Results tagged “kinect” from Sunday Mercury - Power Up

Review: Kinect Star Wars

By Steve Wollaston on Apr 10, 12 08:13 PM

The final computer-generated Yoda as seen in t...

The final computer-generated Yoda as seen in the film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learn the force you must.

Star Wars on the Kinect it is, wave your arms around pretending you have a lightsabre you shall.

Laugh hysterically at you your family will.

Think you are a Jedi you do, far removed from that fantasy you are.

Ok, enough of the Yoda speak.

I have grown up obsessed with Star Wars, as a young boy I had all the figures and I spent many a night wielding a long cardboard tube and trying to take my brother's head off his shoulders with a bit of Jedi justice.

The last time I used the force though was to try and get in a pour of jeans that have since departed for the history books due to my ever expanding waistline.

This is the game people have been waiting for, generations of Star Wars fans have waited for a computer game that lets them physically be a part of their very own adventure and this delivers that.

Split up into various modes the game offers a lot of variety and a broad range of gaming for different tastes.

Playing through the career mode is the perfect way to get a good all round skillset and it starts off with an important tutorial which serves as your training from Padawan learner to wannabe Jedi.

The game answers the key questions very quickly; is it full of your favourite characters? Yes. Do you get to control a lightsabre? Yes. Can you use the force to move objects? Yes.

It also answers slightly less obvious questions; Do you get to dance for Jabba? Well, er, yes.

I'm going to gloss over the Jabba madness, it's actually quite good, the kids enjoyed it. I cringed.

They also enjoyed the pod-racer game which it has to be said is quite exhilarating and captures the breaknecks speed feeling from the film, it's well executed fun to play and a very worthy addition.

Duel mode puts you straight into lightsaber combat, one on one action. This is the cherry on the top for most gamers and it is enjoyable. Is it as good as I wanted it to be? No.

For me this is the perfect base for the next generation of lightsabre elements to Star Wars games. It does get things right, you do control the lightsaber but with limited moves rather than the free-flowing duelling that some including me would have liked.

That's not to say it's not good, it is enjoyable, it just could have been more and I have no doubt it will be.

It's a Star Wars game to try and please everyone and for the most part it succeeds.

The music, characters, universe etc are represented wonderfully and the chance to be a Jedi in your living room hands free is never ever going to be a bad thing.

The force is strong with this. There can be Obi-Wan way forward for this franchise and Yoda be mad not to give it a try.



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After the success of Disneyland Adventures on Kinect, the global entertainment giants have launched another assault on Xbox 360 owners, this time with the power of Pixar.

The game is set in five much-loved Pixar worlds: The Incredibles, Up, Cars, Ratatouille and Toy Story and it lets gamers enter the environments they know and love from the movies.

Xbox Live logo since 2005

Xbox Live logo since 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The BBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of the BBC's popular video-on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, on Microsoft's Xbox LIVE free platform.

BBC iPlayer is now available on every major gaming platform in the UK.

The launch means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programmes available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK. Users will be able to catch up on all the BBC programmes they know and love in a familiar, easy to use BBC iPlayer experience.

Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality. For the first time it is possible for BBC iPlayer users to discover and play programmes using hand gestures and voice recognition.

The launch on Xbox LIVE today, together with the launch on Sky later this year, will bring the service to millions of new users via the TV and builds on a substantial history of industry partnerships. BBC iPlayer is now on over 450 platforms and devices including Virgin Media, BT Vision, FreeSat, Freeview, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and hundreds of mobile phones, tablets, and internet-connected TVs.

Daniel Danker, BBC General Manager, Programmes & On-Demand, said: "Xbox is hugely successful in the UK. Given the BBC's goal to reach its entire audience, I'm particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost as part of Xbox LIVE's free membership."

"As we continue our work to make BBC iPlayer as simple as possible, we're also excited to experiment with natural user interfaces made possible with Kinect, including voice and gesture control. We believe it's early days for these experiences, but see a great future working with partners such as Microsoft on innovations like these."

Stephen McGill, Director of Xbox and Entertainment for Microsoft, said: "We are delighted that BBC iPlayer is now available on Xbox LIVE. Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the UK and globally last year, while Xbox LIVE is one of the UK's leading comprehensive VOD entertainment services on TVs. The addition of BBC iPlayer takes the service to the next level. We offer a formidable line-up of the best TV and entertainment - both live and on-demand - from providers such as Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Blinkbox, MSN, YouTube and many others.

"The way people interact with entertainment content is changing. Xbox LIVE is the only service in the world where you can search, discover and control TV, movies, video and music using voice and gesture via the power and magic of Kinect."

The BBC has seen 433 million requests on TV* devices in 2011. This means one in four iPlayer requests are on the TV*. At this rate, the BBC projects that by 2015, over 50% of requests will be via TV* devices.

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Blue Nintendo 3DS on display in Nintendo booth...

Image via Wikipedia

THIS Easter I can guarantee one thing: it isn't the Easter Bunny the kids are going to be talking about, it's the Nintendo 3DS.

Following hot on the heels of Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360 comes Nintendo's foray into the next generation of gaming.

Just as Kinect revolutionised the way we see console gaming by doing away with controllers altogether, Nintendo once again redefines the handheld gaming genre with the 3DS.

The hype has been huge. 3D gaming WITHOUT glasses.

Not possible, surely?

I was sceptical. I thought it was marketing overdrive from Nintendo that could not live up to the promise.

And I was wrong. This IS 3D gaming without any glasses required.

The graphics are crystal-clear with huge depth, and it feels like the action is going to burst out of the screen.

In terms of computer gaming, this is history in the making - and it does need to be seen to be believed. Michael French, who is editor-in-chief of games industry magazines MCV and Develop, believes the impact will be significant.

"Nintendo 3DS turns 3D into something mass-market and credible," he told me. "It has the potential to win over the sceptics and impress those used to watching 3D film and TV encumbered by glasses.

"The launch looks set to be the biggest hardware release in the UK yet, with pre-orders at in excess of 120,000. That's already much higher than the Wii's large-scale launch in 2006.

"Depending on stock availability, up to 150,000 could be sold in the first weekend. After that, it depends on availability. But sales could well be much higher if there are enough units out there."

Not only has Nintendo delivered on the 3D promise, but it has done so with very high-end graphics and a handheld console bursting with hidden extras and class. This is wi-fi compatible, has a 3D camera and even comes with built-in motion and gyro sensors for a whole new range of possibilities in terms of gameplay.

Control systems have been tweaked, too, with a new 360° circle thumb-pad to give you effortless control of the action. It has built-in dual speakers on each side of the screen, an extendable stylus, built-in microphone and touch-screen.

If James Bond was into handheld gaming, this is surely what he would carry around between shooting people with his Walther PPK and bedding busty blondes.

It's innovation at its best and once again sees Nintendo - veterans of the industry with a track record of consistently delivering ground-breaking products - pushing the boundaries and striving to be number one.

If you don't believe me, walk into any electrical store, games store or supermarket where you see one on display, pick it up - and prepare to be astounded. This is the future, it's here, join in...

The Games

NINTENDOGS 3D: Quite simply a huge hit in our house. The dogs look even cuter in 3D and the gameplay is vastly improved.

SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 3D: One of the more grown-up titles. For fans of the franchise this is perfect. The backdrops look fantastic and it plays like a dream.

RIDGE RACER 3D: A very traditional racer which is blisteringly quick, very responsive and works well with the 3D. Unspectacular but entertaining.


RAYMAN 3D: A remake of the old Dreamcast classic Rayman 2. Brought to life for a new generation with colourful 3D and quirky gameplay.

SUPER-MONKEY BALL 3D: Another big hit in our house. This is a lunatic game based around puzzles. Tilting the monkey ball round the puzzles is excellent with the new motion sensor.

GHOST RECON: SHADOW WARS: An adult title aimed at older gamers. This is a slick, turn-based RPG game presented from a bird's eye view. Not groundbreaking but solid and enjoyable.


SPLINTER CELL 3D: Another classic gets a revamp. This is a good action adventure game loaded with weapons and requiring some tactical nous. A little let down by the clumsy control system.

ASPHALT 3D: A high-octane, well-polished racer. Plenty packed in, and some great graphics, but ultimately lacking in anything fresh.

RAVING RABBIDS: TRAVEL IN TIME 3D: Sixty different levels over four different time periods, this insane adventure will delight fans young and old, whether they're new or diehard fans.

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Kinect Sports

Image via Wikipedia

On the heels of being named the Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device by the Guinness World Records, the Kinect for Xbox 360 game Kinect Sports was named Best Family Game at the GAME British Academy Video Games Awards yesterday evening.

Overall, Kinect titles were up for six awards, including Family Game, Technical Innovation, and the GAME Award of 2010 which is the only public-voted category. In addition, legendary game developer, Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios and "Fable" fame, was awarded the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Fellowship.

"We'd like to congratulate our extraordinary developers and partners on their BAFTA award nominations, particularly Rare for their win for Kinect Sports. They've delivered truly revolutionary, and fantastically immersive and fun experiences, that can't be matched on any other platform," said Neil Thompson, Microsoft's General Manager, Retail Sales & Marketing Division, UK & Ireland.

"As the recent Guinness World Records distinction has shown, millions of families and gamers have gotten off the couch and moving, dancing and getting fit with Kinect. We promise that there are even more controller-free games and entertainment for all ages and interests still to come."

The full list of BAFTA wins and nominations include:

Kinect Sports: Winner for Best Family Game
Kinect Adventures: Family
Kinectimals: Family, Technical Innovation
Dance Central: Family, GAME Award of 2010
Halo: Reach: Action, Multiplayer, Technical Innovation, GAME Award of 2010
Fable III: Original Music
Alan Wake III: Story, Original Music, Use of Audio
LIMBO: Artistic Development, Best Game, Gameplay, Use of Audio, GAME Award of 2010

Kinect for Xbox 360, the revolutionary controller-free way to experience games and entertainment, has sold more than 10 million sensors worldwide to date, with eight million units in just the first 60 days of launch.

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Steve Wollaston

Steve Wollaston - Sunday Mercury games reviewer Steve has been writing about video games for donkey's years. In fact he is probably far too old for it now which is why you will see a lot of reviews been done by kids... He has been nominated three times for Regional Games Journalist Of The Year at the Games Media Awards, but never wins. His major love is sports games and rates Sensible World of Soccer circa 90's as the greatest game ever made - closely followed by Championship Manager 2. Skyrim has currently taken over his life.

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