Category Archives: Kinect
Dear friends and visitors,
I am happy to announce that the inaugural episode of the DPod has finally been posted at FromtheDPad.com
Be sure to check it out HERE and submit your questions to sharon at from the dpad dot com to be read in future casts.
Thanks for your loyalty.
Thanks to everyone for an amazing year! It’s been absolutely fabulous to share, with you, my internet musings surrounding my gamertag “MyaSharona”. I thank each and every one of you who visited me here, on G+, Twitter, FB, OR at whichever website I was contributing to at the time. I hope you’ve all enjoyed 2011, now on with 2012.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,000 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
So you just picked up Gears of War 3, or you’ve been playing through Dead Island, OR you’re waiting patiently to add Saints Row: The Third or Assassin’s Creed Revelations to your library. Why not expand your family gaming library by adding some of the games that you can enjoy with your kids.
Have a peek at just some of the titles available starting now and throughout the next few months.
Face Racers: Photo Finish
No. of Players:up to 4 players
ESRB: E For Everyone (contains comic mischief)
Start your turbo-charged engines and blast into the outrageous arcade racing game, Face Racers: Photo Finish, with photo customizable 3D racers that put YOU in the game! Available on the Nintendo 3DS, Face Racers delivers unique, in-your-face gameplay, with dangerous obstacles that come to life in 3D right before your eyes! Take photos with your 3DS camera and place them on the face of your custom 3D racer, billboards and power-ups. Take on friends in multiplayer mode for a true photo finish in Face Racers!
• Use your photo to customize your racer, billboards, and power-ups!
• Challenge up to 3 friends in local and online multiplayer.
• Take control of the wheel with 3DS tilt-steering.
Kirby Mass Attack
System: Nintendo DS
No. of Players: 1 player
Category: Side-Scrolling, Real Time Strategy
ESRB: E for Everyone
The evil Necrodeus uses his magic staff to split the heroic Kirby into 10 copies of himself. Players must help Kirby return to his original form and save planet Popstar from darkness by guiding him on a quest through worlds fraught with enemies and obstacles. Players start with one Kirby and add more Kirbys to their crew by gobbling up fruit. With unique touch-screen controls, players can then use the stylus to flick Kirbys to break through obstacles, tap on enemy attackers to swarm them with Kirbys or gather Kirbys together and draw a line to carefully maneuver them in a mass. If Kirbys are knocked out, players can simply gulp down more fruit to rebuild their numbers.
“With 10 Kirbys to control, players can expect 10 times the fun,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “As consumers start thinking about games for friends and family members to enjoy this holiday season, Kirby Mass Attack is another great experience available only on Nintendo systems.”
Happy Feet Two – The Video Game
System: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and soon to Nintendo DS
No. of Players: 1 player
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Available: Autumn 2011 for PS3 Wii Xbox
November 2011 for 3DS & DS
“In Happy Feet Two – The Videogame, kids will not only love playing on their own, they will have even more fun playing side-by-side cooperatively with friends and family members, or compete in penguin dance showdowns and belly sliding races,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The game’s all new, controller-based dance system uses the player’s rhythm to enhance the dancing competitions, and the gameplay lets kids interact with their favourite characters from the film.”
In the game, new dangers are threatening the penguin nation, and it’s going to take everyone working – and dancing – together to save them from extinction. Players use dance moves to recruit penguins with unique abilities that help advance the adventure, stun opponents and enemies, as well as manipulate the environment around them to solve co-operative puzzles.
For the ultimate experience, players can dance their Antarctic adventure in 3D. The game will be available in full 3D for the Nintendo 3DS. In the Xbox 360 and PlayStation versions, the game is made specifically for stereoscopic 3D TV sets with the ability to disable 3D functionality at any time. The Wii and Nintendo DS versions feature traditional 2D.
uDraw SpongeBob’s Surf and Skate Roadtrip
System: Nintendo DS, Xbox 360
Available: 08/11/2011 for the DS and November 8th for the Xbox 360
No. of Players: 1-2 players
ESRB: E for Everyone
Hit the sand and surf with SpongeBob and his best pal, Patrick, for some super boarding escapades! Ride mondo waves and winding waterways, and skate gnarly seaside streets and ramps for hours of challenges that’ll test your awesome boarding skills.
SpongeBob’s Surf & Skate Roadtrip is non-stop action featuring 2 modes of play” Story and Challenge. In Story Mode, SpongeBob and Patrick relive their crazy road trip to the beach through slideshows leading into arcade-style play. Freestyle your way through Challenge Mode as you, SpongeBob and his bodacious Bikini Bottom buddy explore a brand new never-before-seen world.
Key Xbox 360 Kinect Features:
- For the first time ever, you can BE SpongeBob
- Augmented reality—move your hand through the water and watch it splash!
- Compete and play with friends – show off your awesome tricks and mind-blowing stunts in head-to-head play (2-player split-screen)
- 12 awe-inspiring environments – 6 for each sport—and unlimited ways to perfect your board skills
- 7 different challenges including Flag, Timed, Score Runs
- Express yourself with a variety of righteous boards – earn even more awesome boards, the better you ride
- Strike a pose: use your camera to show off gnarly moves and tricks
Key DS Features: [call out BONUS LEVEL for DS]
- Surf and Skate across more than 24 maps
- 2-player multi-play with Single and Multi-card gaming
- Grab some air in 5 different victory conditions – Score, Collectible, Combo Mayhem, Win the Race, Untouchable
- More than 150 ways to play for unlimited hours of boarding action
- Customize your boards with colors, stamps, wheels, fins and decks
- Bonus Sport: Full Snowboarding level with 10 maps unlocked upon game completion
Super Mario 3D Land
Release Date:Nov 13, 2011
No. of Players:1 player
ESRB: E for Everyone
Get Ready for a New Spin on a Familiar Tail
Super Mario 3D Land reinvents everything fans love about Mario™ gaming with the first platforming environment in true 3D, without the need for special glasses Players will experience an exhilarating new sense of depth, distance and speed while running, jumping and stomping on enemies throughout the levels.
- Tanooki Mario returns! The fan-favorite Tanooki suit makes its first appearance on the Nintendo 3DS. Use the Tanooki suit’s tail to attack enemies or float gently down from great heights. These abilities help players move through the 3D environments with more confidence.
- 3D visuals make it easier for players to judge the depths and distances in their environments. Players can more accurately judge the jump to the next platform or how far Mario is from a question block.
- New and familiar abilities add unique game-play strategies to the adventure. Mario can perform a rolling somersault attack or run fast with a dash move.
- The Circle Pad gives players complete control to confidently move Mario through fun and challenging environments.
- New enemies include Goombas with tails, tall stacks of Goombas and a Piranha Plant that spits ink to obscure a player’s view.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
System: 3DS, DS, PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, X360, PSV
Available: 18/11/2011 for 3DS, DS, PC, PS3, PSP. Wii, 360 and during Q4 for the PSV
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 builds upon the magical gameplay, lessons and potion-making skills learned in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 to equip gamers with the tools necessary to challenge a host of new foes and some familiar ones (including He Who Must Not Be Named). The upcoming title is action-packed from start to finish, including loads of new lessons, spells, and bonus content for hours of family friendly gaming.
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 takes players through Harry Potter’s heroic adventures in the Muggle and wizarding worlds. From Privet Drive in Little Whinging to Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Hogwarts – plus new locations including Grimmauld Place, the Ministry of Magic, and Godric’s Hollow – players will encounter new faces, new challenges and new magic, preparing them for the ultimate face-off against Lord Voldemort™.
“In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, we are giving gamers a truly epic conclusion to the most successful movie franchise in history with delightful gameplay for fans of all ages,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “We have built upon the first game and are giving fans even more magical abilities, puzzle solving and exploration, in addition to our distinctive brand of hilarious LEGO humour and charm.”
“LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 offers Harry Potter and LEGO fans an immersive experience that is fun and accessible for players of all ages,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Development and Production, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “With this game, TT Games captures everything fans love about the Harry Potter universe – and adds a distinct LEGO twist.”
“This game is a game of magic! LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 distils the drama and action of Harry Potter‘s magical world, and then gives players the chance to immerse themselves in their favourite characters and environments, where they can discover new adventures and have great fun,” said Lisbeth Valther Pallesen, Executive Vice President, LEGO CED. “TT Games has successfully combined a deep appreciation of the Harry Potter story with signature LEGO humour and superior production capabilities in another fantastic LEGO video game.”
The Penguins of Madagascar Dr. Blowhole Returns Again!
System: Nintendo DS, Wii uDraw Xbox 360 Playstation 3
ESRB: E for Everyone
Dr. Blowhole is out to take over the world and only Team Penguin can foil his diabolical plans. Jump into an all-new adventure with 3 unique game episodes and over 12 exciting levels. Lead Skipper, Kowlaski, Rico and Private as you commence super-secret missions in, under and outside of the zoo, culminating in the grand finale in Dr. Blowhole’s Lair.
- Brand New, Original Story
- Dr. Blowhole, the diabolical dolphin, is back with his lobster minions and a new plan for world domination and it’s up to Team Penguin to stop him from his wave of destruction.
- Solve perilous puzzles, build crazy contraptions, nimbly navigate hazards and rescue Marlene, Mort, and the rest of the zoo crew in your mission to save the world.
- Penguin Power!
- Utilize each penguin’s unique abilities to overcome obstacles and solve puzzles. Use Skipper to assemble the team, Rico to regurgitate explosives, Kowalski to build devices and Private to squeeze through tight spaces – the possibilities are endless!
- Play through a multitude of wacky mini-games, including Ninja Knock-Down, Mort Bowling and even a dance-off with everyone’s favorite lemur, King Julien.
Have a great title in your family library that everyone in your family loves? We’d love to share it with our GamerFitNation. Be sure to leave us a comment about the family friendly titles that get extra attention in your house.
Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 is the new sequel to Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, the #1 fitness game on Kinect. At a recent Xbox event, in Toronto Ontario, I had the opportunity to meet with game designer Nicola Godin and try out the new title. Not only was this my first time with Your Shape but also only a handful of times I had ever tried the kinect. I had a TON of fun and can’t wait to try it further!
Exercise your way with a customizable, social and fun experience that delivers serious results. As one of the most extensive fitness offerings on the market, Your Shape includes over 90 hours of activities. Your Shape provides an even wider array of activities to suit your tastes and fitness goals, including zen classes, latin dance and boot camp. The state-of-the-art motion tracking has been pushed to the next level with brand-new floor movements and an enhanced feedback system that guides you on how to improve your technique and results.
- WHERE FITNESS AND MAGIC MEET – Your Shape will take players into a stimulating world showcasing an array of captivating visual effects and an environment that will transform as their workouts evolve in the game. The improved player projection will allow players to see themselves in the Your Shape universe and keep a close eye on their workouts.
- FITNESS YOUR WAY – You choose how you want to play! Do you want a personal trainer to help meet your set fitness goals? Or do you want to focus on a specific muscle group? You can also build a program around the time you have to work out.
- A WORLD OF FITNESS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM – Your Shape contains activities for everyone and anyone. Players will be able to try new workout routines such as Latin, Hip-hop, Pop, African and Bollywood. There’s a broad selection of classes and games available, including Zen, Kick Boxing, Boot Camp and Jump Rope. A new and unique feature called Run the World will enable players to run virtually through the streets of New York, Paris or London and enjoy the environment.
- BEST-IN-CLASS TRACKING NOW WITH NEW FLOOR MOVES – With an enhanced feedback system, players can now get feedback on how to improve their technique and results. With this recent technology, Your Shape now tracks floor movements, allowing new activities such as push-ups and sit-ups.
- MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS AND CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS – Using Your Shape Center, players can monitor their progress, challenge their friends and see how they rank against players from across the world. They can also share their achievements on Facebook or keep in shape using Your Shape mobile applications. With hundreds of millions of calories already burned, our goal is for the community to burn 1billion calories collectively by the end of 2012.
Double Fine goes to Sesame Street
“Are you making a game for me Daddy?” This was one of the most heartwarming questions as retold by Tim Schafer of Double Fine during Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference. He was, of course, talking about Sesame Street: Once upon a Monster. Published by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, this new Kinect experience is set to release in Fall of 2011 and you can’t go wrong with DoubleFine.
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is an uplifting and funny, family adventure game playable on Kinect for Xbox 360. Players join favorite Sesame Street characters Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Grover and all new characters as they discover a long lost children’s book titled Once Upon a Monster. As they read, they join the action to become part of a living storybook adventure, helping new monster friends with their problems by exploring the book chapter by chapter, page by page. It features active co-op gameplay that is specially designed for sibling and/or parent-child co-play; and teaches social, emotional, and other important life lessons through its colorful and whimsical gameplay.
Sesame Street: Once upon a Monster will feature:
Fun Cooperative Experiences: Every activity is designed to be fun played by oneself, but even more fun with a family member or friend. Drop in/out co-operative gameplay is ideal for parent-child or child-sibling co-play.
Important Life Lessons: Players develop a personal and emotional relationship with the monsters in the world and are motivated to help them solve their problems and make their world a better place. Through social and emotional curriculum guided by Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, players discover how to make new friends, learn cooperation and empathy, solve problems, face fears and appreciate similarities and differences…to name a few lessons.
Living Storybook Adventure: The game is a guided exploration of a living storybook where players help their monster friends with problems, all while interacting with enchanting and whimsical environments around them.
New and Familiar Characters: Players can interact with their favorite Sesame Street characters as well as make new monster friends as they progress in their adventures.
Broad Range of Games: A variety of entertaining and intuitive activities enable young kids to play easily with natural controller-free motions using Kinect for Xbox 360.
Active Gameplay: Players can engage in fun and physical activities such as monkey-see-monkey-do, playing instruments, flying, and running obstacle courses.
Ignore the conference acting and take a look at this gameplay demo from E3. This 1 -2 player game is a perfect addition to the family game library.
Electronic Arts E3 Press Conference: A Summary
As we started into the Electronic Arts E3 Press Conference today there were a few things many of us were anxious to learn about. The anticipation, for me, centered around Battlefield Bad Company 3, Mass Effect 3, and SSX. As the conference began we soon discovered so much more in the works from EA.
The conference began with EA & BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 Presentation. Casey Husdson spoke of how Mass Effect was “designed to be a trilogy” and continued to say that “longtime fans of the franchise will see how all of their choices have lead to the breaking point.” “ This is ALL OUT GALACTIC WAR.” He said. In the demo Shepard attempts to destroy a reaper base. The game play was really compelling, high action, and included large scale action combat. Casey then showed new gameplay trailer “Fall of Earth”
Mass Effect 3 will see release on March 6 2012
EA then went on to discuss that should expect new games and new services over the next year.
Origin.com was announced as the new service for viewing and downloading exclusive EA content.
NFS The Run was presented by Jason DeLong. Like previous Need for Speed titles, The Run centers on a race across the country, From San Francisco to NYC. This year the Autolog feature is weaved into the story so that every second of every race counts towards your development. Unlike previous NFS titles a new component of the game takes you out of the car and put you on foot. NFS The Run will include foot chase gameplay. EA then presented a NFS Demo. The foot chase portions of the game, while they looked awesome, are still a large enough departure from NFS that it seemed less cohesive.
Star Wars Old Republic was discussed briefly by Greg of Bioware. No news for this title was released but EA did show a trailer. This trailer appeared to be included out of obligation and not because there was anything new to offer.
The SSX portion of the presentation started with Trailer. EA spoke of “reinventing the franchise” with an all new slogan: Own the Planet. SSX will be massively open world and will include “ridiculous amounts of content.” With a new trailer for Kiori, a beloved SSX character, EA promised that a NEW character would be announced on the Facebook fan page before end of e3. You can check out Kiori’s trailer at Origin.com
The Microsoft Press Conference has been anticipated, predicted, and discussed at great length and today it happened. A lot of games and features were discussed at the E3 press conference so let’s break it down and have a look at the meat and potatoes of it.
What was looked at during the press conference?
- Modern Warfare 3:
- Tomb Raider
- Mass Effect 3
- Ghost Recon Future Soldier
- UFC Ultimate Champion
- Gears 3
- Halo Combat evolved HD
- Forza MotorSport 4
- Fable: The Journey
- MindCraft for Kinect
- Disneyland Adventures
- Star Wars Kinect
- Sesame Street Once upon a Monster
- Kinect Fun Labs
- Kinect Sports Season Two
- Dance Central 2
- “dawn of a new trilogy” = Halo 4
So there we have it, Kinect in core games was the ultimate focus of today’s Kinect Conference…erm, Microsoft Conference. With the inclusion of kinect’s motion controls now being included in more of the adult, historically core, gaming titles is the kinect about to become an xbox staple or is Microsoft trying to bridge the gap between casual, family, and ‘hardcore’ gamers? Whatever the case is the inclusion of Kinect in more titles means great things for gaming and health consumers who like games that get them up off the couch.
We knew we would see news about Dance Central 2 and after today’s presentation we now know that Dance Central 2 will have two new features. Dance Central 2 will not only allow you to import all of your Dance Central Songs into the game but will also utilize multiplayer dance in game. Demonstrated at the Microsoft Press Conference to the Usher tune “Falling in love again”, the new multiplayer dance option is multiplying the possibility of fun.
Star Wars Kinect was on the radar of many going into this conference. Questions surrounding implementation and graphical style loomed before the conference and while on the conference floor our very own GamerFitNation staff was spotted blogging that “The graphics look really stunning”. Now call me a skeptic because not only was I not concerned with how it looked via stream but I also was slightly concerned for the frantic movements of the player. It did not strike me as a fun experience. Using Kinect motion control you can use the powers of the force, your lightsaber, and jump to vault over enemies.
Forza Motorsport 4 is a welcome and anticipated announcement. As a fan of the racing genre in general I find it all too exciting when I learn that Turn 10 Studios is going to such great lengths to simulate the driving experience. The inclusion of kinect means that gamers will now have an interactive moveabout the car, to inspect car specs, and that driving subtleties such has head tilt and voice command will make the experience all the more convincing.
Of course you finished Halo 3 in legendary mode and now you know just where the newly announced Halo4 will pick up. That’s right, Master Chief is awake and making an appearance at E3 2011. Fans of the franchise were also pleased to learn more about Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, which is going to include six multiplayer maps from the original Halo Combat Evolved plus a FireFight map and use of the reach engine to allow for matchmaking compatibility with classic modes.
Dwight Howard takes us on the set of the recently announced Adidas miCoach for consoles.
Adidas miCoach is the highly regarded mobile coaching app/training program that is designed to turn your phone into a personal coach. miCoach uses GPS and real-time voice coaching in your ear to pace you through easy to understand workout zones as you run. Choose a training plan tuned for your sport to build speed and endurance.
According to a recent interview with ESPN.go.com, whose Jon Robinson talked with game producer David Sapienza, the game is being designed to “ help athletes perform better, whether that’s being faster or stronger.”“What we’re building is the strength and flexibility aspect of the program. Athletes have already developed these specific programs, and now we’re bringing these exercises to the………
Keeping Fit: Mind, Body, AND Soul
When we talk about being ‘fit’ it is easy to conclude that we might be talking about workouts, muscles, and getting in top physical shape. Being fit, however, is a result of exercise for the mind, body, and ‘soul’. Exploring the ways we can use technology to help us maintain and develop an overall level of fitness is exciting and fun but ultimately it is up to us to understand and exercise all areas of fitness.
Exercising the mind
We all love a good puzzle game, a good noodle scratcher, something to get the hamster running, but does this kind of mental exercise (such as a brain training game) really have merit when it comes to a fit mind?
Scientific America stated in 2009 that while nearly 50 studies of this activity had already taken place “most of these early studies were done on rodents”. Melinda Smith, M.A. (an editorial writer with a masters degree in psychology) suggests, in a recently revised article, that physical fitness including important areas such as sleep, food, and exercise all aid in achieving fit mental health. In her article “How to Improve your memory: tips and exercised to sharpen your mind and boost brainpower” she provides similar exercises to help memory and cognitive skills as the ones found at Lumosity.com.
Lumosity is a website offering users fun, engaging exercises for improving the brain. Lumosity.com grounds all of its brain exercises in extensive research and cutting-edge science from around the world. Under the guidance of their Scientific Advisory Board — which includes researchers from such institutions as UCSF and Stanford — their neuroscientists design their training programs to produce noticeable cognitive benefits. Using novel, engaging and constantly adapting challenges, our exercises strategically target brain areas such as memory, attention and processing speed.
Of course I decided to give it a try. …
Confession time: I haven’t been so great with keeping you all updated on my wheelings and dealings lately and for that… WHOOPS!
Hopefully you’ve been following me on twitter and keeping in touch that way.
So to make up for my lackluster transition from November to December get ready for an explosion of girlgamerbomb goodness.
But trust me when I say great things are a coming.
(Also for archival purposes)
I’d like to offer the following links to some of my articles recently published at GirlGamer.com
Now that your mind has been blown, hopefully we can forgive, forget and move past this unpleasantness.