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Konami’s Gamers’ Day: The Intro and the Kinect

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Blogcritics Gaming was lucky enough today to spend several hours in the basement of a New York City midtown hotel. Okay, that may not sound particularly lucky on the face of it, but this was actually a pretty nice hotel and what they had going on in the basement was something special.  In a room with dozens of televisions we got to sit back, relax, and play some of upcoming offerings from Konami and Hudson Soft. 

We ventured into a medieval forest in the newest Castlevania title, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.  We got to step into the ring with Lucha Libre: Heroes Del Ring.  We took to the pitch on Pro Evolution Soccer 2011.  We sung our hearts out with Karaoke Revolution: Glee.  We took a trip to Russia to rescue friends and stop baddies in Rush’N Attack: Ex-Patriot.  We even got to Kinect with some upcoming Xbox 360 titles. 

Over the course of the next week or so we’ll be revealing more of what we saw in greater depth, but why should a single day pass without our giving you at least one or two highlights?

Well, if we’re being honest (and we try to be), the thing that struck us the most was the Kinect, Xbox’s not yet available motion sensing device.  First we saw it in use with Hudson’s Deca Sports: Freedom.  The game is a combination of some previously released sports and new ones, but all redone for the Kinect, which is unlike anything we’ve seen before.  The device isn’t just the Wii’s motion-sensing controllers taken to the next level, the camera really does capture what you’re body is doing and translate it (quickly) to the game.  Looking at the boxing and tennis offered by Freedom, one might get a bit of Wii Sports déjà vu, but that fact that you’re not holding any sort of controller is something you can’t forget.  You are not limited in your right jab because you just threw a left hook and the Wii remote’s cord isn’t long enough – you want to throw the punch, you throw the punch (and usually the system recognizes that you threw the punch).

When we slid over to Adrenalin Misfits, another Kinect title, all memories of the Wii (even with the Balance Board) disappeared.  Misfits, a sports title, is perhaps best described as talking place on a snowboard, except that the board isn’t always on snow (we played not just on snow, but on water too).  Levels are selected by swiping one’s hand to the left or right to make the menu scroll through the choices and then reaching out and pointing towards/grabbing at the one you want when it’s front and center.  From there it’s all about standing around looking like a fool to anyone who can’t see the television as you lean this way and that, jump in the air and try to make yourself a little more aerodynamic (even if that really doesn’t do anything). 

While we’ve all stood in the arcade on a massive machine that tracks our movement or at home on a Wii Balance Board, doing the same actions without any equipment is truly different and remarkable.  It makes us very excited for what can be done in the future.  The titles we saw that used it today were definitely intriguing and a great intro to the device, but the real question is what happens with the device down the line and that we’re very curious to see.

Keep checking back in for more updates on the Konami’s Gamers’ Day.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.