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Fruit Ninja Kinect

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Fruit Ninja Kinect - Storm Season and Space Capsule DLC Pack Impressions
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Fruit Ninja Kinect - Storm Season and Space Capsule DLC Pack Impressions

Shortly after Fruit Ninja Kinect launched on August 10, it received a DLC Pack called “Storm Season.” Just yesterday, “Storm Season” was followed up by another pack, “Space Capsule.” Each Pack costs 160 Microsoft Points and adds a new weapon, shadow, background, and Achievements. We’ve put them through their paces and survived to tell the tale, though a great many fruits weren’t so lucky.

Both packs are quite similar. “Storm Season” includes the Lightning Blade weapon, Rain Man shadow, and Storm Castle background. “Space Capsule” contains the Comet weapon, Stellar Shadow, and Start Chart background. All of these assets look great, particularly the animated shadows. Animated storm clouds certainly make for a more striking silhouette than the default, plain one. As for the blades, neither is so special as to render Fruit Ninja Kinect’s original selection obsolete, but they do look cool and make new sounds. Besides, it’s always nice to have more options.

Storm Season

Where the packs really differ is in the selection of new Achievements that they bring. “Storm Season”’s are the tougher ones: ‘Slice and dice 2 pomegranates in one game with the Lightning Bolt equipped;’ ‘Score 75 points in the first 30 seconds of ZEN with the Storm Castle equipped;’ and ‘Get 20 critical hits in CLASSIC with the Rain Man equipped.’ Earning 75 points that quickly in Zen mode will take plenty of retries – I got it after 45 minutes or so. And the second pomegranate doesn’t show up until your score reaches 250-300 in Classic, which could be tough depending on how good you are in that mode.

“Space Capsule”’s Achievements, in contrast, are mostly cumulative and easy to get: ‘Slice the pomegranate 40 times with The Comet equipped;’ ‘Get 80 combos in ZEN with the Stellar Shadow equipped;’ and ‘Score 20 Combo Blitzes in ARCADE with the Star Chart equipped.’ I like that Arcade gets an extra Achievement as that’s my favorite mode.

The Fruit Ninja Kinect DLC unfortunately doesn’t add much to the co-op experience since the Achievements all certain around the single-player modes. To that end, multiplayer in this game continues to feel more like an afterthought than an integral component. But switching on the new weapons, shadows, and backgrounds can still add some visual punch when playing with friends.

Space Capsule

Gamers who appreciate Achievements will get the most out of these DLC packs. To my mind, Fruit Ninja is most fun when you have goals to shoot for. After unlocking everything in the game, I’m ready to move on. But the new Achievements provide another reason to play. True, a new mode would have been more substantial, but these packs are only two bucks a pop. If you love Fruit Ninja Kinect and want to extend your playtime a bit, “Storm Season” and “Space Capsule” are an affordable way to do so.

Fruit Ninja Kinect: “Storm Season” and Fruit Ninja Kinect: “Space Capsule” are available now for Xbox 360. They cost 160 Microsoft Points ($2) each.