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Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Kinectimals Quagmire: Bornean Clouded Leopard or Golden Retriever?

In dog, family, gaming, Kinect, relationship on November 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm

My obsession with Dance Central and Bust A Move leaderboard status was starting to get a little unhealthy, I guess you could say, so I busted out Kinectimals for what I thought would be a kinder, gentler game for my emerging Kinect addiction.

Little did I know that Kinectimals would be… so freaking adorable.

I proceeded to play frisbee and soccer with my Bornean Clouded Leopard, run around the beach with it, clean it and feed it.  I even bought it a bed for the island homestead.  I thought: my niece, a junior high school aged animal lover and aspiring veterinarian, is going to freak out when she plays this next month.

I was unaware that some time during my immersion, my real dog had snuggled up in the area near my feet, which is quite unusual when we’re moving around in the living room.  Usually, she knows to stay out of the way.

I stepped right to kick the soccer ball – and I accidentally kicked the dog.  Oh no!   Not hard, just a little.

Hugs, apologies and a treat or two later… I think she forgot what happened.

But I suddenly felt guilty… like my real pet deserved a little more attention.  She has been around much longer, after all.  My Bornean Clouded Leopard has only been in my life for two days.

 

 

Kinectimals Takeaways:

  • Make sure real pets are away from your feet or area of play.
  • Give them much love in advance of a play session.
  • Love your pet a lot after your play session.
  • For kids – some of the levels of play are pretty fast-paced, but the game itself is pretty encouraging and forgiving.
  • For adults – you may be surprised that this is a fairly active game for a kids’ game.  You might even break out in a sweat during the crab-booting on the beach!


Kinect brings a little “celebrity” treatment

In dance, Dance Central, Kinect, Product, workout on November 17, 2010 at 9:54 am

Just finished yoga.  Locker room.

Overheard around the corner: “Did you try Souja Boy?… How about… I thought… was so hard!!”

“Are you talking about Dance Central…?” (this is me)

“YES!!!” (Two women, in unison, with huge smiles on their faces.) “DO YOU LOVE IT!?!” (them, in caps, big excitement here.)

“I LOVE IT!”  (this is me, in caps, big excitement here)


“I can’t believe it, I’m number four on Bust A Move!” (me again)

(GASP!) (them, in caps again, big excitement here)

“NICE TO MEET YOU!! OMG!” (them)

More conversation ensues about which moves were hard, which songs were easier.

Consensus:  The Lady Gaga songs have the most simple choreography.

Consensus:  The sensor is a little picky on certain moves, but not others.  Curious about this.  Still investigating…

My tip:  More important than the “flava” is the exact mimicking of the dancer.  Trying to spice up the move with your own groove doesn’t really get you more points.  Having your arm/leg/body in the EXACT position as the dancer = FLAWLESS!

I have a few moves to work on to break 1,000,000.  Wish me luck!

I’m burnin’ calories along the way…

Two Ideas for Dance Central in the Name of Health

In dance, Kinect, Product, workout on November 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I don’t know about you, but I have a weakness for french fries.

One of the most appealing things about Kinect’s Dance Central is the calorie burn, which gives me an excuse to indulge every now and then. It’s harder to work it off as we get older… are you with me here?

So Dance Central, I’ve discovered, after working my butt off (Post: Young MC Made Me Sweat) to be in the Top 10 for Bust A Move (Post: No Way! I’m #6), has a WORKOUT MODE, with a calorie counter that earns you achievements, the more you work out.  Aside from the fact that I would have liked to know how much I’ve burned, I probably would have gotten another achievement by now.

So here’s my suggestion for Dance Central: create a feature that suggest to someone who’s been dancing awhile – or dancing on “hard” (the highest level) – to turn on workout mode. Something like a pop up notification:  “Would you like to turn on Workout Mode?”  with of their simple arrows which guide you to more info about this.  My answer would be: YES, DUH.

Anyway, now that you know this, turn on workout mode, earn an achievement and burn some calories.  Maybe save the fries for another time.

A Mom and a Pilates Junkie Walk into My House…

In dance, dog, fashion and style, gaming, Kinect, Product on November 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

No joke.  Two girlfriends who have no interest in video games broke free from their Nordstrom jeans shopping (serious stuff here) and came over to the house for a super-fast sampling of Dance Central on Kinect before picking up the kids.

It all happened so fast that the dog got really excited and didn’t quite “stay”.  Out she went on the deck for the time being. (More on what happens with Kinect with a big dog in the picture in the next post.)

I pop in Dance Central. and the intro to the game rolls…

“I’m so excited.”  (the Mom)

“This is a good video.” (the Pilates Junkie)

I sign in.

“I love how it’s so futuristic… that you’re just using your hand for the commands.” (the Mom)

“Okay, which song?”  (this is me)

“PUSH IT.” (Both, almost simultaneously, after seeing a few songs)

I pick the Easy mode just to get started.  The Mom jumps in first.

“This is hard!” (The Mom, after a few steps to the music.)   “This is so much fun!”

Pilates Junkie is laughing at the nerdiness of it all.

“I’m totally sweating!” (The Mom)

Pilates Junkie jumps in, laughing at herself for getting about half the moves right.  She also lets out a little gasp when a move isn’t quite right, and the dude tells her, “That’s alright, everyone messes up on that one.”

And just like that, their inaugural Kinect Dance Central session is over.

Final thoughts from them?

The Mom: “OMG I’m totally getting this.  My kids will love it.  I love the no-controller thing.”

Pilates Junkie: “I don’t like the Freestyle so much… when they take your pictures.  I don’t really want to see that.”

I agree.  I’m not a fan of the photo Freestyle feature.  (Xbox – can we disable this?   Don’t mind the Freestyle, don’t need to see the sweaty playback.)

When they leave, I’m back on Bust A Move, trying to stay in the Top 10.  A few rounds later, I post my highest score yet (another blog post, another time).

No way! I’m #6 in the World!

In dance, family, relationship on November 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Never before did I think I would be obsessed (okay, semi-obsessed) with my gamer score or rank.

Today, I discovered that I’m #6 in the world for Dance Central’s “Bust A Move”.  WHAT?!!!  Check. It. Out.

Now, I know that the competition is limited at this point, because Kinect just came out, so as more people/dancers get on board with it, the board will get more crowded at the top.

How long can I stay in the Top 10?

One thing is for sure.  I’ve  never been in the Top 10 in the world for anything.  I’ll be sweatin’ to Young MC in my attempt to stay there… and working on my abs at the same time.

Young MC Made Me Sweat!

In dance, dinner, dog, gaming, relationship on November 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

“If you want it …you’ve got it…” (this is me, my living room)

I am in my living room, the dog in the corner watching me with a bit of confusion.  I am singing the Young MC classic “Bust A Move” and doing same hip hop moves I remember for the late college years in California.  I. Love. It.

Before I knew it, I was a little bit obsessed, trying out new moves in and via Kinect.

I channeled my inner Kylie in “Can’t Get You Outta My Head”.  I fed my long standing obsession with the disco era in “Brickhouse”.
I wasn’t crazy about The Pony move in the choreography for “C’mon Ride The Train”, but it was still fun.  Oh, and I tore it up in “Push It” (did you know the famous Salt-n-Pepa hair was a result of a relaxer mistake?  Watch Chris Rock’s Good Hair.)

By the end of my half hour session (was it an hour?), I was sweatin’, happy to burn off the calories from dinner.  Could the Kinect sense my sweat?  I was also impressed by the Kinect command-with-hand function to choose titles and scroll.  Very smooth, I have to say.  Even that was fun.

One more thing I liked:  if you get the move on the first try, the game gives you a diamond for a score.  How about that for a little extra sparkle for your day?

Finally, all of this bustin’ a move  made me try to remember what year I was actually jammin’ to “Bust A Move”.  I think I had a Sony Discman at the time. I looked it up and found out something really cool on Wikipedia about “Bust A Move“:  Young MC wrote the lyrics in 90 minutes in his campus apartment at USC, and they were never edited.  And – he recorded his first draft to the track!  What?!!!  Serious.  I knew I loved that Marvin Young from Cali.

By the way, I let my husband play a little too.