:kinect: collection update 

Splurged on 4 Kinect games at Gamestop, all complete with cases/manuals (where applicable):

- The Gunstringer: Previously owned and sold; I remember this one playing well. Not sure how well the humor's aged, though.
- Just Dance 4: My first one of these. One down, eight to go!
- Michael Jackson: The Experience: I tried to start my copy of The Black Eyed Peas Experience but was completely lost in the story; this should help.
- Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor: Necessary

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:kinect: collection update 

My goal is not to get every single Kinect game (there were dozens and dozens of these things), but instead to get the major franchise entries, the first-party games, anything with a story-based campaign, and anything that sticks out as a novelty (Body & Brain Connection, Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout, Leela).

I'd LIKE to make videos about them, but if I do, they'd be review-ish things, and none of them would show my IRL body beyond the ingame silhouettes.

:kinect: collection update 

Tonight's shopping trip also contained the third retail experience where the clerk was incredulous at my actually wanting to purchase these:

The first one was at Retro Game Trader, where I specifically asked what was in stock and was directly told "we don't accept Kinect games, actually". An achievement on their part (and I don't fully blame them), considering their shelves are fully stocked with games for every major system back to the 1980s

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:kinect: collection update 

The second and third ones were at Gamestop: the second one, the clerk looked down at the games and back up at me, and I could see the gears frantically turning in her head as she tried to come up with up-sells based on what I'd selected. (Pokemon Go Plus.)

The third one took place tonight, where I handed my stack of four games to the clerk, who reflexively scanned them as trade-ins; she only realized her mistake after opening the first case to find no disc inside.

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:kinect: collection update 

Priorities:

- Rise of Nightmares (again, necessary)
- Round out first-party/launch lineup (Adventures, Joy Ride, Kinectimals [Now With Bears!], Sports [1 & 2])
- Dance games that are likely to still actually have value to others (Just Dance 3/Greatest Hits, DanceMasters, Zumba Fitness Core/Rush, The Hip-Hop Dance Experience)
- Last I checked, there was a copy of NBA Baller Beats (sun-bleached, with deflated basketball) still on a shelf in a store near here. It's Time.

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

This was my workout today; after one song I instantly understood why these games succeeded where Dance Central didn't. It's why I eventually stopped pursuing fitness-specific games as a lifestyle fixture: the only reason you'd want to incorporate a body tracker into an aerobic workout is if you want critique on your form, and not many people want to hear negative feedback in the middle of exerting themselves; I certainly didn't. This game isn't interested in offering that.

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

The dancers are prerecorded videos; the positive feedback you get comes from background effects and the UI providing DDR-style accuracy ratings that go from Perfect -> Good -> OK -> X on any given move. This avoids Dance Central 1's situation where if you do poorly the dancer's silhouette glows red, the background desaturates, and the dancer condescends to you after your star rating is revealed.

(To say nothing of some red being visible when you Perfect some moves, ugh.)

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

That's not to say DC's approach was invalid; their approach worked well when you adjusted to it, and most of its issues were ironed out in 2 and 3. I think Just Dance might work better for me at the moment, though. Just show me some simple routines; I'll do my best to copy them, it'll generally tell me if I'm on the right track, but the game's metric ultimately won't matter anywhere near as much as whether I break a sweat and have fun along the way.

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

Still playing this: today I tried out the Just Sweat mode, which includes some common-sense additions not found in any Dance Central titles. Specify the length of your workout, it populates a playlist and fills any time gaps with appropriately timed warmup/cooldown routines. Progress is measured not on move accuracy, but instead by how intensely you're moving averaged over the last few seconds, logged in real-time in a bar chart spanning each routine's length.

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

You don't see which songs you're playing in advance, also; in today's routine it just showed "INTENSE ->" is until the loading screen for that song appeared. I can see this being a problem if you actively dislike any particular songs in the game's library, and I've heard criticisms that later games especially lean into teenybopper top-40 (One Direction, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry). I personally have no such issues to speak of; the hidden benefit of having no dignity to lose

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:kinect: collection update 

Well, some enterprising collector bought the copy I had my eye on, but eBay had it for $10 less with free shipping. (Basketball's deflated in this one only because it's been over half a decade; I expect it to inflate fine, but we'll see how it goes when I get the proper adapter for our bike pump.)

I do not expect to actually be able to play this anytime soon; this was clearly made with the ideal Kinect living room in mind (giant open penthouse loft, non-carpeted floor)

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:kinect: collection update 

Phen was also a total sweetheart and grabbed me copies of DanceMasters and Zumba Fitness Core, and I also splurged an extra $5 for a like-new copy of Kinect Star Wars (partly to see the singleplayer campaign, but mostly for its Galactic Dance-Off mode, which I -will- experience to its completion firsthand)

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:kinect: collection update 

Searched +"lot of" +"kinect" on eBay a week ago, and now I have a $20 box containing Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports seasons 1 and 2, Fighters Uncaged, and VicTORIous: Time To Shine, as well as a few games I had already, and a bonus loose copy of Skylanders: Giants (which I was going to get at some point). Also: six unopened copies of Fantasia: Music Evolved, with cases I can't harvest (because opening them causes the cover sleeve plastic to disintegrate)

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:kinect: collection update 

There were other toys-to-life games in here (Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and the first Disney Infinity), painting the picture that these were from a retailer trying to unload excess stock, and it's easy to see why: These games are un-trade-in-able, specifically because demand is so low for the platforms they were made for. If anyone with a US-region Xbox 360 wants the remaining games for whatever reason, let me know and the box is yours for the cost of shipping.

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:kinect: collection update 

I probably would've ended up with a copy of VicTORious at some point (it's a licensed product based on a TV show and, as such, probably has a single-player campaign), but it interests me in part because it appears to be a rhythm game with, uh, six songs. I can only imagine it makes up for the lack of content with artistic talent, charisma, replayability, and polish, like REZ or Gitaroo-Man

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

Having three-starred every song in the game, today I tried the Shuffle All mode (which endlessly plays random songs with minimal pauses in between). If you're indifferent to the music itself, there appear to be no drawbacks whatsoever to playing this way; it even gives you points toward unlockables as though you played each song individually, delivered in one giant cache after you stop

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Just Dance 4 :kinect: 

Anyway, I dropped $32 on eBay to get caught up to Just Dance 2017 with all the other mainline games in between. Surely the added fidelity of the Xbox One Kinect will bring my performance to an entirely new level

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Just Dance 2014 :kinect: 

Update: It didn't~

Finished the base 2014 lineup today! My personal verdict -- too many songs where you're expected to directly interact with a partner; otherwise it's fine. Highlights include "The Other Side", "Sentai Express", "Moskau", "Where Have You Been". "Gentleman", and "The Love Boat".

The last two in that list (intentionally) verge on self-parody; I'm glad there are six more installments for this studio to continue iterating on the dance routine video format

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Just Dance 2014 :kinect: 

Apologies if I'm repeating myself -- my plan from here is to run through the basic lineup of each game at least once, then whenever I catch up with 2020 I'll be deep-diving into it with attempts to refine and master every routine I can. I saw people absolutely throwing down to JD2019 in the video games room at BLFC, the least I can do is replicate their energy in the comfort of my own home.

2015 is installed on the XbOne, I'll see if I can bust into it tomorrow

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Just Dance 2015 :kinect: 

OK, this game showcases a problem I have with games-as-a-service as a concept. It boots up, you can ostensibly play songs, but it runs at a stuttery framerate (less than 30FPS, even dropping controller input in menus) even after a full reboot. I looked online, it turns out the problem comes from Ubisoft having changed their internal uPlay API; the game wants to phone home but can't, and massive performance problems are the result. Going offline makes it run fine, but jeez

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Just Dance 2015 :kinect: 

I successfully earned the achievement "Forever Alone" for playing a duet song by myself. I do not miss the practice of games including achievements that insult the player

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Just Dance 2015 :kinect: 

I think this is my first time hearing "Let It Go" from start to finish! Not bad, TBH; I wouldn't listen to it myself, but uncritically, I can see it appearing alongside "Firework" in confidence-boosting Spotify playlists worldwide

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Just Dance 2015 :kinect: 

Still having a nice time playing this so far, though I'm not a fan of the un-opt-out-able freezeframes they take of your face for the post-song high score screen. I've grown to think I look OK in person/in motion, but the still frames require a sense of humor about my appearance I just haven't cultivated yet

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Just Dance 2015 :kinect: 

My favorite routines are solo and repetitive with lots of big moves; "Built For This" and "Birthday" are immediate standouts in that sense, but the boy-band songs also work well; despite having four people, individualized voguing is a big part of each person's routine, and it's all overblown to the point where I can't help but enjoy it

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Just Dance 2015 :kinect: 

Did a double-length session to get through the rest of this today; a few more good ones ("Burn", "Maps", "You Spin Me Round", "Addicted To You"). Anti-props go to "Speedy Gonzales" (for being a bad song with a routine you could attach to the Creeping Terror theme) and "Mahna Mahna" (for incorporating tweened digital movements from off the sides of the screen in a very "how the hell am I supposed to actually do this IRL" kind of way)

JD2016 is installed, let's rock

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Just Dance 2016 :kinect: 

Players are now identified by photos taken when the song is started (with a button press on a controller), also, and nearly every multi-person routine I've played so far can be done solo with a minimum of logistical awkwardness. (I say "nearly" because "Boys" has an extended sequence where the center player is picked up by the other two. Is the game even capable of scoring this?)

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re: :kinect: collection update 

@Lobst do you need a basketball to play it or is that just for coolness points?

re: :kinect: collection update 

@noiob It's a required peripheral, yes -- it's a Guitar Hero-style rhythm game that measures your dribbling technique by having you do specific moves while licensed songs play. It supposedly actually works (which is more than what you can say about a lot of Kinect games), but is also unwieldy without the right amount of space to move around in.

re: :kinect: collection update 

@Lobst woah, that's pretty cool

re: :kinect: collection update 

@Lobst @noiob alright but has anyone ported shut up and jam gaiden to the Xbox? I want to do a Kinect chaos dunk

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