With baseball season over, some are feeling that itch for something, anything to keep their itch at bay until the season starts up again. With a selection readily available, many would feel the need to pick up a traditional baseball game. But what if you want to skip all the boring stuff and go straight to the good part: hitting home runs. Don't worry -- Home Run Stars has you covered.
Like the name implies, in this XBLA title, players will be hitting lots and lots of home runs. Using their Xbox Live avatars-- players will hit homers as far as they can, not using a controller, but with the Kinect motion tracking system. Like with most Kinect games, how much fun you have may or may not depend on how your big playing space is, knocking over any lamps or hitting friends and loved ones definitely will hamper one's experience.
Gameplay is pretty standard, the player uses their avatar and body to hit a homerun and try to earn as many points as possible. Points are awarded for how well they hit the ball, how far it travels and what it hits on the way. This is one of those games that is easy to pick up but difficult to master. And while you can swing without worry of impaling your television with a motion controller, it is a bit difficult to swing something that isn't there, making slightly difficult for players to judge their swings.
Players that have a smartphone or tablet device will be able to play against their friends in a home run dual mode, using Microsoft's new Smartglass application. While there isn't a lot of levels to choose from(there are only three), there is just enough variety to keep things from keeping stale.
When all is said and done, there are better baseball games out there for players to enjoy. With only a few stadiums to play, the barely existing multiplayer, and arcade standard visuals there isn't really anything special about this game. But if players want a game where they can hop in and hit home runs; or get some light exercise, then this is their game. Unless players are bored or have the Microsft Points to spare, however, they're better off playing something else.
Final Game Guys grade: C-
- by Sebastian Marco for news10.net's Game Guys
(Microsoft provided a copy of this game for review.)