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Have you ever wanted to be the controller? Be able to use your body to control what is actually happening on screen? You can now finally do that with Kinect. And more than likely, the first game you play will be Kinect Adventures. Is Kinect Adventures just another lousy pack in game or is it the Kinect game to have?
First off, Kinect support in Kinect Adventures works, it really does. That is by far the biggest thing about the game that will wow you. You’re choosing menu options with your hands, holding no controller. At first, it really does blow your mind a bit.
After the initial mind blowing, you’ll probably hop directly into Adventure mode and begin your adventure. This is where Kinect Adventures quickly loses its luster. Kinect Adventures’ Adventure (I hate the word adventure) mode is comprised of five separate mini-games, which you play repeatedly for about five hours. The mini-games being Rallyball (The game where the ball is bouncing at you and you have to swat it back at targets), 20,000 Leaks (You have to cover up leaks in a tank), Space Pop (You float in the air and collect Kinect Adventure badges), River Rush (You’re on a raft… and you collect Kinect Adventure badges), and finally, Reflex Ridge (You’re on a moving platform and have to dodge obstacles, while collecting Kinect Adventure badges).
Three of these games (Rallyball, River Rush, and Reflex Ridge) are fairly fun the first time you play them. They make good use of the Kinect and are challenging all at the same time. The other two are just ridiculously unsatisfying. They make good use of the Kinect like the others, showing off how well it tracks you, but all you’re really doing for about 5-10 minutes is sticking your arm/leg out into the air or flapping your arms up and down in Space Pop’s case.
Once you complete the first level in Adventure mode (entitled basic), you unlock the intermediate adventure mode. Once you unlock it you think “Great! More games for me to play, maybe they’ll be better than some of the others.” Wrong. As a matter of fact, they’re the same games. No matter how much you play Kinect Adventures, you don’t unlock any more mini-games. It’s the same five games throughout your entire time with the game. They try to place interesting variants on the games but fail miserably as it all boils down to ‘do the same thing you’ve done multiple times and then do it again.’ Even with the more fun games like Reflex Bridge, you begin to hate it because you’ve done the same thing about eight times already.
Mutiplayer is more than likely the thing in Kinect Adventures that people will have the most fun with. It, like most of the game, won’t be something you can delve into for hours but it’s fun to play in quick spurts. Unsurprisingly, some of the games are rather boring to play in multiplayer. In particular, 20,000 Leaks. 20,000 Leaks is a rather terrible game in the first place but once you add another player, it gets worse. You’re literally just standing there, placing your hand over a hole. At least in Space Pop there’s some actual competition and skill involved. There’s nothing to 20,000 Leaks but sad boredom.
On your journey through Kinect Adventures, you’ll unlock “Living Statues” which are little statues that you can take control of with both your voice and movement. Unlike the actual games in Kinect Adventures, this is fun to do and just plain hilarious at times. The voice reorganization doesn’t seem to be able to track the deepness of your voice so well but that only makes it funnier. There are 11 Living Statues to collect throughout the game and almost all of them have a certain, undeniable charm that I loved.
Kinect Adventures also randomly takes photos of you while you play, similar to every other Kinect game. These photos are nothing special and are mostly just pictures of the player not having fun.
Menus seem to be something that will be very important in any Kinect game. Like other Kinect games, you control these menus by moving your hand over the thing you want to select and then hold it there for a few seconds. This isn’t nothing game breaking but it further proves that it’s going to be near impossible to do menus in a Kinect game and have them work quickly and not be annoying in some shape or form.
It seems like Microsoft made five separate tech demos for Kinect then after making them said to each other “Well why don’t we just throw it into a game and sell it with Kinect?” Because that is all Kinect Adventures is, five mini-games thrown into a full game and given tons of fluff to make it seem like a full product, when in actuality, you can purchase better things off of Xbox Live Arcade for ten dollars.