Never let it be said that the Deca Sports series missed out on a new gimmick. Microsoft's Kinect opens up many new possibilities, and Hudson has chosen to take advantage with the latest entry in their popular (if critically disliked) series. At E3, we had a chance to quickly experiment with the design.
I tried archery, and unlike some of the Kinect titles, it didn't involve taking the player's photo during play. Instead, the game provides a wireframe of its read on your body.
The core gameplay is pretty much identical to previous efforts, except that you now wave through the menus. One surprise is that this is the first Deca Sports to not contain all-new games; classics from previous entries will join a few new sports, such as paintball. The characters, while still in the same overall style (it does not appear that your Xbox Live avatars will be usable), are much more detailed than before, and the environments that we saw were generic but fun — and had received a nice layer of polish.
The actual archery was easy enough. Face to the side of the Kinect, pull your arms in the archery pose (I had practiced heavily while playing Wii Sports Resort), adjust your aim, and pull your back arm back to fire (the Kinect can't detect the flick of your "string" finger). After a few shots, I was doing about as well as I did in Wii Sports Resort and hitting the target. The wind effects were much more severe in this game than with its obvious competitor. When my arm crossed into the space of the other player, both of our models went berserk, and it somehow decided that we were each the other player.
It's been a few months since we've seen Deca Sports Freedom, and it's undoubtedly received some fine-tuning in that time, so we'll see how everything comes together when the Kinect launches in early November.
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