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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2012-05-02 06:52:35
NBA Baller Beats
A full year and a half since launch, and the Kinect has severely under-delivered on all those wild Microsoft promises. Clearly, there's a MASSIVE amount of potential, but the only two titles that have stuck for me are Dance Central and the light snack that is Fruit Ninja. Most everything else falls under the mini-game-collection-marred-by-janky-controls category. The "success" of the Nintendo Wii was a significant motivator driving the development of the Kinect. Like the Wii, the Kinect works just well enough to prove the concept, and just poorly enough to be a flustercuck of a frustration fest. So of course Majesco (BloodRayne and Cooking Mama peeps and prototypical successful frustration vendors), which had been working on a vague NBA game, decided to purpose those assets for the Kinect.
On the optimistic side, NBA Baller Beats will finally implement the Kinect ability to incorporate objects. In theory (like all motion controls), it does sound kinda cool. Even without spelling Beats with a 'Z'. It tracks your basketball dribbling skills, including crossovers and between the legs with both hands. You'd be improving your rock handling abilities while bouncing to the sounds of rappers like Kanye West or (OLD SCHOOL!) Run-DMC. Get your social consciousness on by hip-hop-motion-control-dribbling to Common.
The cynic (realist) in me wants to point out that tons of people barely have room for their Kinect to register their movements. Many homes require the moving of furniture every time they use the device. Dribbling a basketball requires even more room. Then there's carpeting. Even if you have hardwood floors, the dead spots and any uneven surfaces will be sure to be annoying. (I guess you could pretend you're playing on the parquet of the old Boston Garden.) Finally, toss in the Kinect's suspect motion sensing lag time, and I'd be surprised if this thing ends up being fun in practice.