Kinect “not so final” impressions

It’s currently 3:20 AM and I just completed a Kinect marathon of epic proportions in order to try and get some coverage for the site. Jarrod’s been bossing me around since he found out I bought the system earlier today and he insisted on me writing some kind of review of the system as a whole. I’ve only messed around with the system for a day, but that should be enough to give you guys a fully competent review right? I must warn you all that I’m dead tired right now, and could start mumbling about anything from videogames to how my habs went from having the  best power-play in the league for the last three years to dead last in a few short weeks. Really, there’s no telling what bs I’ll say. Just take it with a grain of salt and know that more coverage is coming. In the meantime, you can already find four of the most delicious critiques available on the web if you simply hit the back button on your browser and click on one of the freshly released Kinect reviews.

To commence, I have to talk about the launch lineup. Sadly, I can’t be of much help yet. I bought three games, and the fourth game came with the system. Of the four games I played, two were excellent, one was pretty good and the other one was mediocre at best. That’s a pretty good ratio, but the in reality, Kinect has 17 games on the market right now. We’ve only reviewed four so far, however, we’ve touched on many of the major games Kinect has to offer. Plus, there were four different kinds of games. Hopefully (I’ll use this word a lot, I have like 3.5 words in my english vocabulary) Jarrod will be able to buy some more varied games tomorrow. In a perfect world, the prick won’t buy any games I’ve already reviewed and concentrate on ones we don’t have. But who knows, that’s a guy who’ll buy the same comic twice every second week to be “special”. If I had any peculiar request, I’d like to hear about the following three games. Motion Sports, because I want to know how it measures up to its first party counter-part. Kinectimals, because it’s so damn cute! Finally, I really want Jarrod to play Kinect Joy Ride, as I’m curious to see how crappy the game is. Honestly, who wants to play a racing game without being able to control the gas? The bottom line is, its doubtful that we’ll be able to cover every launch game. However, I think it’s pretty fair to say that the Kinect’s lineup is pretty solid for a brand new system.

The hardware I find very interesting. Not only can you use your whole body, but the system for the most part captures everything perfectly. Like any system though, it’s the games that will inevitably decide the faith of the system. Some games will use the Kinect’s full potential, others will aim for a quick cash in. I’m curious to see if this will ever be used with regular games. I don’t think it will work, but I’ve been wrong before. Perhaps we could even see a combo of Kinect and regular controllers in the future? I see no reason why this wouldn’t be possible.

Kinect also includes voice-recognition. I usually don’t have much success with these type of programs. Either it’s because of my accent, or simply my lack of manly hood in my voice.  With Kinect, there doesn’t seem to be any problem. When I shout “X-Box, Play Disc”, the system does just that. Now is that really quicker then using buttons….. not really, but it does prove useful when you don’t have a controller around and want to play Kinect games anyway. I haven’t tried the voice-chat features yet, nor did I try any video conferencing. I’ll have to wait till Jarrod gets a system to see how that works. Some neat potential there.

The setup is extremely simple if you have the new slim 360. Simply plug Kinect into the back of your console and voila, you’re done. However, if you have the old 360, you’ll need to plug an additional power supply in the wall. I live in a tiny appartment. In my living room, I have a couch, a lazy boy type sofa and a mini coors light fridge for refreshments. My room is about 10 feet large by 13 feet long (that was calculated by the scientific method of walking accross the room counting my footsteps). Kinect requires at least 6 feet of space in both directions. You’re not supposed to have any furniture in that space too, but my system seems to work just fine and I didn’t bother to move anything. It does prove a bit challenging to play multiplayer games, but doable none the less. You have to have enough space before you invest in Kinect. I know I wouldn’t have had enough space in my old high-school setup. Boy do I not miss my  13 inch TV.

That about covers everything for now. I’m not a big motion fan, but I believe I am qualified to judge them. I’ve had hands-on time with the Move at E3, own a Wii since launch so there’s not really anything out there that I haven’t tried. I still prefer my Halo‘s, Mass Effect‘s and Ratchet and Clank‘s with a regular controller. When you need some motion loving however, I’m pretty sure Kinect will have the most to offer down the line. Then again, I do wear pink Xbox 360 boxers and write love poems to Bill Gates every night. Take this with a grain of salt.

8 thoughts on “Kinect “not so final” impressions”

  1. I’m still really skeptical about Kinect, even after release. 150$ seems like a stretch for it….and Dance Central seems to be the only excellent launch title, which is unfortunately not my thing. Was really looking forward to Sonic Free Riders, but after seeing it in action I was disappointed in the control recognition and the Kinect as a whole. Is the sensor itself a bit laggy or does it depend on the game at hand?

  2. I haven’t tried Sonic Riders, from what I read, it got good reviews. Ahmed, you’re a big Wii Sports fan from what I recall, I’m pretty sure you would eat up Kinect Sports. I messed around a bit with the title and it’s eating on me more and more. Soccer is truly in a league of its own. I played some more Table Tennis and that too is not half bad actually. I now have the hang of Bowling so that too is awesome.

    For the 150$ price mark, if you love motion games, its not that bad considering you don’t need to buy any extra controllers. I don’t think the Wii nor the Move had a launch this good. Again, you got 3 excellent launch titles here. The advantage that I can give to the Wii and Move is that they have a much stronger packed-in game.

    1. Hopefully this week I will be able to get my hands on a Kinect and games, and then we can wrap up a more complete outlook at the device and its initial software lineup. I’m excited enough to plunk down $150, and I know Sarina will really be into this…even if she doesn’t realize it yet ;)

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