Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge Review
Kinect Sport's Calorie Challenge add on provides for an excellent way to stay in shape despite certain issues.
"Calorie Challenge" is the second bit of DLC for Kinect Sports, the pack sees players challenge various "food items" each with their own calories requirements. The concept is that successfully defeating a food item in the allotted time will allow you to lose a certain amount of weight.
The pack is accessed through the newly added "Calorie Challenge" menu on the main screen, after accessing the area the player gets to pick from a variety of opponents. The opponents are Steady Celery, Blazing, Supersonic Soda, Mighty Milk, Peppy Pizza, and Chocolate Challenger. The length of playtime required to beat each food item varies from the lowest of 5 minutes to the highest of 30 minutes. After selecting an opponent a series of random gametypes is chosen until the time limit is reached. You can track your progress through a counter in the top left hand corner of the screen during matches, an accumulated total showing the total amount of time you've played and the calories you've burned since then is shown on the main Calorie Challenge screen.
Opponent character designs are very well done and fit perfectly with the theme of the main game. The premise that you are "fighting food" to burn off calories is somewhat humorous and conveyed in the game types (such as throwing food at your character instead of volleyballs). There isn't much in the way for audio asides for new announcer voice overs which help keep things fresh. It seems like the accuracy of the game was also improved, animations have also seen an improvement and are able to keep up better with your position.
It should be noted that the algorithm used to count the amount of calories burned isn't perfect. The calories burned count will increase every second regardless of whether a player is moving or not. It seems to rely on a trust system in which the player is constantly moving and playing the game. Unless calculations are happening through the Kinect sensor and Gamertag API, the algorithm doesn't seem to make any adjustments for age or height.
Other new additions to the game include achievements worth 250 points and unlockable avatar items; both are unlocked by beating opponents.
Calorie Challenge is highly recommended for players looking for motivation when it comes to keeping in shape. While the system isn't perfect, having a set of defined objectives certainly goes a long way in ensuring a routine can be met. The concept behind the pack is excellent and will ideally be improved by Rare going forward. At 320 MP's ($4 USD) you really can't go wrong if the concept appeals to you.
The Calorie Challenge area of the game is very well designed, the only issue with the DLC is the calorie algorithm which is very basic.
The character models for the opponents are excellently designed and keep with the theme of the main game.
New voice overs for the announcer are a welcome addition, original music and sound effects still compliment the addition pretty well.
Calorie Challenge is not without its flaws but still provides for a fun experience that will help you lose weight. If you have Kinect Sports the Calorie Challenge pack is worth looking into.