Kinect: One Year Later

When I reluctantly bought a $150 controller for a dancing game last November 4th, I didn’t realize that it would be the method of gaming I would be using for most of this year. I honestly thought this was the dumbest move ever for Microsoft and if they hadn’t released it with a Harmonix game I doubt I would have ever picked it up. But a year later, I’m so glad I did.

Dance Central was the reason for me to pick it up and oddly enough it’s also the game I’ve played the least with it. It’s a great (if not the best) dancing game, but I doubt it could really handle my white boy moves (or I couldn’t handle moving that much, it’s a work out)! I ended up showing it off and playing the hell out of the mini game pack that came included. Kinect Adventures, probably one of the best party games and pack ins that I’ve played since the 16 bit era. But at the end of the day and when the new car smell had passed. I still looked at the Kinect as an overpriced rarely played add on.

And it was for quite some time. Finally around the beginning of the summer it started getting some great games. Probably my 2nd favorite game this year (right behind Portal 2) was Child of Eden. The unofficial sequel to the Dreamcast and PS2 classic Rez (which you can download on XBLA right now) was another big reason for this thing to exist. You can go read the review of the game. But to put it simply the game was actually better with Kinect even though it didn’t require you to play it that way. To me that’s the biggest and best statement you can say about the device.

Even right now I’m playing the Twisted Pixel MASTERPIECE that is The Gunstringer. The game is a prime example of how Kinect is changing gaming for the better in many instances. Not to mention a great example of game design on the fly.

Finally the Kinect is a great gaming device, but when the fat lady sings the real success of the device will probably be outside of the gaming industry. The Kinect Effect is hitting the medical field and taking it by storm and it finally hit me. This is the future and I bought it on the day it came out. Go me! (I actually high five’d myself).

Happy first birthday Kinect! Keep up the good work!

Bryan Belcher

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