Adrenalin Misfits Review (Xbox 360, Kinect Required)

Posted by Jim Cook, Dec 01, 2010 08:38

It’s no secret that a lot of Kinect developers are having the same ideas and competing with one another to see who can do them better. Among the more obvious ideas would be boarding games that let you race in a variety of whimsical terrain, and Konami has stepped up to offer Adrenalin Misfits as their take on the premise. With lots of unlockable characters, boards, and courses that all stand out as having meaningful differences from one another, Adrenalin Misfits’ game content is fine; it’s only the controls that stop it from being great.

Adrenalin Misfits is mostly played by moving how your body is positioned. You stand with your feet pointing sideways, one shoulder facing the Kinect unit, and then shift your weight around and change posture to control your board. Leaning forward and backward controls your speed, while turning to face the Kinect fully will bring you to a stop. Jumping with your body accomplishes a jump in-game, and you can modify this by doing a spin jump (careful not to trip into things!), boosting your lead leg upward to flip, and holding your arms out to glide. A foot-stomp can be done to activate any items/weapons you’ve picked up too, with the usual Mario Kart style array of effects; mostly knocking other racers over, speeding yourself up, and so on.

You start off with just a few boards and tutorial courses, but Adrenalin Misfits is very generous with unlocking new stages, boards, and characters as you go. By the time you finish the short tutorial, you should have nearly a half-dozen of each of those to pick from, and more as you proceed. They’re not just cosmetic changes, as each level has some meaningful differences in their layout, boards have subtly different stats that lend themselves to different courses, and so on. The amount of content here is reasonable, and would be enough to be a decent game on its own.

There are even plenty of different modes to play. You can ride around a course doing stunts for points, others have you jumping for distance, and others still have you exercising fine steering to pop balloons in your path. There is definitely a lot of variety to be had here, enough that interested players could be kept busy for quite some time.

However, Adrenalin Misfits is hindered by one major problem: Its controls. They work most of the time, and aside from it taking a while to get used to ’analog steering’ with your upper body it does pretty well for itself. The real problem is that some motions don’t work reliably, such as the stomp for using items; the game seems to expect a very specific motion for this and getting it right consistently is very hard. Less frequent but perhaps more troubling is that the game may read some of your steering motions as the one for ’face center, come to full stop.’ You can be in the middle of a turn or leaning forward to accelerate, and for no apparent reason your racer will just halt in place until you put yourself in the face-forward position, then back into a racing posture. It doesn’t happen frequently, but it comes up often enough to be a problem.

In terms of game content, Adrenalin Misfits is fine. It offers a reasonable amount of courses and boards relative to the game’s cost, and there is plenty of variety to them. If the controls worked better, this would be a great game and easily one of the better ones in the Kinect launch line-up. As it stands however, the occasional full-stop glitches and inability to do certain maneuvers reliably makes Adrenalin Misfits hard to play. It seems like the kind of thing that could be solved with a patch, and one can only hope that happens; it would take what is currently a merely okay game and make it a great one. Until or if that happens however, you may wish to rent Adrenalin Misfits before buying to see if you can live with its control problems.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Adrenalin Misfits Review (Xbox 360, Kinect Required)
8.0 Replay
There are a lot of courses and events to try and the game is very generous with rapidly unlocking them as you play.
6.0 Graphics
Stages, boards, and characters all look alright, though none of them are particularly spectacular on the eyes.
6.0 Sound
The music is fine, though the over-the-top 90s ’surfer counter-culture dude’ narrator voice is either going to make you laugh or be very annoying.
6.0 Gameplay
Bad controls hinder what is otherwise a good, easy to learn boarding game.
5.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Multiplayer racing is offered, but will require a huge amount of room to do safely and control issues may frustrate more competitive players.
6.0 Overall
With its excellent game content, Adrenalin Misfits could have been a contender. Unfortunately the control problems are severe enough that you should rent it first to see if you’re willing to tolerate them.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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