Kinect was originally announced as Project NATAL, continuing Microsoft’s tendency to codename products after locations (Natal being a city in Brazil, where one of the creators originates), with the selling point being about not reinventing the wheel, but getting rid of it entirely. Huh.
The reception of Kinect is quite mixed, but I get the impression (from people on the internet, which is always quite pessimistic) that most people think it either “won’t work”, or “Microsoft smell”, and while I would agree with the latter, I think it’s actually quite good and worth trying, at least.
Interacting with any menu is great fun, with a swish of your hand the screens fly by –you are through the looking glass. To some, this may not seem like much, but you feel the superiority as you control the screen, unlike with a Wiimote where you might as well be holding a TV remote to change channels. You can also bark orders and it listens, it’s unlike any other speech-recognition software I’ve ever encountered.
Yes, this is a breakthrough in motion-sensor gaming, as it is the first that doesn’t use any controllers (or mats or instruments or buttons or sticks or wheels). Plus it doesn’t suffer from being limited to only one game (like I thought the Wii did with Wii Sports). Read on for my thoughts on Kinect: Adventures lower down.
The only drawback is that there is a lack of games right now, but there are the essentials (Sports, Fitness, Fighting, Cute-Animal-Cuddliness) which all make it worth getting, but for the money it may be worth waiting until there is more content. But I will happily get my moneys-worth here.
However, I would like to point out that a Wii would be considering expensive if you only played Wii Sports… Well that reasoning helps me sleep at night!
Kinect: Adventures – Outta the box
Kinect: Adventures is the equivalent to Wii Sports, it comes with Kinect from GO and is a similar sports game, but Adventures has a difference.
I love Kinect: Adventures, mostly because it isn’t just Kinect: Sports (while Kinect Sports is very good, it’s not new). With these games, you use your whole body to jump, dodge, duck, slide, hit, smack, fly, side-step, and ride down rapids.
Kinect: Adventures – Breakdown
Kinect: Adventures include five different game modes:
- 20,000 Leaks
- River Rush
- Rally Ball
- Reflex Ridge
- Space Pop
20,000 leaks is the least active of the five, you are in a glass box and the nasty fish are trying to kill you by putting holes in the glass and you must cover them quickly. Sounds simple, but it is fun and can get hectic.
River Rush is the one we’ve all seen from E3, where you jump on a raft and ride down the rapids grabbing as many pins and catching some air. This one is great fun, though takes some getting used to, ye know, ‘cause you’re on a raft.
Rally Ball is another one from E3: the ‘Human Breakout’. You stand at one end, facing down against boxes! Of doom! You must play dodge ball with animate boxes and hitting power-ups to multiply the amount of balls on the field.
Reflex Ridge. My favourite! You stand on this platform and pull the bars to start, you race through the course facing up against many obstacles and you’ve got to dodge them, be it side-stepping, ducking or jumping. You’ve also got to stretch your body to grab all the pins. Awfully tiring, great fun.
Space Pop involves you in space with bubbles! Of doom! That fly in from all corners and all sides, you collect them by stepping back and forth, side to side and flapping your arms to fly upwards. I’m not sure exactly why you’re doing this, but it’s quite fun. This one also isn’t too active, but still fun.
All game modes include jump-in multiplayer, where you can be playing your fun game of Rally Ball, then your friend jumps beside you and the camera shakes over to accommodate for the extra weight—I mean person. Multiplayer on all games can be fun, though it’s noteworthy that Reflex Ridge is really the only one where it’s truly competitive, unless you wanna smack your friend in the eye. Twice.
Overall, Kinect is excellent. I prefer it over the Wii (which I’ve also got) and Playstation Move (though I’ve never touched a PS3). The lack of controllers really makes a difference, because it tracks your entire body, which people seem to be forgetting as an important aspect. It’s fantastic and really fun. It also [according to the advert] tracks over 50,000 points in your body.