Konami’s Crossboard 7 is an all-terrain boarding game for Kinect. As such you can expect to have to do all sorts of leans, twists and leg lifts in order to glide your way down various slopes and across multiple settings. It would be a heck of a lot of fun too if the game’s controls weren’t fundamentally stuffed. In all honesty, there are Thalidomide babies that are less screwed up than this game’s control scheme. This fault lies squarely with the developers and not Kinect’s hardware. Why? Well because the game gets wrong what other Kinect games have managed to get right; the riverboat challenge in Kinect Adventures is one such example.
The frustrating thing is that Crossboard 7 actually comes quite close to getting things right. You jump to make your character fly off ramps; twist your upper torso to execute spins; lean forward or backwards for flips; and lift your one leg to do board grabs while in the air. These control movements work pretty well. The problem comes in when you try to steer the board; unfortunately that movement is kind of, you know, essential for any racing game. You’re supposed to lean left and right in order to cut a path down slopes, but it’s less responsive than foreplay with a corpse and as a result you’ll frequently veer off track and collide with obstacles. It just doesn’t work at all and after attempting a few of the events you’ll quickly discover that it’d be less painful to grateÂ offÂ your nipples using a lemon zester.
To add insult to injury, the game is festooned with that kind of precocious hipness that really makes one feel awkward. I guess the game’s surfer-dude, pothead attitude is meant to appeal to a younger target market, but even if I were six years old and playing this I’d want put a plastic bag on my head and breathe deeply for a few minutes. The worst part is that the insufferable commentator insists on spewing forth inane babble throughout all of the events; the saving grace is that the moron can be muted in the options menu.
Speaking of menus: Crossboard 7 manages to do them very well. While the menu layout isn’t exactly user-friendly, the hand gestures for navigating your way around them are very responsive and fast. If only the same could be said for the steering.
There’s no online multiplayer but local multiplayer is available for two players. This is probably where the most enjoyment can be found in the title. Playing a few rounds of this after a bottle of vodka between friends could turn out to be a lot fun; that’s probably because after a bottle of vodka you’d think the terrible steering was actually your fault and you’d be less inclined to hate the game for it.
On a lighter note for some, the game is loaded with easy Achievements; in a single event you can quickly rack-up 260 Gamerscore in less than four minutes.
The potential is there for a fun multiplayer game, but the controls are just not polished enough. Event types and unlocks are fairly limited as well.
Menus are slick and the various characters you can choose as racers are well presented and exhibit some quirky imagination on behalf of the designers. They’ve definitely been made to appeal to kids, but there’s something about their look. You can also race with your Xbox 360 Avatar if you’d prefer.
The music is very monotonous and the narrator/commentator’s voice will rile you up in no time. Thankfully there’s a mute option.
For Achievement Whores it’s great, but for anyone looking for more than a few hours of entertainment you’d best look elsewhere.
Overall: 6.0 (not an average)
Crossboard 7 is not a terrible game, it just has terrible elements in some of its control mechanisms; unfortunately it’s the most important part of the controls that suck.
Last Updated: January 28, 2011