"Wax on, Xbox off."
I'm no stranger to this. I've been here before. I reviewed Kung Fu Live for the PlayStation Eye. As much as my limbs hurt, I was satisfied with the comical, cheesy kung-fu style in its energy, style, and gameplay. Of course, being
lambasted known as the fake kung-fu master (Ninja Nick Tan being the real master) around the office has a few downsides.
That downside comes in the form of even sorer muscles and faster heart palpitations after an hour of Fruit Ninja Kinect. The iPhone and Android App darling makes its way to Xbox 360 as part of the Summer of Arcade. For $10 (which is 10 times as much as you'll pay for its iPhone parent), you can swing away at fruit until you tear a muscle or two.
That's really the high point of this console port. Being able to use two hands to slice even more fruit is the biggest improvement to Fruit Ninja's gameplay. It alleviates the difficulty you might have in slicing three or more fruit for combos, and adds to the frenetic nature at play. Even the bonus fruit encourages the player to make a mockery of ninja ability by quickly chopping with two hands.
Party Mode pits two players against the fruit and against each other. In co-op, each player will share bonuses and power-ups to add to a cumulative score. Competitive modes will get more play during actual parties, though. Each player gets their own fruits to slice and dice, and must avoid those tossed up for their opponent. "Free for All" fruits will also fly into space causing games to border on domestic disputes.
Aside from the Party mode and a revolving door of challenges, there's not a lot new here. You're still karate-chopping fruit and avoiding bombs across each mode. Arcade mode mixes in power-ups while Zen mode is all about
relaxing chopping as much fruit without having to worry about bombs.
In the end, your experience with Fruit Ninja Kinect will vary. Sometimes the Kinect hardware will fail to recognize your chops and slices. You'll also struggle with the device's accuracy when trying to avoid bombs. The daily challenges are fun, and if you have friends playing Fruit Ninja Kinect, you'll be made aware of their scores when they top yours.
Don't get me wrong, Fruit Ninja Kinect is a good game for the Kinect. If you've got one of Microsoft's motion sensing peripherals, you should own this game and Dance Central and then wait for something else to arrive on the scene. The gameplay is addictive, the movements you make are fun, and getting animated with friends will be endlessly entertaining. Just know that if you've already experienced Halfbrick's juicy karate simulator on another platform, you won't find anything new. That is, of course, aside from the multiplayer
slap-fighting fruit slicing.