Kinect Sports: Season 2 Hands-On Preview – A Hole in One
Written Wednesday, July 13, 2011 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Let’s not beat around the bush here, Nintendo did golf in Wii Sports back when I was just a foetus… Okay, so it wasn’t that long ago, but it’s been done. So when Microsoft and Rare announced that golf would be one of the six new games featured in Kinect Sports: Season 2 (along with American football, tennis, darts, baseball and skiing), we cynically rolled our eyes. I imagine that I wasn’t alone in this action, but having gone hands-on with it recently – or hands-off, should I say – it’s clear that Rare has put enough thought and effort into it to ensure that it doesn’t feel like a carbon copy of Nintendo’s Wii Sports staple.
How it responds with Kinect is quite easily the draw for Kinect Sports: Season 2’s golf. It works, it’s accurate and it’s intuitive. What more could you ask for? In the past, standing side on with Kinect has had its problems, but thankfully, this no longer seems to be an issue, which frankly is a bloody good job, seeing as that’s how you’ll be spending most of your time.
Before you step up to smack the leather off that little white ball, you have a few options. Firstly, selecting your club is your priority, which can be done by simply reaching out to the right with your right hand – although it appears voice control is also available for use. Each club has its yardage revealed next to it, so you know how far you can smack the ball, and our only gripe is how finicky it is to pick which club you want. After selecting your club, you can raise your hand to your forehead – as if looking into the distance – to see the hole and plan your approach.
From there it’s a matter of turning sideways onto the tee, as you would in real life, and then readying for your shot. Like any golfer though, a practice shot is important, so by raising your hand you can step to the side of the ball and then hit the ball as if it was your real shot. Niftily enough, the game will then show where your ball would have gone had you been at the tee, so it’s going to be an important tool in shooting a low score. After raising your hand once again, you’ll be back up the tee and swing to your heart’s content, hopefully hitting the fairway. Thankfully, we did.
The short game works a lot like your long game, choosing your club and whatnot, but putting requires more of a deft touch. Practice shots are key here, not only to work out if the green slants a certain way, but also in getting the power spot on. Unfortunately for us, we were a little heavy handed and went straight through the pin, eventually allowing us to settle for par on this dog leg left par 4. Not bad for a first try though.
It’s fairly basic stuff though, so don’t expect any sort of simulation golf, meaning that you won’t be able to set your ball spin or anything like that, or even manipulate it, but this isn’t meant to be Tiger Woods… although it does show that Tiger Woods – or whatever EA is calling it these days! – now easily has a place on Kinect.
Granted, our hands-on with Kinect Sports: Season 2’s golf wasn’t really substantial enough to be able to sit here and say, this will be an amazing addition to the franchise, but it certainly filled us with hope. Everything about it was responsive and fun, and I can certainly see it pleasing fans when it ships later this year. It’s the kind of aspect of Kinect Sports: Season 2 that will have a place in more than one type of living room, whether that’s with a few mates and a few beers, or with the family on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Kinect Sports: Season 2 is scheduled for a holiday 2011 release.