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Fruit Ninja Kinect review

Great
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AT A GLANCE
  • The simplicity
  • Swell local multiplayer
  • The overall feel full-body motion gives it
  • The lack of music
  • The irregular detection issues
  • The amount of space needed for two players

Fruit Ninja Kinect doesn't have any structure. You just sort of load it up, play, and move on. The Xbox 360 port of one of the iPhone's greatest games is rigidly stuck in its original mobile mentality, now with the addition of, uh, mobility. It's a combination that should scream "shallow garbage," especially at ten times the original price. Instead, it winds up as a surprise hit in the Summer of Arcade lineup.


Above: You'll need to be acutely aware of your body's position at times

While we're on the subject, let's just acknowledge that prancing around your living room or bedroom and flailing like a friggin' fool is the last thing we needed in the summer. It is far too hot to put this much effort into karate chopping groups of juicy fruits. It's an utterly exhausting experience for fatasses that's strangely empowering. The glowing trail behind our precision punching and the satisfying pop bursting from our delicious victims is far more fulfilling than it has any right to be.

Most Kinect titles require limited or sustained gestures because, let's be honest, they're either lame launch games that didn't do anything interesting with the hardware or they're fitness games. Fruit Ninja was already chaotic when we swiped and slashed with our thumbs to score big combos. With the freedom of movement in an area the Kinect demands, the simple-minded, minute-long rounds have an added sense of urgency and accuracy. We were often forced to risk detonating a bomb and losing points to score a sweet combo with the perfect arc of our arm. We did notice an annoying dead zone in the center of our on-screen body that messed up the gesture detection from time to time, but we eventually just stopped swinging from the center - this worked out better anyway, since swinging outward rather than directly at a line of coconuts usually leads to accidental bomb-exploding. Don't do that.

Even for the iOS-obsessed audience, FNK is a wholly different game based on the same mechanics. This is especially true when you're standing beside your roommate who you accidentally punched in the balls going for the flashy 2x bonus banana. (Seriously, sorry man.) Adding another physical body to the co-op and competitive multiplayer modes is far more fun, if only for the mutual sympathy for each other’s suffering, a far more fun bit of mini-gaming than bluetooth on the iPhone allows.


Above: Be careful during Frenzy bonuses in multiplayer. That's a lot of hands hitting a lot of fruit

It's not much more than an HD port of the iOS game (eerie lack of music and all) so Fruit Ninja Kinect isn't designed for the style of play we're used to on 360, even on Live Arcade. This may be its greatest advantage. It doesn't tie itself down by abiding to unnecessary console conventions. We hop in for a 60-second challenge, fail a few times and crawl to the kitchen for some water, leaving the game behind until we once again feel the irresistible urge to fuck up some fruit.

Aug 8, 2011

More Info

Available Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Arcade

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17 comments

  • TheLeastImportantDudeEVER - August 8, 2011 10:55 p.m.

    fruit ninja kinect=halo reach
  • Risonhighmer - August 8, 2011 10:58 p.m.

    An 8 for a glorified mini game? Brutal. Until somebody does something interesting on the kinect I'm not interested. I'm sick of the ports of 2 dollar iphone games and half assed rail shooters. This tech has so much potential but the companies who have the money to develop games for it are fucking idiots. Not just kinect, but PS3's move as well. Ape Escape move could have been phenomenal, but no, rail shooter. Ugh. At least there's some decent indie titles coming out (Not for connect, mind you) Sincerely, A frustrated Gamer with nothing better to do than complain.
  • Zepaw - August 8, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    Because I switch phones way too often I own Fruit Ninja on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone 7. It is my favorite of those little time waster games. I am buying this day one. It will probably be boring by the time I get the cheevos but I will enjoy the hell out of it for a while.
  • thefarkinator - August 8, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    @TLIDE Don't throw a hissy fit. There's such a thing as being pleasantly surprised by a video game, and the reviewer was pleasantly surprised. Halo: Reach, however, had a world of expectation to live up to. Instead of living up to the epic scale and vehicle portions of the previous Halo games, it gave a much more sane, footsoldier kind of gameplay. This defeated the very thing that made Halo one of the best FPS's of all time. In a sea of FPS's that exclude vehicles because, frankly, they're much harder to work in, the Halo series championed its own unique gameplay. And yet, Halo: Reach managed to make vehicles boring. Not only in multiplayer, but in single player as well. Although Halo: Reach is a VERY good game, (multiplayer-wise at least)it only felt like Call of Duty in space due to the prevalence of armor abilities and Sniper Rifles, etc. The vehicles had become gimped as a result. Although Halo: Reach was definitely a good game, it did not come even close to living up to the legend of its predecessors. Instead, it proved the depressing rut that video games have been trapped in as of late. By sacrificing the very things that made Halo Halo, Reach left the bitter taste of disappointment in the mouths of every loyal fan that appreciated Halo for what it was 3 years ago.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - August 8, 2011 11:13 p.m.

    $60 AAA franchise game = apple. $10 downloadable game = orange.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - August 8, 2011 11:24 p.m.

    I have two games on my phone, Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope. Even though it's really fun, I won't be getting it. @thefarkinator I pretty much agree. I think the problem was, like you said, to make it more like CoD. Same thing with ODST, you have no story, no face, and the campain isn't even that open. The only level worth replaying is the one with the Falcon, and that's because there's a sh*t load of easter eggs in that city. I'm not a Halo hater, God knows I'm one of the biggest Halo 2 fans you'll ever find. I wish they had made Reach multiplayer more like 2. Now if you try going on there, chances are you'll get wrecked by a squad that knows where and when weapons spawn, and get perfect headshots. Halo 2 was a lot funner, there was duel wielding, and the maps were amazing. That's another thing I never liked, all the maps in Reach were taken from the campaign. I loved it in all the other ones, how there was actually a story to each and everyone of them. Sorry for so much Halo talk, this is a Fruit Ninja Kinect Review for Pete's sake! Common though Bungie, you took the freakin' scorpion out of your mutilated version of Blood Gulch. What's up with that?
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - August 8, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    $60 AAA franchise game = apple. $10 downloadable game = orange. free internet porn = priceless.
  • Risonhighmer - August 8, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    Kinect*
  • kc2 - August 9, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    @ farkinator... I like that you accuse him of a hissy fit when it was just him making a joke and you threw one of your own.
  • Jamahl - August 9, 2011 1:50 a.m.

    Ewoks taste like chicken, the gameplay for reach was very similar to previous halo titles. It was never meant to be a revolution in halo, just to take what was there, make it a interesting as possible, do something different in the campaign's story and environments, and add a few interesting guns and power-ups. It's vehicles handle exactly the same as before, I have no idea what you're on about. Halo 2 was floaty, glitchy, and its campaign had no idea when to just stop and wrap things up and avoid another 50 flood levels. I hated it with a burning passion. I loved halo 1, however. I think Reach was a good 9, because it did what it was meant to do: End halo with bungie in a way that is differentand yet nostalgic, and very functional.
  • Pocotron - August 9, 2011 4:58 a.m.

    Has everyone already forgotten of the "BETTER THAN REACH???!" semi-meme? (I use that word loosely) For a while after Reach, if a game scored 8 or higher, the first comment would usually be SO IT'S BETTER THAN HALOLZ REACH????!!!!11! So when someone says this, don't get your panties in a twist. *cough*newfags*cough* WOOPS DID I SAY THAT?!
  • jondaven - August 9, 2011 5:47 a.m.

    are you saying that fruit ninja is just as good as halo reach? you are a terrible reviewer and halo deserves a 10.
  • avantguardian - August 9, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    i kept thinking this was a joke as i was reading it, like at any point he was gonna' say "i'm just shittin' ya', its obviously a 2." but he didn't. joke's on me i guess, or something stupid like that. and the Reach thing has really just got to be retired, guys. its just not worth the effort and explanation (and let's face it, it was ALWAYS a shitty joke).
  • AppleSprode - August 9, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    Anyone comparing review scores so directly is an absolute idiot. Games are to be reviewed on their own merits -- this is 8/10 as far as $4 mini-games go, Halo Reach is 8/10 as far as $60 FPS's go. Comparing them is nothing short of retarded. If I rate Airplane a 5 star comedy, I am not saying it is as good as The Godfather.
  • Duffman - August 10, 2011 12:03 a.m.

    Here we go. Reviews about different titles in different genres at different price points don't rank against each other. So stop comparing this review to reviews like Reach.
  • DecoyOctorok - August 10, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    It's just a running joke in the comments sections ever since GR rightly gave Reach an 8/10 instead of BEST GAEM EVAR!!!111! TheLeastImportantDudeEVER wasn't being serious.
  • Spybreak8 - August 11, 2011 2:02 a.m.

    Interesting, I'll have to try the demo at least.

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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