Come Kinect and Move with Me! What Motion Gaming Means for Mainstream Gamers

By Kenneth Richardson

July 21, 2010

Everyone knows about the hottest trend in gaming today; and I don’t mean 3D. Motion control gaming is apparently the only way to attract a “casual” crowd of gamers, or I should say consumers. Of course, the unmatched sales figures of the Wii are the envy of both HD console manufacturers. So, that being said, we can infer that these devices have been in creation since back near Wii launch when it became the party friendly fun for all phenomenon that it is today. I have made a fine connection between the uninspired titles that were shown for Kinect as well as the Wii esque titles shown for the Move and if my instinct is any indication, a storm is brewing.

What is most odd about the motion control craze is Sony and MS’s seemingly shameless debut onto the scene. I mean, it’s no secret why this trend has begun but they seem to be handling the situation with an almost blatant attitude. Kinect is arguably little more than an upgraded PS eye, while the same comparison can be made between the Wii mote and PS move. I am concerned, after seeing the games revealed for Kinect at E3, that the standard of enjoyable games is threatened by this fad.

The games consisted of a fitness title, a virtual pet and a dancing game. There were also the driving and raft titles. All the games shown looked like party gold, the type of game even your mom would take a swing at. But that is why there were created, so people like your mom and your younger sister could compete. From the perspective of a seasoned gamer however, these games looked banal, uninteresting, barely worth a second glance.  It was a very shocking revelation, that these 2 new pieces of hardware were hardly engineered for the seasoned gamer.

So, take a short look at the software library of the Wii. There is more than plenty of shovel ware, kiddy pool and mom friendly games for the console (in no way implying that there isn’t an equivalent amount of true gamers games available). Wouldn’t one think that these two new additions would be destined for a similar fate? Are we to expect that when Move drops, our kid brothers will be netting more enjoyment from our PS3s than we will? It’s a very glum outlook.

It is very suggestive that since MS showed such party friendly games at the Kinect reveal that we can expect that kind of product in general when we buy games for it. Now certainly there will be some titles ingeniously created for the add on(s) that will make you glad you bought one. But when the general appeal is to people who don’t normally play video games, what is left for the gaming vets?

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We can hope that this question will be answered sometime this year with the release of these 2 applications. To avoid sounding bias, I have seen some very bland looking titles for the PS move. But the promotional videos are the worst I think. I mean when I see the family sitting on the couch playing with move, and then the MOM grabs the controller… it simply isn’t a very inspiring scene for gamers like me. Also, Kung Fu Riders, another move title, looks to be pure trash. I hate saying things like that about unreleased titles, but one look at it and you’ll see where i’m coming from. The Move is also adding new functionality to EyePet, a virtual pet game that was universally agreed to be a fickle time eater. More casual feed i might add.

However, the Move has better footing considering it will support many existing games and has a hardcore lineup including Socom 4Killzone 3 and Dead Space: Extraction HD. The thing is, Killzone would probably be better with a PS3 controller, and i know that most gamers agree with me. Sorcery, an action/adventure title seems to make adequate use of the move and is perhaps a glance at what we can expect for the hardware. The titles detailed visuals and seemingly precise controls wowed the audience. There was one showing for Kinect that could be considered hardcore, and this was the Star Wars game. It appeared to be on rails and in the demo a jedi deflected lasers, combated enemies and even prepared to duel with the sith. This demo, however was pre-rendered and garnered much controversy concerning whether or not the final game would play this way. A ploy to say the least.

There was one game that was not shown in the conference but who’s existence has been circulating on the internet. The game is called Child Of Eden, from the creator of Rez and it appears to be a kind of shoot’em up with a superbly colorful style that will remind you a bit of Pixel Junk Eden. Having noted its origin, the comparisons to Rez are appropriate. Supposedly, COE is the best game for Kinect seen thus far which is an absolute shame considering it wasn’t mentioned.

In conclusion, I have yet to see a reason I would purchase either the Move or Kinect. As a passionate, core gamer, this forms something of an issue. Why would the millions of true gamers entertain the idea of these motion control additions if they mean nothing for epic, fully featured titles like Bayonetta or BlazBlue? Why would you buy Kinect/Move? For the arrow game? For the rafting game? For the PS eye style boxing and dancing? If you’re anything like me, you can’t say why you’d get one.

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Kenneth Richardson

Kenneth is a Graphics and Game Design student who's worked as an author for since June of 2010. His favorite gaming genres are Fighting, Role Playing and Sadistic Action games like Ninja Gaiden and Bayonetta. In addition to gaming, he is also strongly interested in music, fashion, art, culture, literature, education, religion, cuisine, photography, architecture, philosophy, film, dance, and most forms of creative expression.

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