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Adrenalin Misfits


Snowboarding for kids...for about 3 hours.
Also known as Crossboard 7 overseas, Konami released a Kinect enabled title named Adrenalin Misfits recently to take advantage of all those recently upgraded Xbox 360ís out there. This is a brand new IP, thus thereís no tie-in with a childrenís cartoon. Itís really designed to take advantage of the relative newness of the Kinect and broaden the current batch of launch titles. The gameís presentation is a bit flashy, likely designed for a younger set of Kinect gamers; perhaps in the 6 to 10 year old range. The concept is identical to all other snowboarding games that you have played in the past, race to the bottom of the mountain. Itís definitely similar to arcade snowboarding titles like the SSX series from EA. Add in a dash of Mario Kart and players can take advantage of the power-ups on the track for a speed boost for instance. Tracks, characters and equipment are locked at the outset of the campaign and require the player to complete goals on the tracks to proceed.

adrenalin misfits snowboarding winner

Of course, player movement is all controlled with the Kinect device. Leaning side to side moves the character to the left and right along the snow. Leaning forward makes him / her race faster down the hill. Launch yourself off a ramp or snow bank and that puts you into a jump. Tricks are performed by spinning around in place or holding one of your legs a certain way to rotate the board. As an added bonus, other people in the room can cheer you on which gets picked up by the Kinect microphone. This translates into a noticeable speed boost for the player and gives you a sizable advantage against the competition. I also tested this function with a loud YouTube video of people cheering playing from my laptop. Guess who was going faster than everyone else for the entire race?

Interestingly, cheering really isnít needed as the game is already incredibly easy to complete by yourself even with the control lag. You have to predict where your racer will be before landing, something thatís more pronounced than regular snowboarding games. But the game is definitely forgiving when it comes to beating the opponent A.I. Unlocking all the extras in the game can be accomplished in about 3 to 4 hours. Thereís also a local multiplayer component to the game, but itís not much more fun than the single player. Thereís no online multiplayer modes included with the title. The achievement set is pretty simple to knock out as well. You will likely unlock a couple hundred points within the first few races if you are adventurous with your tricks while in the air.

adrenalin misfits split screen multiplayer

Graphics

The high resolution backgrounds are the best part of the graphics engine, particularly the depth and scope of their design. Unfortunately, the character models are poorly designed and lack the smooth animation of characters in other Kinect games like Dance Central. The game runs smoothly though and the inventive nature of the menu system is probably going to be the basis of all future Kinect titles from any developer.

Audio

I would attribute the quality of the audio to the same quality of cartoons found playing at 7 A.M. on a Saturday morning, boisterous, in-your-face and annoying. The character voices are designed to appeal to the youngest of children and will become grating on the parentís ears within the first 20 minutes of play. The characters are poorly crafted stereotypes that make a failed attempt to act cool and their voices are representative of that. The music and the sound effects arenít particularly enjoyable either.

Conclusion

The two main problems that Adrenalin Misfits face are a lack of replay value and an overly easy level of difficulty. You can complete the entire game in a few short hours and thereís little to do after the game is over without online multiplayer. Even being played by the ideal demographic, children younger than 10, it doesnít hold up well as a game that they will want to revisit frequently. With Segaís Sonic Free Riders also available for boarding enthusiasts, Adrenalin Misfits doesnít do anything distinct that sets it apart from the pack of Kinect titles. Maybe consider renting Adrenalin Misfits for a quick weekend to test out the Kinect system if you have really young children, but itís definitely not worth a purchase.



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