Tagged: Kinect

Harry Potter gonna make you sweat, sweat!

No other literary property had such a strong motion gaming presence at E3 this year as Harry Potter. Whether it’s the bicep-busting reps you’ll work through with Wonderbook: Book of Spells or the full-body engagement of Harry Potter Kinect, you can’t enter the world of J.K. Rowling in 2013 without breaking a sweat!

Wonderbook: Book of Spells presents the perfect mix of upper body workout with the lower body flexibility of yoga. Work that wand arm to defeat mischievous dragons while holding a perfect Baddha Konasana pose with your legs! Don’t forget to switch hands between routines or you’re left side might need a shot of Engorgio!

Ready for a high impact workout?! You’ll swear P90X stands for Potter-times-90 once Harry Potter Kinect is done with you. Relive classic scenes from all hefty 8 books as you jump, lunge, duck, and swing through this game’s 30 levels spread across 4-6 hours of action! Play alongside your favorite characters as HPK puts YOU in the game… and under the Sorting Hat. Change spells with your powerful voice by yelling out ‘FURNUNCULUS’, ‘INCENDIO’ or ‘RIDDIKULUS’! Cool down after a tough workout with some herbology in Professor Sprout’s gardens.

She broke your heart with the Harry Potter novels and in 2013 J.K. Rowling is back to break your ass!

XBLA Kinect games on sale this week!

But really all that means is Rhythm Party is at a financially acceptable asking price so go get it and use the savings on DLC song packs! Or buy one of these other games, most of them are actually pretty good… except Hole in the Wall, it’s pretty bad. Prices good through May 21st, oh, and you have to be a Gold member too.

Fruit Ninja Kinect 560 (30% off)
Hole in The Wall 400 (50% off)
Leedmees 400 (50% off)
Double Fine Happy Action Theater 400 (50% off)
Rhythm Party 400 (50% off)
Haunt 400 (50% off)

Now Playing: Rhythm Party (Xbox 360 Kinect)

As a Kinect launch title Dance Central was neat but the more I played it I realized that it’s not a dancing game at all, it’s a dancing instructor. You do exactly the motion that is asked of you and are penalized for any creative flair you may add. While this could legitimately make you a good dancer it’s not what I want out of a dancing game. Games are about living out fantasies and when I’m in front of a camera, about to perform for a video game I’m already a really good dancer. Rhythm Party embraces this delusion by not demanding anything too specific of its players and for that I’ve come to cherish it.

Essentially it’s the Easy Mode from Konami’s Kinect title, DanceMasters, extruded out into a full game. There are no 3D dancers to mimic, your goal is to make sure some body part hits the circular targets that appear around your in-game visage in time with the music. Along with simply hitting the markers on screen you’ll occasionally have to hold on one for a few seconds or make directional swipes when a series of arrows appear.

While that’s all it takes to move through Rhythm Party’s meager playlist and unlock higher difficulties the game is tracking (and scoring) much more of your movement. Stepping around the play space, jumping, spinning, posing and more are all tracked with optional in-game challenges to hit a certain number of those moves in a song. Hitting consecutive targets and throwing in extra moves builds up a score multiplier while “special effect” moments add bonus points and unexpected costumes over your in-game self. Suddenly you’ll be dancing around with a pair of fairy wings on your back or encased in an Iron Giant style robot suit. Each song has its own special effect that matches the style of its well-animated background and is honestly, usually, quite silly.

Silly is the best way to describe Rhythm Party and that’s not meant to be condescending. Though there’s depth to be found in the scoring and motion tracking, it’s really an excuse to dance around to music and watch crazy things happen on the screen. That frivolity makes it all the more disappointing that there’s no multiplayer mode at all. Even a take-a-turn high score competition would’ve been enough but at the least it’s easy to restart a song and swap places.

Where Rhythm Party feels the most thin is in its playlist. For the regular price of $10 you get ten songs: 3 short cut U.S. pop tracks from the Village People, Bobby Brown, and Lady Gaga, 1 kid tune, 2 that feature Vanilla Ice and 4 that would sound at home in DDR. I have come to enjoy all of them (except YMCA) but it’s very much up to personal taste if you feel like you got ripped off. You can also spend up to an extra $12 to add 12 more songs through DLC but most of those are from the same artists here and there’s no official way to preview them without buying.

Rhythm Party isn’t deep or technical or even very challenging. It’s got a bare-bones set of features and songs. It doesn’t even make it easy to play with friends which you’d expect from a game with “Party” in its title. Somehow, though, it transcends all those quibbles for me by enabling my delusions for short bursts of silly dancing — I mean, really good dancing! You can spend more on DLC but for ten dollars I can’t think of a Kinect game that’s made me as happy as Rhythm Party.

This review was originally posted at PEGreviews.com which is currently on hiatus

Hulk Hogan pre-order bonus limp like 60 year old Wrestler

I’m normally not one to post about pre-order bonuses (anymore) but this one jumped out at me this morning for how incredibly bad it is. Anyone excited enough about Hulk Hogan’s Main Event to pre-order the Kinect title surely expects — and rightfully deserves — a better t-shirt than this. I mean, half of the guy’s shtick was that pre-ripped yellow shirt that he would violently escape from like it was his opponent. Can you imagine how many of those shirts are out there right now, saturated in body oil, beer and sweat, refusing to decompose in a landfill? And here ya go fella, have a boring black shirt with a logo hastily sprayed on it. Such a missed opportunity: the game could even have prompted you with ‘Escape from Your Shirt to Begin‘! Groundbreaking stuff.

Not to be forgotten: A Kinect demo of Leedmees

See how long it’s been since I’ve done this writing thing? I totally forgot a whole other Kinect demo I played the other day and it’s not for the game’s presumed forgetability. Leedmees is exactly Lemmings-meets-Kinect. Not that any of us were growing up, pining for the far-flung future date when we’d be able to move clueless imbeciles around by leaning back and forth, but it’s an application of Kinect’s technology that hasn’t been focused on until now.

Really, there’s not much more to say. Like The Gunstringer, the action is dialed way back to account for any lag or flakiness of the Kinect sensor so nothing in the demo’s handful of stages was particularly challenging or rewarding. Neat describes it best, a pleasant use of the hardware with a decent art style carried out over what looks to be an appreciable number of levels with a two player co-op mode to boot. For $10 it doesn’t seem like a bad deal at all and I’ll keep it in mind for the next time I’ve got Points to spare and I’m in the mood for a puzzle game.