With the release of Kinect just a few weeks away, it is time we had a good look at what shovelware sorry, games that will be on offer and the Easy Kinect Achievements. There is no official confirmation that there will be achievements, as these games are entirely marketed at the non-gamer, however Microsoft will be shooting themselves in the foot if they did not add achievements. Here's why..
The reasoning behind this is two fold. Achievements sell games and although Microsoft are not admitting it, Kinect will take a good long period before it starts to be picked by non-gamers as a new form of entertainment. During this transitional period, they may as well try to shift some titles to achievement addicts. Would you pay $150 for Kinect if there are no achievements? The second reason is, if and when non-gamers pick up the titles, why not try to get them addicted to achievements. It is a win-win situation.
So let us look at the selection of titles. Some of you may actually cringe at these titles and the thought of going into Gamestop / Game / Game Barn to pick up these may feel a little weird. Get over it and just think of me, Slam going into the store as I will definitely be doing. I have no shame in buying these titles and neither should you if you are a true achievement addict. Although all these titles below on press release say they are available this fall, don't be surprised if they are not.
THE BIGGEST LOSER ULTIMATE WORKOUT
Can you see the achievements? Lose 500 pounds over twelve weeks. If you are not familiar with pounds, it is about 35 stone or 226 kg. Easy achievement. The Kinect camera scans your body so before you start the game, put on about fifty over-coats. Add a basketball under the coats to give perception depth to the camera. Next workout , take them off and achievement unlocked.
There will be other Kinect fitness titles including Your Shape : Fitness Evolved , Zumba Fitness, EA Sports Active and Deca Sports Freedom. The biggest hurdle will be going to the counter and buying these titles.
KINECT JOY RIDE
When was the last time Microsoft gave a game away for free? Joy ride was initially announced as a free game a year ago until Microsoft decided to offer the developers an offer than couldn't refuse. Make money with Kinect or die. Whatever shady deal was decided behind closed doors, taking an avatar based car racing game and making it hands free driving - well your arm waving - has got to make this game easy. Successfully turned a corner - 10 points. Successfully played the game for an hour - 50 points.
Joyride in street talk means to steal a car and take it for a spin. So I am just wondering if we steal the cars from the start, as that would make this game so much more interesting.
SONIC FREE RIDERS
The title suggests no sound? If you wondering what this is, it is hoverboards and bikes with Sonic the Hedgehog. You also get to race your avatar against Tails and Dr.Eggman. Aimed straight at anyone below nine years old, there is no way this will be easy. Because it will be super easy. You will be twisting and turning in multiplayer as well, so there will be possible multiplayer achievements to go for.
Because all Kinect titles are aimed at the family, there will be no doubt split screen available on most of these titles. However split screens does not mean a second controller (remember there are no controllers) so an achievement for two players could be tricky. Scanning in another person will mean they will have to remain as the camera will recognize another player. Try a dog or family cat and see if that works.
GAME PARTY IN MOTION
This title via the press release packs in sixteen 'incredible games'. If you hate mini-games, then move along. Nothing to see here. If you want easy achievements then check these games : Darts, Hoop Shoot, Rootbeer Tapper and Table Hockey. That's four games you ask, what about the other twelve? Dunno. That's all the developers gave me. Dubious I know, as how can they boast sixteen and mumble four.
The conception is that all these games can be played multiplayer and up to sixteen players. This means the camera will recognize sixteen friends and family so it could prove to be fun during a party. Have a block party, earn achievements. The games can also be played online so boost away.
Correction : Having been contacted by the PR Team, the game does not support 16 player simultaneously, but alternating between each player. The game also unfortunately does not support online multiplayer. My apologies for reading the press release wrong. Hopefully we get some screen shots soon.
If there was to be the easiest title EVER to get achievements, including Avatar: The Last Airbender et al, Kinectimals would have to be a serious contender. There better be 1000 points on offer or I will be seriously disappointed. What is it? You stroke and cuddle animals. Ask them to "jump", "roll over" and my favorite, "play dead" and with voice recognition and they will do just that. You can give them names as well so mine will be Marcus Fenix or Niko Bellic. Dunno, I am undecided.
Unfortunately there's no multiplayer so no death matches between the cubs. Interestingly you can buy a plush toy, scan it and it will come to life on the screen. There will be probably an achievement for that. Seriously, I am going to get this and have the Kinectimals on my Gamercard. Screw the indignity, a thousand points please.
Last but not least is Dance Central. I am guessing that the achievements here will be quite forgiving although they may look hard. Dancing in front of a TV screen - as opposed to party or night club - could get incredibly boring fast, as shown in the videos at E3. Many just danced one song and moved on. But what better way than to entice people to play more than to make them BELIEVE they can dance. Dance like Ricky Gervais in The Office and you are sure to unlock achievements.
Dancing (and fitness) are probably the most natural movements for Kinect as there is no natural desire to hold something physical as with the other games. Expect a lot of Kinect dancing and fitness titles to come out as they will most certainly be Kinect's bread and butter titles as they are for the Wii.
There will be a lot more Kinect games coming and hopefully we will add a new section when they start rolling in around November. If you don't mind the initial investment, then they could be a good source of easy achievements. Better get them before Kinect goes down the plug hole from lack of interest.