Category: KINECTaku Reviews

KINECTaku Review – Country Dance All-Stars

Saddle up

If you’ve always wanted to play Dance Central but prefer twangy guitars and cowboy hats over Lady Gaga, you’d better strap on your cowboy boots and bolo tie because Country Dance All-Stars is your game.

Eschewing the top 40 pop assortment of modern hits, Country Dance All-Stars serves up a Texas-sized helping of country songs from such Nashville icons as Brooks & Dunn, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson and Miley Cyrus. The songs range from upbeat, line-dance style affairs to slower ballads, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. Everyone that enjoys country music, that is.

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KINECTaku Review – Mass Effect 3

Don’t fear the Reapers

It’s been a long time coming, but Commander Shepard’s battle with the Reapers is at a boiling point. The entire galaxy prepares for a war that could quite easily mean the extinction of all sentient life. Do you have what it takes to take back Earth?

Mass Effect 3, the final instalment in BioWare’s sci-fi trilogy, takes every thread that’s been spun in the previous two games and runs with it. Every decision that’s been made so far has led up to this point and how it will affect the final battle. Which allies have survived? What have you sacrificed? Just how much of a chance to you have to claim victory?

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KINECTaku Review – The Price is Right Decades

Come on down!

The Price is Right Decades celebrates over 40 years of one of the most beloved game shows of all time. As a tribute to the source material it’s a resounding success; as an actual piece of entertainment software it has a few problems that unfortunately hinder the rest of the experience.

The one-player mode of Decades breaks the experience down into different ‘VHS tapes’ — remember those? — that each represent a year of the show’s history and a particular game that is played by actual contestants. The set, logo and intro text change to accurately reflect how the show actually looked that year; while Avatars are used, their modern clothing clashing with the aesthetic, it’s still a hoot to see how it has evolved over the years. Sadly, Bob Barker and Drew Carey are both absent in the game proper, instead relegated to bonus videos that are unlocked by beating different VHS tapes.

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KINECTaku Review – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

C, Decent, Final Answer

It’s very hard to capture the tension and drama of a game show in a video game when said game show focuses on one contestant rather than a competition. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’s single-player mode captures very little essence of what made the show such a runaway hit, and the shoehorned multiplayer would make Regis Philbin roll over in his grave. Y’know, if he weren’t still alive.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is structured similarly to the game show, where general trivia questions are asked and the player must choose from four possible answers. As the traditional “lifelines” from the show wouldn’t necessarily work in a video game context, the hint system has been restructured to feature the ability to skip a question and poll the in-game audience.

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KINECTaku Review – Double Fine Happy Action Theater

The name says it all

It’s incredibly difficult to review Double Fine Happy Action Theater with a traditional review system. It’s hardly a game at all; there’s no challenge, no goal, no direction. Calling it a “game” is, honestly, hardly appropriate – it’s more of a toy than anything. Toys and games are both designed to be fun, though, and Double Fine Happy Action Theater gives you a lot to play with.

The mad scientists at Double Fine have already shown they can make a fantastic Kinect game that’s targeted at children but still fun for adults with their charming Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monsterand they do it again with Happy Action Theater. Happy Action Theater contains 18 “games” (we’ll call them games, it’s easier that way) that make use of the Kinect technology in clever, inventive ways. While many will simply write them off as little more than tech demos, Happy Action Theater’s offerings are a surprising amount of fun when approached as things to be played with rather than beaten and conquered.

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KINECTaku Review – Haunt

You want Haunt

While Kinect has had a handful of really great games over the past year, the stinkers have all had the same problems: poor controls and general lack of charm. Developer NanaOn-Sha comes along to save the day with Haunt, which controls wonderfully and drips with so much charisma it forms a very likeable puddle on the floor.

Haunt, with its first-person perspective, has you exploring the haunted mansion of Benjamin Muldoon who, for reasons not immediately revealed to the player, has lost his physical body and can only communicate by possessing the paintings hanging through his poltergeist-infested abode. In order to help poor ol’ Benjy, you must traverse three different areas of the mansion to retrieve “phantaflasks” which will restore him to corporeal form.

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KINECTaku Review – Yoostar on MTV

Warning: this game contains Jersey Shore

Yoostar on MTV isn’t a video game so much as it’s a toy that relies on the Kinect technology. Sure, there’s a score element, but that will never be the reason you play. The very definition of a party game, Yoostar on MTV will be a game that you bring out when you have lots of people over and the alcohol flows like Snoop Dogg’s paying the bill.

The appeal of Yoostar on MTV is to film yourself acting out roles in music videos or some of MTV’s iconic television shows like Viva La Bam and Real World/Road Rules Challenge (oh yeah, Jersey Shore is in there too). You watch a short clip, select which role you’d like to play, then Kinect splices you into the footage as you perform. Afterwards you can watch the finished product and, if desired, upload the video to Yoostar’s database or share via Facebook or Twitter.

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KINECTaku Review – Kung-Fu High Impact

The fight of your life

Okay everyone, you can stop saying that there are no hardcore games for Kinect, because Kung-Fu High Impact is as hardcore as they come.

Kung-Fu High Impact, the awesomely-named video game from the equally awesomely-named developer Virtual Air Guitar Company, casts you as the hero of a comic book, pitting you against hordes of dastardly henchmen and otherworldly monsters. Oh yeah, also ninjas.

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KINECTaku Review – Victorious: Time to Shine

No boys allowed

Licensed games always tend to be less accessible than those based on original intellectual property. The barrier to entry is even higher when, as grown men, we must tackle games that are based on television shows designed for young girls. Still, we soldier on in the name of our craft.

Victorious: Time to Shine is based on the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious which follows high schooler Tori Vega, who attends a performing arts high school. She is surrounded by a colourful cast of wacky characters, all of which are brought to life in the game with surprisingly accurate character models. The show’s cast have lent their voices to the game as well, lending a welcome dose of authenticity.

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KINECTaku Review – Motion Explosion

More of a “pop” than an explosion

Motion Explosion is a tough nut to crack. At first glance it seems like nothing more than another simple minigame compilation, and a sloppy one at that. It’s only after really looking at how the game presents itself and what it asks of you that you truly realise what game Majesco actually made.

Motion Explosion features 12 minigames that have you doing things like dodging moving walls, grabbing stars, playing hacky sack and controlling a robot using various arm and leg movements. None of them are particularly inventive and several seem lifted directly from Kinect Adventures. Each game has 10 levels of quickly escalating difficulty. Your performance in each game is rated from zero to three stars, depending on your score.

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