Motionsports Adrenaline Review (PS3/360)

November 7, 2011

PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

Motionsports Adrenaline is the sequel to last year’s Kinect exclusive title, Motionsports. It was developed and published by Ubisoft. This time around, we are treated to extreme sports as opposed to the sporting events that were playable in the original installment. Does this game have the adrenaline it needs to interest players? Let’s find out.

Note: This review is based on the PS3 version and could be slightly different on the Xbox 360 due to it’s requirement to play this with the Kinect.

Gameplay: 2/5

Motionsports Adrenaline lets you compete in six extreme sports events: Kite Surfing, Mountain Biking, Wingsuit, Rock Climbing, Skiing and Kayaking. Think of the game as an up-to-date California Games (for those who have fond memories of playing that on your Commodore 64, Lynx, NES, etc). While this game has the concept of a potentially fun title, it is unfortunately a complete mess. When you access the menus, the first thing I usually like to do is access the options menu to see what I can tweak before starting my game. Well, apparently the options menu isn’t bluntly titled that. Ubisoft decided to use “Degree Men Adrenaline” as a HUGE advertisement in this game and they actually called the menu “Degree Men Adrenaline Lab.” Really? I’m supposed to realize that the options, character customization and settings are located here? When that’s one of the issues in the game when you boot it up, you know there’s going to be a problem already. After going into the “lab” to use my “subject” to test out in the six events, it was time to jump into the game.

There’s no career mode to speak of in this game. You are offered Quick Play, Adrenaline Party and You Against the World (which is locked until you waste your uPlay points on it). There’s no “true” online mode for you to partake events in with friends or people around the world but you can compete against their records. Adrenaline Party is essentially a party mode in which you play 10 rounds of randomized events either by yourself or with up to four players in hot seat style of play. You Against the World, once purchased with the uPlay points you earn from playing select Ubisoft titles, has you just selecting challenges/records set by other players to compete in.

Each event has different variations you can select from such as coin collecting, speed freak and relay events. You can either partake in them competitively or cooperatively. However, the events are only slightly different from one another and feel tacked on. Each event also has roughly 2-3 courses to venture through, but they last for about a minute to three minutes max. Throughout the events, you will build up an adrenaline meter which usually results in a speed boost. Kite Surfing is similar to the PSN title, Wakeboarding HD, with the exception that you can’t freely pull off tricks unless you reach a “trick ring.” You will be going off jumps, grinding rails and slapping both analog sticks in specific directions on only certain jumps containing “trick rings” to pull off stunts. Mountain Biking has you going down perilous terrain as you time when to pull off perfect turns, dodge obstacles, pull off tricks at certain points and extend your arms to grab coins occasionally. Wingsuit has you skydiving down mountains, doing the same thing as every event. Collect the coins, pull off tricks and and dodge the obstacles. Are you starting to see the pattern here?

Rock Climbing has you scaling up treacherous mountains, avoiding tremors that cause you to lose grip along the ledges that can break off or spout out water which makes you slip off. Also, boulders may occasionally fall down the mountain and should you get hit, your character literally takes it by only dropping down one ledge and the boulder shatters upon impact. The characters must have some serious metal plating in their skulls. The adrenaline meter in place here does not consist of a speed boost but rather a temporary shield to deflect falling boulders. This event was by far the WORST event to complete as the controls are incredibly sluggish and unresponsive. The climbing mechanics themselves are borderline archaic.

Skiing and Kayaking were definitely the slightly better events. Skiing follows the same premise as Kite Surfing in which you shred down a snow filled course, going off jumps and doing a few tricks. Kayaking is one of the more varied events as you’ll have to row your way down rapids and flip the kayak upside down to dodge obstacles that are in your path. Funny part is, I actually tested how long your character can stay with the kayak underwater, holding their breath. Apparently, they can stay under for the whole entire course. Interesting.

The game has a pretty neat feature in which another online player’s challenge will pop up during your run through events. If you beat their challenge, then you’re the new record holder for others to try and take on during their event playthroughs. While it’s not revolutionary, it is still cool to be given more of an incentive to tackle other players times mid-event. The game pushes for the player to utilize the PS Move (if you play the 360 version, it is required to have the Kinect), but the dualshock was an option to play with as well. After trying the events with the Move, it didn’t feel all that intuitive and led me to just sticking with a standard controller that made the game feel more natural.

Graphics: 2/5

The game’s visuals are at best, a Wii-looking title with an HD upscale. The textures are a bit underwhelming and the shadows casted from characters look more pixelized than first-generation PS1 textures. Character models animate appropriately but that’s about it. Nothing that’s out of the ordinary. The environments look mediocre and the water effects during kayaking look pretty poor. The game’s biggest problem with visuals lie within it’s framerate and texture pop-ups. Most of the time during events, the game had a hard time maintaining a solid framerate, leading to a good amount of stuttering and occasionally two second freezes. I couldn’t help but wonder what would cause the framerate and texture pop-ups when nothing here looked that good to begin with.

Sound: 2/5

The sound is one of the stronger aspects of the game…but that’s still not saying much. The soundtrack consists of some rock and techno tunes which appropriately fit the events. However, just like the framerate issue with the visuals, the game’s soundtrack kept skipping during gameplay. This was aggravating to experience as the tunes in-game aren’t that bad to listen to. The weird issue the game had was that when playing with the PS Move, there was no music playing at all. This was entirely baffling to witness.

Replay Value: 2/5

There is some replay value here if you’re aiming for trophies/achievements and aim to nail a gold medal in every event. You can see all the levels and events the game has to offer within an hour or two. However if you are going for records and maintaining a top spot, then there’s some fun to be had here. Don’t expect the deepest replay value though.

Overall Score: 8/20 = 4.0 out of 10

Motionsports Adrenaline is an incredibly underwhelming game. The premise is there but the execution is poor. The game is riddled with framerate issues and sound bugs that are hard to ignore. When the game is retailing for $50, you would hope for at least a decent, fun title. Unfortunately, this is a game that feels more like an early downloadable title that could’ve been released for $10 at the most…and even then it’s a hard sell. If you’re looking for a new PS Move game, steer clear away from this. If you’re looking for a fun party game with friends, I still wouldn’t advise this as a reason to purchase it. This game is a rental at best and even then you can see everything the game has to offer within a day.

PROs:

+ Skiing and Kayaking are decent fun

+ Online player challenges pop-up during events

CONs:

– Numerous framerate drops

– Soundtrack skips around during gameplay

– Soundtrack shuts off when playing with PS Move

– Minimal replay value

– Rock Climbing is abysmal

– Way too overpriced

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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