By flufflogic 6 Comments
So, I was wandering past Game in the Metrocentre, in a vain attempt to not get hassled by staff for a sale and at the same time pick up the Fable 3 Kingmaker treasure there, when I noticed something...
None of the staff hustled me. In fact, they all stood in a semicircle, staring at one guy. Who was dancing. And laughing. In front of an Xbox 360, with some giant... thing on it. And I mean, GIANT.
It took me a minute to realise that, yes, that was Kinect. And the game, that had everyone stopped to watch, was Dance Central. I watched him dancing, and considered surreptitiously sneaking photo proof I'd seen it, when the song finished, and he noticed me. He asked if I fancied a go, and I laughed and politely said "not of Dance Central, with everyone watching, no!" He laughed, and said that I could leap in as a second player, and we'd do some River Rush.
Now, I've been a massive Kinect cynic. Talk of camera lag, the gimmicky, Eyetoy nature of it, the horrendous "Wii too" nature of the games shown early on, and of course the massive price tag, it all spelled out "not for you". I knew it'd sell; I'd seen evidence of that when I got shown a mothers forum thread full of women frothing over the idea, way back in August. I just didn't think they could sell it to me.
So, there I stood, in front of a glass shopfront looking out onto one of the busiest parts of the shopping centre, with a guy about half my BMI, waving to a games console. We jumped to set the raft off, sidestepped and leaned to move side to side, and within moments that window no longer mattered. We had fun, teaming up to steer for the maximum clusters of points, jumping in unison, moving our hands and arms to wonder at the Avatars' preciseness copying our own positions, and just enjoying ourselves.
Then some customers came in, and I was alone, with Kinect. I had a play with accessing menus, changed game, and considered starting it, when another member of staff came over. It turned out he'd been volunteered to "lose a little dignity" to team up with me to have a go. We booted up the Breakout-esque game, Rally Ball. Within minutes, the staff member went from consciously trying not to embarrass himself to fully throwing himself into it. I realised I was in danger of missing another bus (I missed one with on River Rush), so had to dash off. As I left, he wasn't walking away sheepishly; he was booting out to menu to try a different game.
I was suitably impressed that I told the wife about it, to which she replied, "well, you can't afford it, so surely it sucks you liked it?". And you know, it doesn't, because it was great fun, but the floor space we used I just don't have around my TV. If I won the lottery, however, eliminating cost and room size from the equation (because I'd move straight away if I won a ton of money), I'd be straight after one. It's not an essential purchase, it's not the greatest reason to buy a console ever, but it does justify the hype. And that's enough, I feel.