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Are you getting Kinect this xmas?
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:33 am    Post subject: Are you getting Kinect this xmas? Reply with quote

Apparently the number2 most popular item this xmas! Just underneath that other bargain - the bargain priced *iPad. In this video we someone successfully complete a racing game without actually moving. Some people are saying it's a fake though?

I haven't seen anything to get me too excited yet. I still dust off the Wii fairly regularly, but I suppose a lot of people only have the one console and so might not have enjoyed some proper family gaming nights.

Using gestures and voice commands to navigate the menu is interesting, my first reaction is to dismiss it. However, my settee eats remotes like crazy so I would probably end up using it for listening to music and watching films. Playing Read Dead Redemption using my hand as a pistol? I don't think so.




*still, it's good to see Android devices coming to take on the iPad and break its monopoly. For example, the new Samsung Galaxy Tab. It's a lot smaller, the screen is worse, the battery life is shorter, it's slow and it costs more. Woo! Where do I get me one of those Wink

It looks like a decent attempt at what is bound to become the living room computer of tomorrow. We just need to fast forward a couple of years until they sell for $199 so we can all have one. Not that Apple will drop their price of course, they just don't care Smile

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colinvella



Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 82



PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm getting it mostly for the missus and my daughter. I'm not really into motion games myself, but it is certainly a nice gadget to have, especially since there are people out there making PC drivers for it and whatnot. I think we'll be seeing plenty of interesting stuff in the upcoming months.
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Konedima
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Already got one - however as my budget is limited I haven't got any games other than the pack-in. Disappointed to see that the voice recognition is disabled in Australia - apparently it can't understand our accents (two notes though - first, we don't all sound like Paul Hogan and second, if you have a US Xbox Live account it can understand you fine).

Setup is a bit annoying - turns out there's not enough room in the pit of despair I usually play games in, so I had to venture forth into this "natural light" (it's overrated). I have an older Xbox so I had to plug into a power point (the slim 360 has a special Kinect port which provides more power). Then I had to move some furniture around. Okay, set up enough to play...

...of course since I actually want to play as me, instead of it picking a default avatar, I have to spend five minutes standing around facing various directions trying to give it a better look at my lovely face (also known as the "destroyer of worlds"). And it still won't recognise me at least half the time. Screw it then, let's get back to the game.

So, Kinect Adventures. As an example of what the tech can do, it's quite good. There's barely any lag between my movements and my avatar's (or the default one when it can't recognise me). Do something it doesn't like (put your arm behind your back, or just stick any body part anywhere the camera can't see it) and your avatar will contort itself in various ways - but it's not like I didn't expect it.

As a game, however... it's a massive gimmick. It ranges from the inane and extremely boring (Space Pop) to the slow and boring (20,000 Leaks), to the "why the hell did they think jumping was a good idea to give you speed?" (Reflex Ridge) to the go over there... come back... now over there again... JUMP!... now come back... (River Rush) to the OMFG THIS IS MOVING TOO FAST *** AM I DOING (Rally Ball).

It has hop in/hop out (literally, to join you just walk into the sensor's view) multiplayer, but I didn't get to test that as what with my severe lack of contact with the outside world, I haven't had the chance to get someone else who wants to look like a massive twat (it happens, there's no denying it... but when you're the one playing you don't have to look at yourself) join in. That, and I probably didn't have enough room anyway.

That's not to say it's not fun (well, Space Pop and 20,000 Leaks aren't, but the rest are), it's just extremely shallow, with only five mini-games... and that's it. At least Wii Sports had six, and the different side activities for each sport (knocking over dozens of pins at once is always fun). It certainly does get you moving, and yes, you will sweat, which someone like myself who leaves the house four times a week on average probably isn't a pretty sight.

Next time I get paid I'll probably pick up another game or two... although that brings me to the problem of game selection. When Sonic Free Riders is one of the least casual games in your launch lineup, you have a problem. I'm not saying casual isn't an audience worth going for (considering its size, it certainly is) but I don't think you should alienate "proper" gamers in the process. Although to be fair, the Wii wasn't exactly a bastion of hardcore gaming at its launch (and by no means is it now), but there have been some good games for it that aren't too casual.

So my conclusion? The tech is good, but look at the games that are out. If there's nothing out now that interests you, hold off until there is.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obligatory video of someone getting whacked in the head while playing.



To be fair, I think everyone in our house has had a Wii controller in the face at some point, including Sunny the dog Smile
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Konedima
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poo Bear wrote:
Obligatory video of someone getting whacked in the head while playing.

At least the videos of Kinect aren't as NSFW as those dirty stick-with-ball-on-the-end Playstation Move things.
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Rup



Joined: 19 May 2003
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Location: London, UK



PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got mine out of the box. There was a 'wow' when it got to the end of the setup and the little man on the screen copied what I was doing - that is pretty cool.

But maybe it's 'cos I've had a drink or two but I did find it annoyingly laggy, particularly on Rally Ball (essentially human Break-Out) and on Reflex Ridge (jump, duck, sidestep oncoming obstacles) where you don't get as much time to react as some of the other games. I still noticed it on River Rush but you do have enough time to account for it and predict it.

I didn't think 20,000 leaks was that bad - it's not exactly Twister but that's the general thing they were aiming for - but I'm not a huge fan of Space Pop (flap your arms to float about, but the 'drop down' action had a huge delay to it). And you play this all as a Buzz-Lightyear-ised version of your Avatar, which was slightly odd. And I'm a bit pushed for space too and it's forever telling you to move further away.

And as for looking like a prat - at the end of each minigame it takes photos and shows you exactly how much you do.



I agree there's not much to the bundled game - I've played it for about an hour and I'm not sure I'd rush back. I'll see if anything else looks tempting at the shops tomorrow but what this would be really good for - fast reflex games - are exactly the sort that would get killed by the lag I was getting. Maybe I didn't have enough light? I'll give daylight a go if I get time tomorrow.

You also get a new Kinect-based dashboard. This works OK for basic stuff but once there's more than 6-8 options on the screen I found it a bit fiddly. Or it might just take a bit of getting used to I guess.
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Slyh



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just played Dance Central for the first time. Wow, that game is hard. I only played 2 songs, both in easy mode, and I had really trouble keeping up with those (simple) moves.

Anyway, it seems to be a really fun game. A lot more fun than the Kinect Adventures game. You should definitely check it out.
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Rup



Joined: 19 May 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's definitely next on my list. I've just paid off a frightening Christmas credit card bill, though, so I'm trying to resist for a while. I'm not very quick at picking up movements so I expect I'll be useless until I've had *lots* of practice.

I'm wondering whether I'm wrong thinking there was lag in Kinect Adventures and it's actually just me. When I want to do something in a game I'm used to it happening as soon as I think: I move my thumb and the controller gets the message. When I want to jump over a barrier in Kinect Adventures I shift 85-90kg not just my thumb, so maybe that's where the lag's coming from. That said I did ju jitsu when I was at uni and I still have reasonably sharp reflexes from that, so whilst I could buy that for jumping I don't buy it for lag moving my arms in the breakout game. Don't know.
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend got EA Sports Active 2 with the heart monitor, because it's monitoring your heart rate it really knows how far to push you to really get you sweating. Wink
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Slyh



Joined: 25 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rup wrote:
Yeah, it's definitely next on my list. I've just paid off a frightening Christmas credit card bill, though, so I'm trying to resist for a while. I'm not very quick at picking up movements so I expect I'll be useless until I've had *lots* of practice.

The movements from the first two songs were relatively simple. Step to the side, step back, step to the other side, back again. And, yeah, that was surprisingly difficult at first. Though in the end it took only 2 minutes to learn it properly, I guess.
But aren't challenges the thing that make games so much fun? :)

Rup wrote:
I'm wondering whether I'm wrong thinking there was lag in Kinect Adventures and it's actually just me. When I want to do something in a game I'm used to it happening as soon as I think: I move my thumb and the controller gets the message. When I want to jump over a barrier in Kinect Adventures I shift 85-90kg not just my thumb, so maybe that's where the lag's coming from. That said I did ju jitsu when I was at uni and I still have reasonably sharp reflexes from that, so whilst I could buy that for jumping I don't buy it for lag moving my arms in the breakout game. Don't know.

No, it definitely had a huge lag. I would say at least 500ms, maybe more, which was quite annoying. But you get used to it, as you already said. :) The problem is, that reaction games like Kinect Adventures can not compensate the lag properly. They can only react after you reacted. In Dance Central you can really mirror the dances in real-time, as the game can compensate the lag. It doesn't really matter if the game tells you 500ms sooner or later that you're doing something wrong. And it can just take the lag into account when calculating the correctness of you moving.
The silhouette of the player is shown in the upper-left corner all the time, so you can see that the Kinect sensor actually always is about half a second or more behind. But as the game knows this, it can handle it properly.
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hair65



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