Kinect Review: Kinect and Kinect Adventures – Nave360

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Published on December 31st, 2010 | by Charlie

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Review: Kinect and Kinect Adventures

Kinect

Release Date: 4 November (US), 10 November (EU) Genre(s): Various Publisher(s): Microsoft Developer: Microsoft Rating: Various

[Rating: 7/10]

We understand our review is well over a month late. I didn’t get my Kinect until Christmas, so what can you do? So Kinect is here, after a couple of years in the waiting. What started out as Project Natal soon turned into Kinect at E3 2010. What I’ll admit is when it was announced as Project Natal, Microsoft were a little over their heads, where you could have “apparently” spoken to a little boy freely, scan in your items, and have a 4 player game of a quiz game. Kinect arrived, and could you do any of that? Well… no, sort of, and no. Project Milo wasn’t even real (way to show off and pretend), I’ve heard there is a game where you can scan some items, but I’ve never played it, and I don’t know where the heck the quiz show game went to. There are 2 huge flaws with Kinect, one you can’t blame, and the other you can. The first is that it needs a lot of play space (it really depends on the game, as for Dance Central, you need around 1.2M of space, but Kinect Adventures needs at least 1.8M). You can’t blame that, as that’s what motion require needs, so unless you want to break your neck, move everything out the way. The other big flaw is that it costs £130/$150, which strangely, it costs more in the UK than it does in the US. One Kinect hardware costs around $56 to make. The fact Microsoft are getting a good $94 profit from us is just darn silly. Yes, the actual Kinect software may have been pricey, but why have we got to be punished for that? We understand that we are getting a free game, but we should really be paying £70/$90, not £130/$150.

This was Project Natal. This is what we never got.

Setting it up is pretty easy. Just take your Kinect out of the box, place it below or above your television screen (mines below as my TV is on the wall), plug it in (it’s a real shame that it has to run off a plug and not the Xbox’s power), and then plug it into the back of the Xbox in one of the USB slots (if you have the old Xbox 360, make sure to add the USB extension provided). The design of it is very sleek and smooth. The black colour is nice, but it would have been great if a wide variety of colours were available at the time of release. Maybe we’ll get some new colours in the future? So the actual software side now. For me, everything works perfectly, so that’s an up. What the Kinect does is fill your play space with so called “harmless” infra-red lights, which allows it to track you wherever you go. When on your Xbox 360 dashboard, you access the Kinect hub by waving at your Kinect, or you can use your voice by saying “Xbox” and the “Kinect”. Through the Kinect Hub, you can access many features you may otherwise do with your controller, such as Play the current disc, check out Inside Xbox, check your achievements, access Zune and Sky, and much more. Through the Kinect Hub, you can also set up facial recognition (one of the things that was real), but if you want facial recognition to work well, you would be wise to test it three times in the morning, afternoon and at night. You can also access some advertisements too that are placed just like in the normal dashboard. Another thing that’s cool is when you put your hand over an item. That item can move different angles on the spot, so it has a sort of 3D look to it. To actually access something, you need to put your hand over an item and keep it there for about 1 second, or you can just say “Xbox” and then the item that you see on the screen, or an item you can remember that can be found somewhere in the hub. In order to move around in the hub, you need to move your hand around the area, or if you wish to move to the next slide, just move your hand to the arrows and drag your hand across, or say “Xbox” and “Next” or “Previous”, or indeed cancel if you wish to do nothing after you’ve said “Xbox”. Once you say “Xbox”, you need to say something in 10 seconds, or the voice command module will turn off until you say “Xbox” again. Once the voice command is up, you don’t have to say “Xbox”, “Xbox”, “Xbox” blah blah blah. Once you see the little

Meet Annie. She is......... Meet Annie.

Kinect is certainly a fun piece of hardware, and no doubt Kinect is going to be around for a little while. So far, however, it hasn’t lived up to expectations shown when it was “Project Natal”. Despite a lot of play space needed, Kinect is certainly worth a play, at least. The selection of games aren’t all amazing, with some that are just fantastic, but some of the games announced for 2011 have really got something to give, especially Project Draco and Forza 4. The pricing for Kinect is outrageous, but depending on what games will be out for Kinect in the future will decide on if the price tag is forgiving. tab below the screen, you can just say single words until the tab disappears.

[Rating: 7/10]

+ Interesting Mechanics

+ Fun for the Whole Family

+ Slim Design

– Lacks some hardcore material

– Too pricey

-/+ Requires a lot of space, but more room means better interactivity

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Kinect Adventures

Release Date: 4 November 2010 (US), 10 November 2010 (EU) Genre(s): Family/Adventure/Sports Publisher(s): Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Good Science Studio Rating: E (Everyone), 3+

[Rating: 6.5/10]

Kinect Adventures is a fun adventure game where you can control your avatar as it takes on all sorts of adventures. With a single player campaign, a free play section and a (sort of) multiplayer section, how good (or bad) is Kinect Adventures? Kinect Adventures has 5 different game types. Here is the list and their strengths and weaknesses in using Kinect.
  • River Rush – This takes your avatar on a raft as you venture down the river, collecting as many tokens as you can. This type requires you to jump in order to reach high places, and to move side to side, avoiding obstacles and to gain extra speed when moving through fans. This type is a little fun, and moving down a steep river has it’s bit of adrenaline, bu there are times your feet could really hurt as you get put under the pressure when you need to move to the side as quickly as possible to earn those tokens.
  • Rally Ball – This will sound silly, but this is my favourite of the lot, solely because this is one of the two you won’t hurt yourself as much as the others. In front of you are targets you need to hit, hidden behind boxes. Sometimes the targets will move, sometimes they won’t. You need to hit the ball above you (the harder, the better) and keep the ball going, making sure you hit the targets. At the same time, you are on a timer, so you really need to get as many or all the points before time runs out. Technically, all you’re doing is hitting a ball, and sometimes, that ball could just multiply into many, in which case, you can just wave your whole body around, and with any luck, you’ll hit most of them. It’s simple and fun.

Do you have to look like a pillock?

  • Reflex Ridge – Another game that will hurt your feet. This one can’ get a little frustrating at times too. You are on a moving platform, and as it moves, you need to avoid shapes by moving to the side or by ducking and jumping. You also need to pick up as many tokens as you can, and if that wasn’t hard enough, you also need to hurry as you are on a timer. Now every time you jump, you move faster, but the more you jump, the more your feet really hurt. Not to mention, every time you are moving to the side to avoid shapes, there’s a possibility you’ll hit that shape anyway. The only time you wont is when you’re right at the edge of your room.
  • 20,000 Leaks – In this one, you are underwater, and for some unknown reason, the fish are trying to drown you, by punching holes in the glass. The aim is to plug the holes in the windows with your hands. You need to complete the wave before time runs out. The more holes you plug, the more points you will earn. This one is rather odd and a little bit difficult. You always have to guess where the holes are, and not all the time will you be able to guess perfectly, because you can’t exactly feel the glass like your avatar.
  • Space Pop – My second favourite. This requires you to flap your wings like a chicken to give you gravity velocity. You need to pop as many bubbles as you than that appear before you. The more that you pop, the more points you get. Bubbles can appear from the side, in front or behind you. This one is pretty neat at times and is very enjoyable. The only downside is, when you are in the air, it is quite hard to move down to get those bubbles below you. You have to wait for your avatar to slowly move down, meaning the bubbles could have gone by then.
There are a few other things which bug me too. Every time you start Kinect Adventures, the start up time takes ages, and the fact if you move out of the sensor, you need to wait about another 10 seconds for the Kinect to track you again is very frustrating. Not only that, but you are also given a default avatar. You always have to change your avatar (if you so want to) every time you start up Kinect Adventures. It will never save the avatar you had the last time you played. Since there are only 5 gameplay types, they can get a little bit repetitive, but it’s good that you are given a bit of a challenge as you progress through the campaign.

Believe it or not, it's not as steep as it looks.

The multiplayer works, but you can only play with people who are your friends, so at this moment, there is no worldwide play (ONLY YOUR FRIENDS) which sucks. Every time you complete a section in the campaign, you are given a small reward, which is nice, but some of them are rather pointless to earn. Kinect Adventures doesn’t really have that lasting appeal, and I only wish this game could have been better. It’s nice that this game was (sort of) free, but there was a lot more that could have been done. It’s as if the people at Kinect Adventures were done a year before Kinect was even out, and in that year, they could have done so much more.

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[Rating 6.5/10]

+ Helps lose weight a bit

+ Some thrilling adventures… sometimes

– Lacks a lasting appeal

– No Worldwide Multiplayer (so much for popping in and out when you wished)

I would also like to say Hello to my friend Ray Butchko, who did have a part in making this game (look out for him in the credits).

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.



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