Fruit Ninja Kinect
Platform: Xbox 360 Kinect (Review)
Released: August 10, 2011
Price: 800 MS Points
Ninjas and fruit have been enemies ever since the game Fruit Ninja was released on the iPhone App Store early last year, and since then has graced all types of smart phones and even seen a couple of knock offs that try to steal a bit of the fruit slicing goodness. That isn’t what this is about though, what this is about is that Fruit Ninja Kinect is about to be released and with it comes Kinect compatibility that turns your arms into deadly fruit killing blades. Does the smartphone original game translate well onto the Xbox 360 and live up to the 800 MSP price tag?
Fruit Ninja Kinect’s graphics are pleasing to the eyes and there are a number of different fruits that can be sliced and diced. The fruits themselves are colorful and have a decent enough aesthetic to themselves as well as a satisfying splatter when you successfully chop through them. The background screens can be changed after unlocking new ones, and are merely there for show.
Something that is quite interesting is the player’s outline itself. As you are playing you will see a shadowy outline of yourself in the background of the fruits and swinging your hands will create a blade like streak that will slice through fruit. The shadow outline looks well-crafted which is a plus for the Kinect, and the various unlockable blade streaks help provide a bit of customization.
Unfortunately in the audio department there really isn’t a whole lot to mention. There is the existence of some background music but you will be more engrossed with chopping away at the various fruits to notice. The sound of slicing fruit is well done but doesn’t vary very often, so you will likely be treated to the same sounds again and again.
Fruit Ninja Kinect is a pretty basic game through and through. The player must make use of the Kinect and use their arms to slice through large numbers of fruit that are thrown into the air. The player then must swing their arm quickly enough for the Kinect to register the chop to slice through the fruit that you are aiming for.
This is a far cry from the original iPhone game that many gamers may be familiar with. While on the smart phone versions of the game you only had to use your finger to slice fruit you will be flailing around quite a lot with your arms to slice all of the fruit flying up in the air. The more dexterous of us can even slice a fruit with their leg if they are feeling up to it, though this is not really recommended. What this means is that Fruit Ninja Kinect is probably one of the most frantic Kinect games you can find and is certainly going to make your arms tired after a period of time. This is for the games benefit however as you will read later.
The various modes you can slice up the vicious colorful fruit are pretty similar to one another and most should be familiar to those who have played the title on their phones. There is your standard Classic Mode which allows the player to score as many points as they possibly can without dropping three fruit or hitting one of the game ending bombs tossed into the air. As standard if you slice more than one fruit with a single swing of your arm you will gain more points in what is called a Fruit Chain.
The Arcade mode is set to a timer and has bombs that will deduct points from your score instead of ending the game. Arcade mode is also home to special bananas that can slow down time and the fruit, cause a literal fruit frenzy and a score multiplier. There is also Zen mode which simply allows the player to slice up fruit at their leisure for a minute and a half without the worry of bombs.
Challenge Mode is a mode that allows you to, if you are the only one with the game, to finish set objectives for yourself, but otherwise can also allow you to immediately set yourself up against Xbox Live friends that have bested one of your scores. Though the newest mode may provide the most enjoyment for those looking to play Fruit Ninja with a friend. The Party Mode allows two players to play either competitively with one another or cooperatively. The competitive mode highlights certain fruit for each player to slice while coop mode is exactly as it sounds, two players enjoying the freedom of slicing fruit together with their hands and trying not to chop your friend’s arm instead of virtual fruit
Now Fruit Ninja Kinect doesn’t have anything deep to its gameplay. There is absolutely zero story mode and there really isn’t a whole lot to unlock. There are a few unlockables that are called Sensei’s Swag to help entice the player to perform certain actions or aim for a certain goal however. These unlockables are anything from a new looking blade, a different background, and even a different shadow outline of the player.
Besides that there is little to actually vary itself from session to session. There are leaderboards which show your best your best score in the various gameplay modes which means you can show off to your friends or even compete with one another through the leaderboards to try to one up one another. There is even an achievement for defeating a friend on the leaderboards. The short game sessions are certainly a benefit to the Fruit Ninja experience because, simply due to repetitiveness and the game’s original design to be used as a portable game meant to be played to kill time at a bus station, means some players will quickly grow bored with the game and only play it for short periods of time.
The Kinect itself actually functions quite amazingly with Fruit Ninja Kinect. The players shadow is a perfect representation of where the player is positioned and the sensor will even help recalibrate itself if you are too close to the screen and make it so all fruit is within easy reach at all times by centering the player in the screen. There are a few times when the system will pick up a hand movement as a slice when you didn’t mean it to, but this is more human error than actual system.
Now if you have ever played Fruit Ninja before, you more or less should know what to expect with the Kinect version of the title. To put it simply, Fruit Ninja Kinect is very enjoyable in small bursts and also is a great example of what the Kinect can do and owners of the Kinect who are eager to have a simple and enjoyable game to play should certainly pick this game up.
Unfortunately there is a major problem with the Fruit Ninja Kinect game, and that is the price tag. The original game costs anywhere from $0.99 to $3.99, while this title touts a price tag of 800 MSP which is equal to $10. Now while it is easy to say that Fruit Ninja Kinect is probably the best version of Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja, the price tag certainly may turn people away and a lower price could easily make it a must have despite its repetitiveness.
I give Fruit Ninja Kinect