Game Review: Wipeout: In the Zone (Xbox 360 Kinect)

ABC’s hit game show Wipeout pits contestants to run a super challenging obstacle course for cash and prizes. Now fans of the show can literally jump into the action and run the courses themselves with Wipeout: In the Zone for Xbox 360 Kinect.

The single player game has events similar to the TV show. In fact, the different series of obstacles are broken up into arranged ‘episodes’ that you can select. Once you select an episode and difficulty level, you’ll run the obstacles.

The motion controls are mostly easy to do. Walk or run in place to move forward. Jump to hop over obstacles, and crouch to duck under them. Hold your arms out to your sides to balance across narrow walkways. And side step to avoid the boxing gloves on the Sucker Punch wall.

One problem is the game can be a little buggy sometimes. At times this can work to your advantage. Sometimes, after falling, you can jump and the character on screen will hop in mid-air, saving you from a fall in the drink. But other times, your character can get stuck in a wedge with no way to get out.

Another problem is the difficulty level. Just like the show, some of the obstacles are near impossible to pass. Try as I might, I could never jump through all the giant spheres in the famous “Big Balls” event. Luckily, you can hold your hands up in the air after a checkpoint if you want to skip past the next obstacle if it’s giving you too much trouble. Just don’t expect to master the game right away.

But the game seems more about having fun rather than winning. You can use your Xbox avatar to run the races, and after you’re done, the Kinect camera will take pictures of you showing how silly you looked! The game shows all sorts of crazy replays when you goof up, and there is tons of humorous commentary by the actual announcers of the show. In multiplayer mode, players who aren’t running the race can use controllers to shoot paintballs at the other competitors to distract them. There is also a Practice Mode which instructs you how to bypass the many obstacles. While it may not be the best Kinect game in the world, fans of the TV show may find some enjoyment in it.

Kid Factor:

Wipeout: In the Zone is rated E-10 for Everyone 10 and Up with ESRB descriptors of Comic Mischief and Mild Cartoon Violence. Characters get bonked and smacked around, but if you’re OK with your kids watching the TV show, they’ll be OK with the game, too. In fact, the game seems less violent since it’s more cartoony and not as realistic looking. Reading skill isn’t necessary, but some players may get frustrated with the difficulty. But young fans of the TV show who don’t mind constantly losing will still get plenty of laughs with the game, and it does encourage youngsters and adults to get off the couch and get some exercise, too.

No Responses to “Game Review: Wipeout: In the Zone (Xbox 360 Kinect)”

  1. My xbox 360 is having trouble with this game. First one we bought would load all the way so they couldn’t play the game. We exchanged it so we tried again. The next wouldn’t load every time and then when they would get it to play it would freeze and then stop. We play Halo, Call of Duty and other games with no issues. What are we not doing?

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