"Lag is the Name of the Game"
With ten sports to choose from, Deca Sports Freedom has a really good variety for sports fans. Even if you aren’t one, playing a sports game on Kinect is different because you can perform the moves yourself as the living controller.
All the games (tennis, beach volleyball, archery, kendo, mogul skiing, figure skating, dodge ball, snowboard cross, paintball, and boxing) can have multiple players. Two can play on the same console and up to four, except for the boxing, through Xbox LIVE. Deca Sports Freedom uses the same hand controls to maneuver through the game as other Kinect games. You do have to be careful when you make a selection, as you must stand very still in order for Kinect to recognize you are choosing that option. Many times as I was waiting for the circle to complete, the system would act as if I had moved and I would have to start again. As such, the user interface suffers from poor motion detection implementation.
- The variety is nice, but the implementation is poor -
There is a tutorial for each game where a loading screen will show you how to do the moves for whichever sport you are attempting. The load screen can take a while but for sports which require lots of moves, the extra time is welcomed... at least the first few times. The tutorial will allow you to choose which move you want to view and after a demonstration, you can practice if you want. Doing all ten tutorials will even get you an achievement. However, if you want to skip this, you can go straight into the game. Even if you don’t intend to skip the tutorials, if you have not done one of them prior to playing a sport, the system will ask you if you want to view it. My suggestion is to choose yes, as simply seeing the moves on the screen as the game loads is not enough to understand how to execute them during gameplay. Deca Sports Freedom does let you pick your dominant hand before starting gameplay, so even though the tutorials are all shown right-handed, you can play lefty if you need to.
There are several play options for any of the games: single-player, multiplayer, and over Xbox LIVE. Single-player's Open Match has you pick a sport and play. There's also League Play, where you play through a league match with four teams, competing for the highest score in each of the ten sports in the game. There are also four different leagues to choose from (local, national, global, and ultimate), which range from beginner to expert difficulty. Single-player also has Vs. Match, where a sport is selected at random and you play against the A.I. to get the most wins. In Tournament, your team tries for the top spot. Here again are four difficulties to pick from. Multiplayer has three of the same game styles as single-player does for those who want to play with a friend: Open Match, Tournament, and Vs. Match. And, of course, if you are bold enough, you can play on Xbox LIVE against others.
When you pick a sport to play, you will be placed on a team, even if no other people are playing the game. The default team is Average Joes but you can change this. Team mates can also be changed if desired. To do this, you go to the locker room and begin to edit your team to the one you want. For anyone who just wants to jump in and play, you don’t have to do anything.
Deca Sports Freedom looks and sounds sharp. The colorful HD visuals and fun characters are enjoyable, while the sound is at least appropriate for the sports on offer.
- The game's presentation hits the mark, but that's about it -
The big problem with the game is that it lags badly. In other words, it's difficult to time moves accurately because your movements do not register correctly. All the games had this issue and some didn’t recognize that you had even attempted a move at all, which was highly frustrating. The game has the potential to be a lot of fun, but this one issue plagues it so much that the entertainment is lost to aggravation. Even seeing the pictures of yourself in funny poses as you attempt the game moves is not enough to keep anyone coming back for more.
GameDynamo's Score for Deca Sports Freedom (X360)
I have been gaming since I was in high school, before it was acceptable for a girl to do it. I have been a writer for even longer. It's only natural the two would combine. I prefer RPGs, action/adventure, and strategy games, but I also play dancing, sports titles, and shooters.
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