I had more time to spend with the Kinect over the weekend, and after doing some man-cave rearrangements plus mounting it to the top of my TV with the $39.99 mount, I am truly experiencing the Kinect the way it is meant to be used. The sensor definitely works better if you place it in the recommended ranges, go figure! I spent some more time with Kinect Adventures, the pack-in game with the sensor, and I’m slowly finding that I can enjoy motion-based gaming. I still don’t see myself doing it on a frequent basis, but I really do dig just using my motions to control a game versus a remote.
I don’t know if it’s the allure of gaining gamerscore from playing a Kinect motion-based game or what, but I find myself more inclined to play a Kinect game over a Wii game. I found myself almost enjoying sweating and breathing heavy while playing Kinect Adventures. There’s more of a connection to what is happening in the game now that you are the controller. You don’t have to worry about pointing or holding a remote in the right position, which enables you to become one with the game. The actual navigation of menus and gameplay with hand gestures also helps to add to the mystique of Kinect.
I found myself having a hell of a time while playing on-line with another player for some Rallyball matches. I didn’t know what was more fun, playing the game (Think handball + break out), or watching my random partner do dance moves in between rounds. I found myself putting on my own dance show, which almost turned into a competition within the game. We started doing the Superman, moonwalking, and any other white man dancing moves you can think of. Surely, some of this initial excitement about the Kinect is because of how new the technology is, but I see more potential for this device with me than any other motion-based devices to date. It really is cutting-edge tech that will only serve to push the technological envelope even further into the future.
Before I go I want to share a video I took of myself while playing the Dance Central demo. By the way, Harmonix has another hit on their hands with this rhythm game, but I’ll save that for a review if I pick it up. Anyway, Dance Central is Rock Band for dancing except you are the controller. You follow a dancer on screen and try to match your moves with theirs. There’s also a freestyle section similar to the drum freestyle in Rock Band.
During a song you will be prompted to freestyle your dance moves. From there the screen turns into a psychedelic trip fest similar to what you may have seen if you ever did one of those music videos at your local amusement park. Your silhouette is shown on screen in rainbow form and cameras are taking pictures of you, so you pretty much feel like a dancing machine. This causes you to let loose like you’re actually good at dancing. The best part about this is that your little freestyle routine is recorded for posterity. I found my freestyle dance to Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” to be YouTube worthy, so I’m sharing my embarrassment for all to see. I look like the Energizer bunny after doing a pound of speed and trying to look like Molly Shannon from SNL doing her superstar bit. Check it out below. You’ve been updated…
E.B. “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”