Lets Talk about Games...Baby...
It’s painfully obvious the Kinect launch isn’t for the core gamer. You won’t find a Gears of War where you can use your couch for cover, or you won’t find a Call of Duty where online multiplayer has you running around your living room. What you will find are games that appeal to a softer crowd. Kinect Adventures is a game with various mini games like Rafting, the infamous Rally Ball, and Space Pop where you’ll pop balls in 3D space. Kinect Sports is the answer to Wii sports with a soccer mini game, bowling, ping pong, or volley ball. Finally there’s Joy Ride, a cart racer style game where you earn points for tricks completed. All three of these games utilize your Avatar to bring you into the experience and all three have their moments - but in the end - they are just a collection of mini-games with no real depth to them.
Coop decided to give Joy Ride on Kinect a try the night before he got married. He quickly learned the game had a lot in common with his wedding night
The good news about these games are they are co-op friendly - at least in the sense that a lot of them can be played by two people at the same time. Players can team up for volleyball or soccer to take on the computer and in Kinect Adventures there are several mini games that require coordination to accomplish.
Sonic Free Riders
There’s a few other retail titles that have co-op as well - Sonic Free Riders is one such game that offers two co-op modes. The first mode, called Tag Mode, has players fused together on a board where you must lean, jump, and gather goodies in unison. The more synchronized you are the faster you can go. In Relay mode both players aren’t racing at the same time, instead after each lap the other player must jump in. The game is pretty fun, but steering takes a bit of getting used to - it almost seems to sensitive and I tended to “over lean” - I’m sure grandpa would throw his back out playing this one.
All the Sonic characters are on display here, there’s a single player story to work through, and many different game modes to enjoy. Once you get the hang of the controls the gameplay is actually a bit addictive, my daughter was watching me play and laughing as I jumped around the living room. I even picked her up at one point and the game had no trouble recognizing my motions.
Dance Central doesn’t necessarily have a co-op mode, but it does allow other players do be your background dancers. They won’t be scored on their performance, but they can join in on the fun and get plenty of laughs at the pictures the game takes. Really Dance Central is the pinnacle of what the Kinect is capable of - it tracks your entire body, it knows the position of all your limbs, and it gives immediate feedback when what you do isn’t matching the on screen avatar.
Dance Central is hands down the most fun I had with Kinect. I can’t wait to break it out at future parties and get the whole room going. There’s a wide variety of dance moves to do, it promises to offer more to download, and there’s even “dance training” to guide you through it, slowly if needed.
Seriously, I’m going to have a Bel Biv Devoe dance off during my next party.