Despite these factors I did passably well and moved on to attempt to have a go at Kinectimals
. Complications arose almost immediately after making that decision. By now a group of five had assembled and were shouting instructions, making me feel we were one Richard O'Brien short of a Crystal Maze. I was either about to get locked out or, worse, turned into an Internet meme, laughed at by pompous, relentless men snorting ?Look at her, Wilfred! She thinks she can talk to 360s!? and ?What an imbecile!? as they twirl their moustaches. Imaginary bastards.
With a last cry of ?Oh just fucking eject it.? Kinectimals
goes in and gets going. Thankfully, developer Frontier Developments, had decided to go with a cuddly tiger cub rather than something like EyePet
's missing linkimal as their poster child - and it is, indeed, adorable. I was sickeningly enamoured by its little eyes, it's ruffling fur, bounding and playfulness. I believe I may have, at one point, squealed and called him ?Wuvly". I'm as ashamed as you.
Out of the available options, SPOnG went for the black panther cub, presumably to show their solidarity with the hardcore black rights protesters of the mid-to-late 60s. They had named him Dick, presumably because they're immature. My Dick's lovely. I like playing with Dick. You see how this works.
Dick chased the tennis balls, romped about adorably and fell over in an over-saturated forest. I brushed him with my left hand, I tickled him and stroked him until he purred and when I had Dick nuzzling my face I was a very happy young lady indeed. (Okay, I'll stop that now.)
All of the bits with Dick were great (I'm sorry, really I am. They
named it!) but again the ropey sensing made challenges designed for small children a struggle not dissimilar to that experienced by ghosts attempting to make contact with mediums: randomly flapping at curtains and throwing out obscure clues rather than just saying ?I'm your Uncle Billy. There's some pornography in the linen cupboard that'd probably be worth quite a bit on eBay.? Except in my case I'm attempting to make contact with a series of balanced totems with a fluorescent pig unsuccessfully, and, like the aforementioned ghosts, I got angry and sulked.
Angry, sulky children who cannot throw overarm and like playing with tigers are not going to further the success of the human species. Ban this sick filth.
Lastly I stuck on Dance Central
and had a bit of a dance. Short of Samba Di Amiga
this was my first experience of dance games and, for the first time with Kinect, actually started enjoying myself. I danced to Funky Town, Soulja Boy and Satisfaction, proving that there's a reasonably wide choice of enjoyable tracks. Even on the Easy difficulty setting, I laughed repeatedly at my own inability to even simulate the 'disco fever' dance beloved of party-goers of a certain age everywhere.
I was all set to suggest we get a party of young folks over and 'shake our groove thang' until a more knowledgeable gentleman informed me that it is not possible to have a group dance. Backing dancers require only Bez-like shambling to be recognised and neither receive awards or have to follow the beat. Just like Bez. So, there go my dreams of a new Rock Band
breed of party, as I'm not the type of person to want the whole room to stop and watch me dance for them and, frankly, I don't think those who do should be encouraged.
Kinect is difficult to use, annoying and feels less innovative than it probably is. Is it like the Wii? Sort of, but with your whole body. Have people stopped feeling upset by how much they spent/wasted on the Wii? No. Will that put them off buying this? Who can say; fickle sorts and early adopters abound. And with that, I shall keep my £129.99 firmly in my pocket and go back to reading my newspaper with my pipe.
In closing for now
Thanks Pocket. Very uplifting.
Back to Tim. Right, it's late and you've been reading a wall of text - bless you. This text was embargoed until 04:01am GMT on November 4th. Just in time for the launch in the USA to go ahead with much whooping and marketing jiggery pokery in Time Square and elsewhere.
As I mentioned, we received the review unit and games on Tuesday November 2nd. It was my intention to give different writers 'a go' on the system to see if we could apply some balance.
Frankly, I feel that we need more time to get used to Kinect if, as we've been lead to believe, it is a game-changer. Microsoft has made it very plain that for its corporate heart, Kinect is as big as as console launch.
I personally hope that the company retracts this - or at least underplays it. Kinect is not a console launch. It is a clever launch of Primesense's technology aimed at a demographic that has £129.99 to spend on a nicely designed piece of kit that won't look out of place in the kind of living room that has an HD projector or an HD-TV.