Here we are, almost five years removed from the launch of the Nintendo Wii (which I own), and I’m still not sold on motion capture as a control mechanism for video games. Regardless of whether the technology is there or not, I play video games in large part because they allow me to do things I cannot do in real life. Ask my broomball teammates – my slap shot is terrible.
So why would I want EA’s NHL Slapshot for the Wii, which requires me to mimic that motion, when I can just flick an analog stick back and forth on my Xbox and dent the twine more readily (or certainly with more accuracy)? Sure, Wii Sports bowling was fun, but put something heavier than a Wiimote in my hands and you can cut my score in half. And I sure as hell can’t dance (three months of ballroom dance classes for my wedding notwithstanding), so there’s no way I’ll ever play Dance Central.
Luckily, I have never had anyone toss fruit in front of me and ask me to slice it with a katana.
That is the basic premise of Fruit Ninja Kinect, Halfbrick’s popular mobile game brought to Xbox as part of this year’s Summer of Arcade and – in the interests of full disclosure – one of my favorite smartphone games. Fruit flies onto the screen and you have to slice it while avoiding bombs. Slicing multiple fruits with one slash of your virtual blade nets you bonus points, bananas provide power-ups in arcade mode and you can unlock additional blades and backgrounds as you progress through the game. On Kinect, finger swipes on a touchscreen are replaced with flailing your arms, occasionally haphazardly, and the precision of the controls – a key to the mobile version – suffers for it.
Where Fruit Ninja Kinect shines is in the translation to a larger screen. While the controls may suffer, the graphics certainly do not; while it is not a graphically demanding game, it is still a smooth visual experience. The presentation hasn’t changed in the move from phone to tablet to console. But at 800 Microsoft points ($10.00), this is the most expensive version of the game yet and doesn’t bring much new to the table for those who already own the game for iOS or Android. It works as a party game, much the same way Wii Sports did, but the single player modes offer very little improvement over the original.
Put that $10 towards an Edible Arrangement and send it to @UnwinnableDonB. No strawberries, please. Damned allergies…