Monday, August 15, 2011

Fruit Ninja Kinect Review: Frigid Fruit

Score 7/10

Fruit Ninja Kinect
Xbox Live Arcade: Kinect

Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: August 9th, 2011
Cost: 800 MS Points

  • Great pick up and play Kinect title
  • Leaderboards to compete against your friends
  • Unlockables are a nice incentive to play more
  • Mistakenly judging a slice happens far too often
  • Main Menu is a chore to navigate
  • Co-op can be physically painful
  • Not a lot of content considering the price

In the latest Summer of Arcade title, Fruit Ninja Kinect brings the hit OS App to the consoles as the newest Kinect game.

Go Ninja Go Ninja, Go!

The basic idea of Fruit Ninja is a simple one; whack fruit and score points. Slicing in a direction with your hands slices the fruit. Hitting multiple fruit with one swipe warrants a combo, and thus, a higher score. With most gametypes featuring bombs that hurt your time or lives, it's a game you want to be accurate and efficient in performing.

This is mixed up with the various game types. There is an Arcade mode that throws a timer in the corner and bombs that lower the timer if hit. There are also power ups like "Freeze Time" or "Frenzy" that work to assist you. Zen mode does away with bombs and has you working to improve your combo with fruits alone. Classic offers your 3 lives and costs you a life with each fruit you miss.

Fans of the OS game will feel right at home with the rules and regulations, and noobies are quick to gather how it works. It's a simple premise with easy execution.

Buddies and Bonuses

Fruit Ninja with a friend is another interesting feature added to the game. There is a co-op and battle mode available, depending on how you view your friendship at the current time. The co-op is much like Arcade, and boasts powerups and a timer. It's the battle mode that proves the most interesting with colored fruit specific to which side you are on; blue hits blue and red hits red. It's unfortunate that the space is so small for these modes, as with almost every game, my friends and I ended up smacking each other in the arms more often than not.

In addition to co-op the game offers unlockables. These can range from new backgrounds to new shadow effects, to new blade types that are unlocked through specified requirements. Basically playing the game will gradually unlock them, though a few require some tact. It's a small incentive that keeps you playing to unlock all that is available.

Kinect Woes

For the basic idea of things, Fruit Ninja works decently enough for the Kinect. It proves to be pretty enjoyable and that "one more try" effect most OS games possess is present. Though the Kinect lag becomes obvious at the start, you soon tailor your movements and make it work, using the reflected shadow in the background to track your movements. That does not mean that Fruit Ninja is not lacking in a few areas.

Accidental slices make navigating the menu and staying accurate a chore. You must "slice" your option to open it, most of the time missing or hitting the wrong thing. Occasional miss-swipes would occur in-game that made it hard to build up combos or the accidental swipe of a bomb would end your streak. In a game that demands precision to excel, this hurdle gets in the way.

Then there is the pricetag. Sure it's not the 1200MS points like previous titles, but 800MS points for this game is a bit much to ask. I am usually not one to complain on price, but 10 bucks for an essential OS game to Xbox Live Arcade port is a bit much to ask, even if it is Kinect. Slicing fruit can only hold your attention so long...


Fruit Ninja Kinect is an interesting addition to the Kinect library, but one that is too short-lived. Though bound to be a hit for a weekend with the usual group, the novelty eventually fades along with your arm strength. At a 800MS point price tag, it is tailored toward the die hard fans with Kinect only...all 8 of you.

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