These last few weeks have been CRAZY. From Tuesday through Thursday this week, I worked 43 hours (15, 16, and 12 hour days). That seriously hampered my NaNoWriMo efforts, so I've been writing like a demon this weekend to get my word count on track. The silver lining of working from 8am to midnight on Wednesday was that I was already there to buy a Kinect, and did so. I also picked up Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, which is frankly the reason I wanted Kinect anyway.
To my surprise, Kinect really does work as advertised. The sensor has had no problem picking up where my hands are and recognizing gestures. It's kind of cool to navigate through Xbox menus using your hands, though this method is a lot slower than just using a controller. The Kinect sensor can be uses as a microphone for party chats, which can be both good and bad. I enjoyed being able to talk to my brother on live while cleaning around my apartment and testing Kinect's abilities, but the sensor will also transmit background noise, so it can't be used for party chat while playing games. I have yet to try Video Kinect.
Kinect Adventures is great as a basic pack-in game. I've been having fun with the various minigames, though I'm sure longevity will be the game's major issue. From what I've seen so far, the game looks like a pretty easy 1k, though the game is best enjoyed in short 20-30 minute bursts.
As for Your Shape, I've only realy used it once so far. I loaded the game up on thurdsay to get my basic information entered and knock out the starting fitness quiz and test, but felt far to tired and beat up from work to seriously work out. My first true work out with it happened Friday. While it's too early to tell how effective the program will be, it's definitely designed to kick your ass into shape, and thankfully offers lots of positive reinforcement along the way. I'll admit, I'm extremely out of shape, and the Cardio workouts beat me up so bad I needed to stop after about 20-25 minutes. I'm planning to alternate the high intensity workouts of Your Shape with lower intensity (but longer with higher total calorie burn) runs on the treadmill at my apartment complex's gym to meet my goals. My efforts are beginning to produce results - the number on the scale has finally begun its downward spiral. I'll have more to say about Your Shape after I've spent more time with it.
There's one thing about Kinect I didn't realize right away and want anyone considering purchasing one to be aware of: Kinect needs personal space. That is, you have to have 6-10 feet of open space in front of it for it to work. In my apartment, I BARELY have enough room in my default configuration, as I stand less than a foot in front of my futon when I play Kinect Adventures. To play Your Shape, I physically have to rotate my TV and Kinect Sensor about 45 degrees towards my open carpet and dining areas to have enough space to work out. Kinect will be virtually unplayable for any college students living in dorms, unless you somehow manage a miracle of furnature organization and space utilization. You'll have to cart your Xbox down to a TV lounge or something. Sorry folks. So, I recommend looking at your gaming space and seeing what would have to be moved or changed to make Kinect work before buying one.
Look for a new blog feature called "Retweet" to be coming in the next week. In this feature, I will be copy/pasting some of my most important tweets from the last week to the blog, for anyone who may have missed them, and then proving blogging is the superior writing form by expanding on those tweets in more detail.
jackanape - Loved your rant on how you can have a high GS and a live, even if it did make my score seem a lot less special =)
Xylofreak - Are you a Hater or just trying to keep me motivated?
Bionik Kommando - For calling Halo Reach "Gaylo Reacharound." That's f***ing hilarious coming from the God of Halo. Awesome.
Flufferwuffer - Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I think I'm beating you in word count at the moment. Come get me!