Posted by Caitlyn Muncy on Jun 10, 2011

The Microsoft Kinect Experience At E3 [E3 2011]

Microsoft gave us a chance to jump around with the Kinect and several of the new games that we will see coming out soon. As we all know, the Kinect lets you interact with the screen without the need for a controller, but it wasn’t until now that I was really impressed. The game titles I got to demo included Disneyland, Star Wars, Dance Central 2, Kinect Fun Labs, and Sports Season 2.

Disneyland is about as close to bringing the actual Disneyland into your home as you can get. The park has been completely replicated on this game, and you have the ability to go virtually wherever you want. The actors and actresses from the actual park did the voices for these characters as well, so you really are getting the full Disney experience. Walking up to the Disney characters, you wave to start conversation, and can give them a hug. Depending on who it is, their individual personality will show through; Peter Pan will act as any young boy would to a hug, by acting as if you were slathered in cooties. Each mini-game is inspired from an actual ride in Disneyland. Peter Pan’s flight transports you to Never Land and has you soaring through the air. Moving your arms like an airplane, you control your direction left and right, and flapping your arms will take you higher, while crouching down will take you lower.

Star Wars on the Kinect was definitely one of my favorites, as I grew up with the original movies and had dreams of becoming a Jedi. This game not only fulfilled my childhood dreams, but also let me use a lightsaber to hack things up. On screen, you hold the lightsaber in your right hand, and use your left hand to use the force. By leaning forward with your arms behind you, you can force run towards your next victim. You can choose to either have melee combat with opponents, or use the force and destroy them from afar. You must also use the force to lift objects that are in your way when travelling. There is a chance that you’ll get a little drunk with Jedi power, but it’s best to not get too greedy, as we know where that can lead. This is definitely a game worth keeping an eye out for and should make an appearance in Q4 2011.

Playing Dance Central 2 was definitely a highlight for the Kinect as well. The newest feature for this upcoming game is that you may now play simultaneously with a second player, or with a group of up to four. The first in this series was still a lot of fun, but being able to be beside a friend and play has made this much more appealing. Even if you decide that you want to enter the game after a song has already started, you can jump in without any problem of the Kinect reading your movements. I’m a little sorry to say that my dance moves weren’t the best, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good time. This is definitely something I’m going to look forward to, and we will be seeing this game on the shelves in Q4 2011 as well.

Kinect Fun Labs is definitely going to be a hit for anyone who wants scan in special items, or would like a customized avatar. There are many different games such as Bobble Head, where you can create a bobble head of yourself, Googly Eyes, where you can scan in an item, and make it into a googly-eyed monster, Kinect Me, where you can scan in yourself and make a perfect replica of yourself to be used as an avatar, and several others as well. This is already available as it released on June 6th.

One of the newer games released for the Kinect this year at E3 was Sports Season 2. I cannot say that I’m even remotely fond of sports, but this game was actually pretty fun. It was even informative enough that I learned a little bit in the process of playing the game. The sports that I had the chance to try out were football and golf; neither of which I’m fond of in real life. These virtual versions helped me to understand how these sports work, and were actually pretty entertaining. You don’t have to worry about not knowing what you’re doing, as there are lights and signals that will instruct you along the way. You can expect to see this game come out around the holiday season of this year.

I do have an Xbox at home, but sadly am without a Kinect. It’s looking like I’m going to have to commandeer one from a friend to play these games when they come out. There was no reason for me to like the Kinect before, but I gladly admit that I am not a believer.

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