A family gathering. A time for socialising, small talk. Eating dinner politely, asking one another about their day. A movie, possibly. Everyone goes home. ‘That was fun dear,’ we say reservedly, “we should do that again sometime’. That’s what I thought my Friday night would be like – until we downloaded Fruit Ninja Kinect.
After a night of flailing our arms like belligerent children warding off bees, both myself and my wife woke up the next day with weird headaches. It took us a while to work out the source – our backs throbbed, our necks ached, our joints were tender. A quick massage of my shoulder later, I realised the issue – Fruit Ninja Kinect. *Shakes fist angrily*
Together with my in-laws, for roughly three hours straight we took turns at Fruit Ninja Kinect, and I can honestly say that it's probably the best experiences I've had with the device to date. Fruit Ninja Kinect is more accessible than Dance Central, just as rewarding as Child of Eden. I find it quite incredible that a dollar iPhone game could arrive on Xbox LIVE so polished, so well thought out and so instantly fun.
The fundamentals of the game translate so well. You appear as a silhouette, a shadow behind the screen, the perfect reference point - subtle, tangible - your motions register quickly without lag. After 15 minutes of random flailing you learn to be precise, to work the combo system - you develop your own unique style and adjust to the various circumstances the game throws at you. Fruit Ninja Kinect is the kind of game you expect to be shallow - it's such a refreshing surprise to plumb its hidden depths.
But better still, the months upon months of iOS updates have taught Halfbrick what works and doesn't work in Fruit Ninja, meaning that Fruit Ninja Kinect comes to Xbox LIVE as a complete package, stuffed with various different options - most notably, a multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer mode lacks the nuance of the arcade mode, but replaces it with the hilarity of standing side by side with a competitor, battling it out over fruit, waving your arms wildly to try and gain the advantage. It's the first time I've been able to play a Kinect game next to anyone and it's a fun, physical experience - jostling for space, slapping hands by mistake.
It's difficult to think of any real flaws with the game. The User Interface, particularly when trying to fiddle with options, is clumsy - but that's literally it. With Fruit Ninja Kinect you have a simple idea stretched to breaking point, to its fullest potential. Already it's my favourite game on Kinect. You may even want to deem it a 'killer app'.
Anyway - that's more than enough from me. What did you guys think of Fruit Ninja Kinect? Anyone played it yet?