Five Things We’re Loving About Kinect Sports Rivals

“Kinect Sports Rivals” launched this week, bringing competitive, action-packed party sports to Xbox One in the form of wake racing, target shooting, rock climbing, bowling, tennis, and soccer with super-powered makeovers. Here are five of the coolest aspects of “Kinect Sports Rivals” that have us excited about the game’s debut.

Your Crazy-Cool Digital Face
When you first fire up “Kinect Sports Rivals,” the game asks you to get in close to your Kinect, so that it can get a good look at your beautiful mug. Then it scans and digitally rebuilds your face right in front of you — creating an awesomely accurate, custom Champion. But what’s even more fun is customizing your Champion to express your own individual style . Be whoever you want to be!

What sets “Kinect Sports Rivals” apart from other motion-sports games is that it maintains an intensely competitive edge and nothing epitomizes that more than the ability to sabotage other players. You can skim past mines on the wake racing course, so that they explode right as your opponent passes by, or reach up to grab someone’s leg in the middle of rock climbing, and tug them way down, or block a goal in soccer — and then punch it straight back into your opponent’s goal instead! Turning the tables suddenly (and disastrously) is immensely satisfying.

Another aspect of “Kinect Sports Rivals” that feels fresh: The various Power-Ups that give the game a definite arcade-like, party game feel. Each sport has its own unique Power-Ups, both offensive and defensive — and each Power-Up has different strength levels, so as you play, you can earn new and better abilities to show your opponents who the real “Kinect Sports Rivals” Champion is.

The “Kinect Sports Rivals” Hub
“Kinect Sports Rivals” features “Kinect Sports Rivals” Hub, an additional, separate piece of the action that allows you to jump in and check leaderboards, your game progress, and share photos of your champion — all without loading up the game itself. It’s a quick way to see if you’re still the top dog amongst your friends, and it’s an interesting way to complement a full game (and one that more developers are sure to take advantage of with their own games in the future).

Cliff Paul
There’s a sponsorship mechanic to “Kinect Sports Rivals” that lets your Champion earn extra money and fans — and to do so, you have to defeat Cliff Paul, the mustachioed, insurance-selling alter-ego of Clippers point guard Chris Paul. Yes, that’s right: “Kinect Sports Rivals” takes one of today’s best basketball players, dresses him in argyle and eyeglasses, and makes you beat him at bowling. It’s as hilarious as it sounds.

These are just five of the fun features that are awaiting you in “Kinect Sports Rivals,” which is now available in stores and digitally on your Xbox One.