Did you ever play Power Rangers as a kid? Don’t lie to yourself; I know you did. Fruit Ninja Kinect is for you and your inner 10 year-old kung-fu hero wannabe.
I’m not the biggest fan of motion gaming. Personally, nothing is better than curling up with a controller on the couch and disappearing into an unfamiliar world for a few hours. It might also have something to do with my frame and weight; I am known as The Big Fat Geek, after all.
I bought into motion gaming when the concept was first popularized by the Nintendo Wii. I’ve owned a Wii since launch, mainly for the promise of Nintendo titles, but also to try this new way of playing games. Wii Sports was fun for a while, as was Resort, but they were missing something. Recently I’ve dabbled in the PlayStation Move; Sports Champions has that same feeling as Wii Sports, and until very recently I was still unable to put my finger on it.
It was the Kinect that opened my eyes to what was missing in motion gaming – that missing piece that made these games feel so out of place for me. It’s the controllers, and how we interact with them that make the games feel more unrealistic. But they’re games; they’re not supposed to be real.
Motion control for games makes us FEEL like it’s SUPPOSED to be real. As opposed to playing a game of Madden with a standard controller, the realistic gestures used to control the games is what appeals to non-gamers. But if I want to play football, I’ll go out and play football. Bowling is cheap; cheaper than buying what you’d need to play it on the Wii as opposed to actually going to your local lanes. What’s the point of playing Wii Sports unless you’re physically unable to do those things? “Realistic” motion games are pointless because they’re simultaneously attached and detached from reality. It’s unnatural as hell, and the Kinect breaks that down by not including a controller.
Fruit Ninja Kinect is different, and I think it’s this very reason I find myself enjoying it so much.
Unlike bowling games (which are the most common goddamn type of motion game available…) there is no real-life alternative to Fruit Ninja. Ever had this conversation? “Hey guys, who wants to go bowling?” “Nah, we’ve got Wii Sports right here – there’s no reason to go to the bowling alley.”
On the flip side, have you ever heard anyone ask you to go outside and swing a fucking sword around while they throw fruit at you? Who does that? The very notion of being a REAL fruit ninja is ridiculous, but it’s the unrealistic idea that makes Fruit Ninja Kinect the PERFECT motion control based game. There’s no pressure to play like the pros, because there are no pros.
Did you ever play Power Rangers as a kid? Don’t lie to me or yourself, you did. Fruit Ninja Kinect is for your inner 10 year-old – let’s pretend to know kung-fu and flail around in front of a TV for roughly 2 minutes at a time. It’s a hell of a lot more fun than keeping up to your mother’s copy of “Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons” (although you’ll look just as stupid.)
Fruit Ninja was simple and addicting before it came to Kinect, so it was a perfect fit for the Kinect. Add in some new mechanics and you’ve got a perfectly awesome motion control-based game.
Some will argue that the game isn’t worth the fifteen clams you need to pony up to play on your Xbox. After all, there’s a free version on Android and iOS and its $3 on a Windows Phone. Sure, those are great time wasters while you’re at work, but Fruit Ninja Kinect is an EXPERIENCE.
It’s retooled to play on a large screen with your arms (or legs, or cardboard tube samurai swords, or nunchucks… the possibilities are endless, folks!) as your blades. It’s accurate, fast-paced and frantic. It looks pretty, too – it’s not a shitty port with ugly, blocky graphics. Everything is bright and beautiful and juicy looking.
Allow me to repeat myself – you flail around in front of your TV and cut the shit out of fruit. It’s satisfying as hell, simple, fun and addictive – slicing into a (digital) watermelon with your bare hands makes you feel like a goddamn ninja. Not to mention its GREAT cardio! A solid half hour of play a day could make you skinny as hell in a few months.
You will sweat. You will ache. You will laugh your ass off as you and your buddies try to slice a single round ending piece of fruit more than 60 times, and you’ll look positively ridiculous doing so. Can you beat this fat man’s fruity score of 549 in Arcade mode? That’s pretty good for a fat guy.
Should you pick up Fruit Ninja Kinect? Fuck yes. Should you record yourself playing it and post that video to YouTube for the whole world to see? Not unless you’re willing to take years of verbal abuse.