Look Mom, No Hands! – Kinect Gaming Review

Christmas in July is behind us, but in little over five months, last minute of course, you’ll be running frantically to buy gifts for your loved ones. So why not get a heads up on what’s to come this holiday season… Over the past few years, video games have blown wide open in demographic expansion. We’re waving our Nintendo Wii remotes like light sabers, commuting commands of modern warfare through high-tech headphones on XBOX 360, exploring moving levels while fighting enemies a million times our size on Playstation 3, downloading 40+ hours of gameplay high quality titles on the PSP, and practicing ourr arts and craft skills on the Nintendo DS. This year, XBOX 360 will unveil what Microsoft feels could revolutionize gaming forever; Kinect. XBOX 360 Kinect will undoubtedly be one of the hottest, if not the hottest item this holiday season and for good reason. Kinect removes controllers and remotes completely out of the equation. Hence the quote: Look Mom, No Hands! You can stand in front of the Kinect camera and use your hands in “Minority Report” style to flick through menu’s, use your voice to start and pause movies and your feet to well, dance. Majesco Entertainment Company, makers of Cooking Mama™ and Cake Mania®2 for Nintendo DS™, and Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009 for Wii™, will launch Zumba® Fitness for XBOX 360 Kinect in November, for the dancing, fitness junkie in you. Zumba® Fitness is an addictive fitness craze that blends Latin and world rhythms with easy-to-follow dance moves to help successfully tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. I had the opportunity to demo the game, and addictive it is. The object of the game is to match the moves of your on screen dance instructor. How it works is Kinect focuses on the six points of your body; the shoulders, the hips and your feet to gauge your skills. Majesco developers decided that it was best to steer clear of a points system. That alone makes it less threatening. You can’t get booed off the stage like Guitar Hero. Your dance instructor’s body simply glows in the areas where you must improve. The better you move the more multipliers you obtain. The more multipliers you obtain the more backup dancers that appear behind you. As previously mentioned, I demoed Zumba® Fitness alongside Zumba Dance Instructor, Tanya B. I stepped up to the challenge and 30 seconds into the demo, I lost track I was being watched by 15 people. After taking in all the praise, I sat down with Tanya B. to talk about her experiences becoming a part of the game, Describe the process in becoming a part of this game?Tanya B: It was so cool to be a part of the step-by-step process, from filming on a green screen, to data capture, to voice over, then finally seeing it all pieced together and then actually playing the game and seeing myself, Gina Grant and Beto on screen. It really gave me a new found interest and respect for the industry - technology today is simply amazing.What was it like seeing yourself in the demo section for the first time?Tanya B: It was definitely surreal, and the first time I saw myself I actually blushed! I was like whoa, that’s me! I couldn’t believe I had a digital image – how cool is that, DIGITAL TANYA!How will people having access to Zumba at home, translate to coming to a class at the local gym?Tanya B: Nothing beats the sheer energy of a live Zumba class. However this game is pretty amazing because it teaches you the basics, keeps you motivated, and "on boards" you into a class. Also, it is very convenient for people that don't have access to the classes or want to have a Zumba class on their own schedule.Being a Zumba Instructor yourself have you ever clocked a perfect score?Tanya B:Zumba is about moving, dancing and having fun so achieving perfection really isn’t the goal. The best score you can achieve is feeling really great during and after you play. In fact, the game provides really positive feedback throughout the program and there is no passing or failing. If you are moving and having a blast you are doing it right! For those who may have a slight competitive nature, the 2 player mode comes in handy! Here is a look at some of the games Majesco will release in the third and fourth quarter: Zumba Fitness Video Game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qO813ht4kM&feature=related Greg Hastings Paintball 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfISx2q65AE Swords for Nintendo Wii http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7HPOlJtUiM