The lights are on
One of the games revealed at Microsoft’s Kinect event was a sports-themed minigame collection that, in this instance, pits boys against their mortal enemy: girls. During the demonstration, we saw a handful of games, including a hurdle race, javelin toss, regular ol’ footrace, volleyball, bowling, and soccer match. Players took turns in each of the games, with the victors earning points for their gender. (There were four people demoing it, two males and two females, so it looked like about as even a matchup as you could hope for.)How did it look? While the animations weren’t as herky-jerky as Kudo Tsunoda’s infamous sole-baring Natal debut from last E3, they could still stand to use a lot of polish. Bowling in particular was problematic, with characters reaching for balls that leapt to the Avatars’ hands and stuck there like magnets. The games themselves looked accessible and simple, which is clearly what Microsoft is shooting for in this case. As we see more games using Avatars in conjunction with Kinetic, we might start seeing the limitations of these simple models.Perhaps the most impressive thing about the game was the play-by-play commentary. At this point we don’t know if it’s actually in the game or was just put there for the demo, but it was lively and surprisingly accurate as these things go. Player names were often called out, and there wasn’t any of the audio hiccupping that typically accompanies such personalization.Ultimately, aside from the boys against girls gimmick used at the event, this one looks like just about every sports-minigame collection we’ve all made fun of on other platforms. Perhaps we’ll have a revelation when we check it out first-hand, but at first glance it seems like another take on a stale theme.
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