The Kinect has some uses other than being the big paper weight that may or may not be watching you. Did you know that it can be used to play games too? I saw two upcoming titles at the Ubisoft stand. Shape Up or Rabbids, take your pick!
That’s right, it’s every gamers worst nightmare! Shapely bodies? Strong muscles? The word ‘active’? Shape Up is here to make you all of the above and more. I got to see the game in action, played by an extremely exhausted looking fellow. I don’t blame him, entire days of exercising for journalists would do that to me too!
It’s pretty much what you would expect; a variety of exercises that are sneakily designed as mini-games. The Kinect tracks whatever movement you doing, and scores you accordingly. While this isn’t something I wouldn’t play myself, there are parts of it that did appeal to my inner gamer (surprisingly).
There is a training quest line in the game. No seriously, a quest where you actually have to beat a boss at the end. The daily quests are not lengthy, taking up about 15 minutes or so. At the end of the week though, you will have to take on a boss using all you have learnt. Fear not, if you feel you are not strong enough to beat the boss just yet, you can practice any of the events at any time. I just like that it adds a sense of progression and achievement.
We were shown a bit of the Luchador quest, and eventually one of the battles against him. This particular challenge had our tired demonstrator showing off knee kicks. Now while this may sound boring, they’ve spiced it up somewhat. The player needs to grab and smash the different coloured melons in whatever order is shown on the screen, adding a bit of memory improvement to the game too. You need to do all of this faster than the Luchador can.
In-between all of this, there are random events where melons fall, and the player needs to jog on the spot and move left and right to stomp them. Seeing as our demonstrator had been playing the game for X amount of time, I fully expected him to beat the boss with ease. He lost. It just made me think that the quest is meant to be challenging, and not just some silly visual mini-game to work through.Want to know how authentic my experience was? I’m convinced a bead of sweat landed on my phone during the demonstration while I was taking notes. FEEL THOSE MUSCLES CRYING!
Another activity we were shown was the training mode where a trainer works you through basic movements and exercises. Players are scored according to timing, as well as accurate replication of the movements. This particular exercise was packed with side stepping, ducking, and jabbing. Once completed, you can play against a recorded version of yourself to see if you can beat your own record.
While exercising games may not be priority to gamers, Shape Up looks like it will be worth it for anybody who doesn’t want to klap the gym (for fear of bumping into Sandy and his groot guns). It will arriving on the Xbox One on the 11th of November.
Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show
I won’t beat around the bush with this game. It is clearly designed for kids. That being said, I don’t see why parents would shy away at the opportunity of playing it with their children. Rabbids Invasion is an animated show for TV. This game takes episodes from that show, 20 in total, and makes them interactive. The episode will play out, all while adding elements of gameplay for players to take part in.
Throughout our demonstration for example, a random item would flash up, telling players to point at it as soon as it became visible on screen in a later scene. Once the item flashes on screen, the person to identify it first gets the most points, with others earning according to their order and timing too.
Another activity involved some movement to “pull” the Rabbids back in a slingshot kind of way, encouraging the player to fling them as far as possible. Once again, score is given according to the order of best performances. While it is possible to identify a winner after all of this, all scores are tallied up to give a total team score too. This should encourage kids to work together and a little bit harder to beat their previous high scores.
What was funny was that the Kinect picked up many people in the room. While there was only one person demonstrating, 3 journalists (including myself) were encouraged to join because the Kinect picked up our faces even while seated, adding us to the game. In the same sense, friends may be inclined to join in the fun, even if they are seated. They can hop in and out however they want. The game continues regardless of how many people (4 maximum) decide to step in or leave.
I really think it’s a neat game for younger children, so if you’re a parent, be sure to keep your eye on this title. They can still enjoy the episodes of the show, all while taking part and being active. While the core game will have the 20 episodes I mentioned already, more will be added in future via DLC. Rabbids Invasion will also be available on the PS4. Expect it to land later this year in November.
Last Updated: August 25, 2014