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Kinect Sports Rivals: Preseason is a free wake racing demo, available at Xbox One launch

by Andrew Yoon, Oct 28, 2013 10:00am PDT

Kinect Sports Rivals won't be available in time for the launch of Xbox One. However, you'll still be able to get a small taste on November 22nd. Kinect Sports Rivals: Preseason is a free demo that offers a sample of wake racing, one of the six sports to be represented in the full game. While there's only one level to race through, Preseason contains a number of monthly challenges that will unlock bonus content in the full retail release.

We had a chance to play the game at a recent Xbox media event. When booting up the game, you'll be introduced to a rather intimidating introduction by "The Coach," which goes over the basic controls of the game. It can be overwhelming at first, but in practice, the game is rather easy to handle. Your right handle must be squeezed to move forward, and open in order to brake and stop.

Steering is rather natural, with players extending their right arm forward to turn left and vice versa. You can make even tighter turns by leaning your body--necessary for some of the bends on the demo course. Tricks were a bit more difficult to perform, having you lean your body forward and back quickly. Mastering the momentum necessary for a backflip will take a bit more than just one race, it seems.

Power-ups are also available for use in race, however the demo only features one: the speed boost. Access to the power-up refills over time, and can be unlocked faster by performing tricks. To activate the power-up, you can simply say "Speed Boost" to Kinect--although in the noisy environment we played it, the microphone was unable to detect my voice. There is an alternative gesture to use, however. Raising and stomping your right leg will also activate the boost.

The demo will also let you play split-screen multiplayer, up to two players. You'll also be able to race against digital versions of Xbox spokespeople Major Nelson and AceyBongos.

By playing the demo and completing various challenges--like jumping through boosts and hitting other players--you'll be able to unlock exclusive player titles and wetsuit. New challenges and new bonuses are promised monthly, until the full game's launch in spring.





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