    Review Child of Eden

    A real trip

    It's been far too easy to overlook Kinect as a valuable, or even viable, addition to traditional gaming in its first year of commercial life. Far too little of its catalogue so far has amounted to anything more than bite-sized experiences that only go to show that, why yes, you can kick an air football in your living room, without...

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review Kung Fu Panda 2

    Not so awesome

    Faced with all sorts of different platforms and peripherals, THQ made the bold decision not to make just one game for the Kung Fu Panda 2 licence, but four entirely different ones to play to console strengths. PlayStation 3 got the most "sequel-y" version with a traditional gamepad-based adventure; both the DS and WIi...

  • 2

    Xbox 360

    Review Virtua Tennis 4

    Anyone for tennis?

    Last year's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I was the first game branded "Better with Kinect Sensor" but it proved to be anything but. Now the second green-box-purple-stripe game has landed in the sporty form of SEGA's Virtua Tennis 4, but does it fare any better as a sensor game? If you want to play with...

  • 3

    Xbox 360

    Review Fantastic Pets

    Best in show or just plain no-show?

    Frontier Developments' Kinectimals captured most of the cuddly critter market last year, with its furry felines pouncing on decent scores in the gaming press and good sales at retail. Six months on, THQ is hoping for similar levels of success with Fantastic Pets, but it can't top the best in show. Fantastic Pets...

  • 12

    Xbox 360

    Review Michael Jackson: The Experience

    Thriller?

    Michael Jackson's videos and stage shows were extravagant affairs — his Dangerous live show ended with him flying off in a jetpack — so the idea of letting gamers enter that fantasy world is a proposition too enticing to resist for Jackson fans. That's exactly where Ubisoft's Michael Jackson: The Experience wants to put you: centre...

  • 12

    Xbox 360

    Review Carnival Games - In Action!

    All the fun of the fair

    Kinect's already got a reputation for being home to some awful minigame compilations, with dross like Game Party in Motion and Deca Sports Freedom like a lead weight on the overall quality of the sensor's gaming catalogue. You'd be forgiven, then, for expecting Carnival Games: In Action (also known as Carnival Games: Monkey...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Yoostar 2

    Reel deal?

    Acting and singing have a lot in common: plenty of people believe they do them brilliantly, and the speed with which celebrities flit between both disciplines would have you believe they’re easy. As anyone who’s listened to a loved one murder a beloved song at karaoke will tell you, singing is best left to the professionals, yet games...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Brunswick Pro Bowling

    Gutter ball

    Say you had a bowling game strongly rooted in realism that goes through the trouble of including life-like physics, online play and even replicating lane oil patterns for an extra bit of strategy. Now, say you wanted to make it as difficult as possible to actually play. What would you do? You do a poor job of bringing that game to...

  • 5

    Xbox 360

    Review Dr Kawashima's Body and Brain Exercises

    Grey matters

    The original Dr Kawashima's Brain Training on Nintendo DS started a revolution back in the day: suddenly game developers realised they could tap into a brand new market of buyers eager to kickstart their cerebral centres, and a host of copycat titles emerged over the next few years. With Kinect ready-made for this same market, it's no...

  • 4

    Xbox 360

    Review Def Jam Rapstar

    Rap karaoke ain't nuthing ta #$*! wit

    Between Rock Band and Guitar Hero, music fans looking for a game focused largely on rock, metal, punk and whatever else you can bang out with a guitar, a bass, a drummer and a vocalist have been pretty well covered. There have been a few deviations into other genres, like Activision's rather splendid DJ Hero...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review Deca Sports Freedom

    When sports compilations go bad

    Sports compilations are quickly becoming a dime-a-dozen when it comes to showing off new motion-sensing technology. Rare's Kinect Sports did a nice job of showing off some of Kinect's impressive features, and now Hudson has decided to bring its oft-forgotten Deca Sports (known as Sports Island in Europe) series to...

  • 11

    Xbox 360

    Review Game Party in Motion

    Motional breakdown

    Kinect's marketing would have you believe the system is a game-changer, bringing new ways of interaction to the home and banishing uninvolving, inaccurate and unplayable minigame compilations to the darkest depths of history. Then along comes Game Party in Motion, lurching to the sensor like a rotting cadaver, leaving only...

  • 12

    Xbox 360

    Review Zumba Fitness: Join the Party

    Back of the class

    There’s no shortage of good fitness games for Kinect from EA, Ubisoft and more, but Zumba Fitness: Join the Party is the only one based on a real-life dancing craze. For those in the dark, Zumba is a fitness programme based on high-energy rhythms that’s designed to be taken in large classes, but how does it translate to a...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review Get Fit With Mel B

    Hot and spicy

    Kinect is already awash with fitness games from most major publishers – THQ’s The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout, EA’s EA Sports Active 2 and Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved have all launched in the sensor’s first few weeks on sale, but now relative minnow Black Bean Games has entered the fray with Get Fit with Mel B...

  • 1

    Xbox 360

    Review Adrenalin Misfits

    From X-Game Hell they came

    Kinect and snowboarding should go together like peanut butter and chocolate, yet out of the gate riding sports have fallen closer to the experience of discovering Vegemite on the floor: a (very) select (and brave) few will be able to wring some enjoyment out of the likes of SEGA’s Sonic Free Riders and Konami’s...

  • 16

    Xbox 360

    Review EA Sports Active 2

    Fitness with a little slickness

    This is the first time since Kinect’s launch we’ve had to say this, but when playing EA Sports Active 2, you’ll need a controller in your hand. Not to engage in any of the 70 exercises, which are all operated completely controller-free, but rather to navigate the wealth of menu and options screens that stand...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review DanceMasters

    Are you a master of dance?

    DanceMasters (known as DanceEvolution in Europe) is about as hardcore a dancing title as you can get on Kinect right now, moulded from decades of experience ruling the neon-lit arcades in downtown Tokyo. Some will find themselves drawn into its fast-paced world of J-pop and over-complicated gameplay concepts, but the...

  • 5

    Xbox 360

    Review Dance Paradise

    Dance into the fire

    Someone wise once said that ‘dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another’, but regrettably Dance Paradise dances with neither fancy footwork nor any heart. Instead it hopes you, the player, will be too drunk to notice its underwhelming gameplay. It doesn’t help that it’s directly up against...

  • 5

    Xbox 360

    Review Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

    The spell is broken

    After almost a decade of trying, one would assume that by EA would have nailed the perfect Harry Potter game. Since the launch of the first movie tie-in way back in 2001 – on the original 32-bit PlayStation, no less – there have been numerous missteps, false dawns and crushing disappointments, all of which have been made that...

  • 18

    Xbox 360

    Review The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout

    Let's get physical

    It’s no surprise that plenty of developers have seen Kinect’s potential for fitness games, with Ubisoft’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Zumba Fitness and more titles undoubtedly on the way. Now entering the mix is THQ’s The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout. Licensed by the TV show of the same name, it has a lot in its...

  • 8

    Xbox 360

    Review Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

    Not quite washboard

    If there's one thing the Wii has proven to be lucrative, it's the market for fitness games. Unfortunately, nothing quite nailed a proper fitness regiment. Wii Fit Plus is good for some yoga and balance games but lacks a cardio segment, of which EA Sports Active did an admirable job but was ultimately hindered by its tether to the...

  • 4

    Xbox 360

    Review MotionSports

    Just as generic as the name implies

    Kinect is but a spry young thing and already its humble catalogue includes a notable amount of minigame collections. Between the pack-in Kinect Adventures and Rare's Kinect Sports, the case for another set is a rough one to make. Ubisoft's MotionSports is a competent enough package, but it's failure to really...

  • 9

    Xbox 360

    Review Dance Central

    Get down on it

    Of all the launch titles for Kinect, Dance Central stands out as the one with the potential to be the most ‘game-y’, due in no small part to the developer behind it. Harmonix has been ‘the’ name in the music genre ever since it first unleashed Guitar Hero on the world – a game that managed to emulate the feeling of nailing...

  • 11

    Xbox 360

    Review Sonic Free Riders

    Free falling

    Sonic Free Riders is the third entry in the hoverboarding offshoot of the hedgehog franchise, following on last generation’s Sonic Riders and follow-up Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity for Wii, both of which were poorly received by the gaming press and public alike. This latest iteration is revolutionary in that it ditches the controller...

  • 6

    Xbox 360

    Review Fighters Uncaged

    Bad to the bone

    Ubisoft's Fighters Uncaged sounds like a good idea on paper: a full-body fighting game where you can unleash a variety of punches, kicks and combos by actually performing them. But oh so much goes wrong in the execution that the end result feels like an abhorrent mess. The first sign of trouble is in navigating menus. This is the...