: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

: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.

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: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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: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 

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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Just Dance 2016 :kinect: 

Even though the routine for "Balkan Blast Remix" (the Angry Birds tie-in) is done by four people in giant foam costumes mostly just waddling in place, I still didn't get more than two stars on it during my first (and only) try. Such a shame, the five-star-all-songs achievement will be forever beyond my grasp because of this

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Just Dance 2016 :kinect: 

It'd be great if routines didn't bust out "now fall to the floor! now do a handstand! now do a karate roll while facing away from the camera!" as a spacer between moves that are actually readable and performable by a person as out-of-shape as myself

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Just Dance 2016, commercialism :kinect: 

Today's session had a few standout solo routines ("Lights", "Stadum Flow", "Stuck On A Feeling", "Teacher"), but was brought down severely at the very end by the sudden revelation that this series has had a multi-installment product placement campaign, and JD2016 marks the first of two games where the ad routine is built into the on-disc setlist justdance.fandom.com/wiki/The_

Adding onto the outrage, the song isn't even good!

Just Dance 2016 :kinect: 

What's up gamers, just five-starred Under The Sea on my first try :emblem_gex2:

For serious, though, the last three songs (all couples' routines that require both partners to be skinny and athletic) were enough to make me glad I'm moving on from this one. (As though the final song itself wasn't enough to do that, ugh. If I wanted to dance to songs from Grease I'd have bought the dedicated Kinect game for it)

JD2017 is in the drive, I can't wait to see how it treats me

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Just Dance 2017 :kinect: 

When I eventually settle on 2020/Unlimited I'll be sure to pick at least one song from each previous game to incorporate into a curated Favorites list, which I plan to practice endlessly on Shuffle. Despite being a 4-person routine, this song will probably be on it

youtube.com/watch?v=Qe26bni6mo

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Just Dance 2017 :kinect: 

It's a shame Kingsman and Hardcore Henry looked at Shaun of the Dead's sequence featuring this song and thought "hey! I'll do that exact thing too!" because this routine is alright to play

"I hate this because ironic bros like it too" is a complaint I want to distance myself from in general, though. My personal bliss is untouchable

youtube.com/watch?v=xbS3GITUdM

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Just Dance 2017 :kinect: 

For anyone wondering "how do you deal with the oversaturated visuals and obvious 'random' humor in some of these videos?" the answer is it used to bother me but stopped quite a while ago. The line between this and the visual design you'd find in classic rhythm games is pretty thin, and Hatsune Miku's presence in the newer Just Dance games makes it feel that much thinner

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Just Dance 2017 :kinect: 

I think this is the routine I saw some folks play at BLFC; the moves, song, and video all live up to my mental image, the package as a whole does not disappoint

youtu.be/xp7P-YWYYOU

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Just Dance 2017 :kinect: 

As luck would have it, the aforementioned song was the last one I'd yet to three-star; it took multiple attempts, but I did it and the achievement notification felt incredible to witness

Seriously, achievements take on a whole new meaning when they're built around skills you have to learn, and especially so when they involve physical body movement. I'll have to remember this.

2018 is installed, and 2019/2020 are on their way; Xbox, play Despacito

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Just Dance 2018 :kinect: 

Ten songs in this today; I'm glad to see they've adjusted the new-user experience to not bombard everyone with content right away; they start with a limited selection of songs and only spring the complimentary Unlimited subscription five plays in.

But once you're in it, they reveal the series's first gachapon machine (which unlocks stickers and avatars) and gosh, even though it only uses earned currency this really just seems like a completionist's nightmare

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Just Dance 2018 :kinect: 

When I play this song next session I plan to unlock the secret cache of bonus points for replicating the dancer's facial expressions at the depicted level of intensity (which clearly bottoms out at 110%)

youtube.com/watch?v=k8yZ_GKm9m

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Just Dance 2018 :kinect: 

zzzzzwha?

Oh, uh, I finished this a while back. It's OK, nothing special; it did give me 90 free days of Unlimited (and that apparently stacks with the free trials from the other games), and I think that's the best I can say about it.

The final song was an unlockable behind the not-real-currency gachapon; I got 8 out of the required 9 components, which means it shall forever go unplayed

(I liked "Risky Business", though)

youtube.com/watch?v=To_jVuz3gk

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Just Dance 2018 :kinect: 

Oh right! "Swish, Swish" has the twist of the century 2 minutes in, also. Imagine playing this as the third dancer from the left, realizing what's happening as you're doing it, and nevertheless following through the entire sequence as best you can (because that's what happened for me, I'd classify the experience as 'incredible') youtube.com/watch?v=Ls_FWxWo9P

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Just Dance 2019 :kinect: 

Anyway, I'm a session into this and I'm enjoying it quite a bit more. Here's an early favorite in what appears to be a game full of bangers youtube.com/watch?v=_zXe2gwXIu

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One of the rare advantages of routinely using Kinect for exercise in 2019: if a piece of software ever comes out that's worth getting a VR setup in my room for, I at least have a nice 7'x5' rectangular patch of open floor at the ready for it🔸

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:kinect: future/VR update 

*sees Phil Spencer say VR isn't in development for Project Scarlett* Oh, then that means the next Xbox will have no independent motion-control interface, which means there's literally no point at all in me upgrading when I could just make use of my streaming PC as a videogame box instead, gotcha

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:kinect: future/VR update 

My ideal 2020 Microsoft E3 conference would've demonstrated the Scarlett's optional camera accessory as compatible with both previous generations of Kinect titles, before it's subsequently shown off as a high-fidelity tracking device for Breakdown Zero, Kinectimals: Now With Bears & Lizards!, and Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Functional Edition), all with seated and VR-optional modes. Ah well

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Personal VR plans, rewritten a few hours later 

My budget is relatively low, my streaming PC entirely runs Windows these days, I don't see myself setting up tracking lighthouses in this room, I want new/currently-supported hardware, and I was given Rock Band VR as a bonus for a different purchase I made (scopophobia be damned), so it'll probably be an Oculus of some sort

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Personal VR plans 

Twist: Turns out Oculus Link doesn't work on AMD cards yet (if ever) and the Rift S isn't great for people with high IPD (mine's at around 70mm). So if Oculus doesn't have their shit together by March 2020 I guess I'll be stuck looking for Something Else; I'm not upgrading my XbOne, so I'll just feed the cost of a Scarlett into this if need be

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PC gaming, personal health 

Getting motion sickness (a thing I never get) from FFXIV; I suspect this is entirely because I'm used to consoles and portables that, for 3D games, settle for 30FPS at most. The ingame framerate limiter doesn't seem to help, though, which is weird; I'll keep at it at 60 and see if it improves

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Personal VR plans 

My utter disdain for Facebook, the apparent poor tracking of the Vive Cosmos, and the lack of projected support for the Odyssey+ means it's Index or bust in this house! Now to wave my hands in sorcerer fashion and conjure up $1000 in American currency from thin air

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Just Dance 2019 :kinect: 

Finished my first pass through the songlist today. It bottomed out at "eh, whatever" once or twice, but was almost entirely exactly what I wanted out of a dance game songlist. Very few noodly duets/pop ballads, lots of huge powerful moves, visually striking videos, mostly from newcomers to the series youtu.be/ZhT1qdGcMh8

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Just Dance 2019 :kinect: 

Lots of non-English songs as well; it makes sense, since the audience for this skews more global than American these days. I believe this trend escalates into JD2020 youtu.be/p_NHXoxZGHU

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Just Dance 2020 :kinect: 

Today's session was the All-Stars campaign mode, which was a fun ride: it's one song from every previous installment of the main series. They seem to have pulled content from Unlimited they're likely to keep, which is why out of the 10 there are three songs featuring Katy Perry and two with Nicki Minaj

It caps off by unlocking this. On the character-select I did a four-corner double-hit and some overhead claps to warm up, no other reason

youtube.com/watch?v=FUTk8jq1Uu

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Just Dance 2020 :kinect: 

(I say it's pulled from Unlimited and not on-disc because Hot N Cold started at 480p and upgraded its resolution as I played; no other issues, which makes sense considering it's the game's most predictable sequence of songs to stream. I'd still greatly prefer proper disc exporting and a DLC shop, but this industry loves to stifle the concept of player-owned downloads at every feasible turn

Anyway, this routine from Just Dance 2 still rules

youtube.com/watch?v=4DcGBE-F9h )

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Just Dance 2020, one more thing about High Hopes :kinect: 

Haven't seen anyone talk about this, but every chorus from the second one on does a TrackIR-adjacent thing where, since the game can be reasonably sure where the player's viewpoint will be moving and by how much, it shifts the routine FMV's camera by roughly that amount. The effect is surprisingly cool to experience and I haven't noticed it in any other songs yet

youtu.be/dovTbPkyQO4&t=1m10s

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Personal VR plans, rewritten a few hours later 

@Lobst part of me is disappointed in ms's attitude here from having the whole windows mixed reality thing go nowhere rather than to console, part of me hopes that maybe this will push them into trying to get hololens to a consumer viable price point

it'll probably be a few years before i buy another headset unless i see a ps vr and astro bot for cheap, but i'd much rather get something either totally independent or at least wireless

Personal VR plans, rewritten a few hours later 

@Lobst (it probably won't cause any fluctuation in the hololens or oculus quest prices, but i can hope they'll improve)

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