Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Like to Move It, Move It

According to Wikipedia, Kinect was launched on November 4, 2010.  It took me quite some time to get my hands on one, and when I did I was initially thrilled, and skeptical.  In all honesty, two years later not much has changed.

I love the Kinect.  There is nothing greater than being in the kitchen and controlling my Xbox by calling out, "Next episode!"  (Any parent of young'ens with Netflix can attest to this.)  It is no less loved by me when I am snuggled up under a blanket and want to see that next episode of Tudors without having to move.  Ugh, movement, am I right? ... wait ...  The voice controls are less of my friend when I'm just having a chat and suddenly the Xbox is rewinding my show, or bouncing around menus.  Once my husband said "that's the way it is" and it Bing searched "gay suede shoes," obviously.

I have not really used its functionality on games like Mass Effect 3.  I rarely even remember to hit the buttons to direct my squad; therefore I'm definitely not going to remember to sit on my couch, alone, at night, talking to my television.  Besides I'm not a very direct leader.  I'd be like, "Kaiden, take cover. No, seriously...Kaiden.  Cover.  Ok wait, shoot that guy.  No, that one.  Jeeze.. ok just do whatever you feel is right."

But of course the main point of Kinect would be Kinect games.  And they are fun, like...75% of the time.  The remaining 25% of the time I'm getting frustrated trying to make my Kinect recognize me. Track me. See me.  See my daughter.  Not see my other daughter on the couch just trying to watch.  The Kinect is notoriously fickle, and the fickleness fluctuates depending on what game you're trying to play.  I find no issue doing 2 player on Dance Central, but Kinect Adventures is like, "Nope, no friends for you."  Fruit Ninja is fun for all, as are the Kinect Fun Lab games, but Carnival Games is rarely accommodating.  How does this make any sense?  I actually got rid of The Michael Jackson Experience after one day of play because it was so awful at seeing me that I literally could not even play the game.

Oh yeah. Nothing embarrassing about that.
And I still love it!  I still return to it!  I feel so frustrated when my body is physically too tired to play the games I want to play.  That is a bummer.  And a reminder that perhaps I should be playing a little more often...because I doubt getting winded by Carnival Games is a good sign.  Uhh..*shameface*  But I can hardly play with an audience, because...really.  See image at left.

On the flipside, my husband hates the Kinect.  I can not coerce him into playing any Kinect titles with me.  He has little to no desire to stand up and move to enjoy a gaming experience.  How do you guys feel about it?  Love it?  Hate it?  Forget you have it since you never use it?

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Like Riding A Bike

Wowzers.. I know this is not the first time I've come back and apologized for extended radio silence on our end.  My husband deployed out, so I was away for a few months to be with family.  That put me in a position to be more sane throughout my days - but without internet and therefore no Xbox Live.  Trust me when I say that I was still getting my game on to the best of my ability.

I finally entered the world of smart phone owners, which just means that while I was away I could regularly play the "With Friends" games.  I am awesome at Scramble, and totally suck at Hanging with Friends.  Go figure.  But it keeps me busy.  We also have an iPod so I got totally addicted to Tiny Tower.  I rounded out my gaming with the 3DS, and, as always, Mario is my bestie.

All of these game types got me thinking though, and in the end I realized I was getting used to what I came to think of as no-risk gaming.  Obviously the only danger in losing in the "with friends" games is just the shame of losing to your friends (in some cases over and over...)  But my fascination with Tiny Tower really got to me.  There was absolutely no way to lose in that game.  There are no consequences for not checking in, not clicking your building, not stocking the shelves.  It's a bonafide time waster.. And I still kind of love it.

And then there's Mario.  I love Mario.  He's been around a long time, and he continues to be fun and interesting.  But, again, there is no punishment for dying.  You don't lose progress.  You don't lose coins.  You just have to start again at the beginning or middle of the level.  Even if you kill off all of your lives you continue without any cause for distress.  Not that I'm complaining.  I never could get through the original NES Mario Bros.  Wayyyyy too frustrating to die and have to start at the beginning.  Now those were the dark ages.

I'm not lamenting no-risk gaming, or hating on it.  It is great for a more fun session, and perfect for the little ones.  And now that I'm back on my beloved Xbox and playing Borderlands almost non-stop, I get so furious when I die and lose money.  It's a small setback, but it is motivation to keep myself alive!  And sometimes it is motivation to turn off the Xbox, check on my Tiny Tower, and maybe read a book for a while.