Microsoft’s E3 press conference this past Monday was pretty much filled with Kinect
crap stuff. One of those things was Kinect Fun Labs. Long time listeners of the podcast will already know my feelings on Kinect and how I got really bored of it after a few days. So when they announced new free stuff, I was eager to check it out.
Kinect Fun Labs isn’t so much a game itself but a hub for Kinect “gadgets.” Or in other words, glorified tech demos. There are currently four available, with two that come pre-installed.
Kinect Me turns you into an Xbox Avatar. It’s pretty straightforward; all you have to do is let the Kinect scan your body and face then strike a pose. It’ll snap a few pictures of you and also record a voice message to play over your photos. The cool thing is that it will use the clothes you’re actually wearing on the Avatar (for example, my Pantera shirt). The not so cool thing is that it will give you whatever hair it damn well pleases. As far as I can tell it’s random. The game will ask you if you want a ponytail, but after that all bets are off. The first time I had a buzz cut, the second I had long John Romero-esque hair, and the third time I looked like Bieber.
Overall, it ends up being about as fun as it founds. Kind of interesting the first few times, but it gets old quickly.
So remember how when the Kinect was first announced we were told we could scan in skateboards and crap like that, but we never actually did? Well now you can… then add googly eyes to it and make it dance around. Grab an object, hold it up to the camera to scan the front and back, place the eyes, and presto. Once you’ve made your object, you can record a little scene by flailing around like an idiot while the game tries its best to mimic your convulsions. I found the only really effective thing was jumping up and down.
The novelty of this one lasts a little bit longer because it’s fun to find stuff around your house to scan. It’s pretty impressive how well it can render a 3D object out of two pictures. Also, the background song is catchy as fuck.
It’s pretty boring. No point in playing it more than once, really.
Build a Buddy
This is probably the best of the gadgets out now. It’s similar to Googly Eyes, minus the eyes. Instead, after you scan your object you give it a personality by answering a few questions. Then instead of acting out a skit yourself, the movements are predefined in regards to the personality and end up being more interesting. I was able to make a clown and a ninja.
Build a Buddy is fun, but I had a few problems getting it to work properly. After you answer the personality questions, the game tells you to act out a couple of different moves that relate to the action being performed. Maybe I’m just an idiot, but it never seemed to want to register properly and had to do them over and over.
More gadgets are said to be on the way, but exactly when I’m not sure. There’s an ad for “Sparkler” that s apparently coming soon, but no word other than that.
Has Kinect Fun Labs turned me around on this whole thing? Not particularly. Same as always, Kinect for me is something that’s interesting at first but easily forgotten about. On the plus side though, each of these gadgets have their own achievements so that’s free gamerscore for me. Because I’m a whore like that.