You know, as we reached the holidays, one would think the concept of “free time” would be easier to attain, yet here I am a month later. Fortunately, I’ve got a few things to discuss over the remainder of the week, but for now, let’s talk the best time of the year: Christmas gaming.

For starters, I picked up this bad boy for my holiday decorations. I hadn’t planned to until I saw it in action, and then was committed from that point on.

For the rest of the holidays, I finally got an iPad, meaning that I can try out games on that platform now, and I also got a cool movie theater themed popcorn maker. Not a bad haul.

But as for proper games, I got two nice selections for Kinect: Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Just Dance 3.

It’s hard finding games for Kinect, and strangely, the best looking titles are essentially “kid’s games” (I still want to play the Sesame Street game).

But Kinect Disneyland Adventures is a near-perfect rendition of the Anaheim park, right down the Captain EO Tribute and the chairs in the food courts. About the only thing that’s missing are Star Tours and the Indiana Jones ride. But the park is accurate. Moreso than in any video game depiction before it. About the only thing I couldn’t access were a small handful of rides and the bathrooms. But after walking the park for a decade, I know every in and out without a map, and it feels natural here. Well, mostly natural, walking and turning are a little awkward.

But the games based on the attractions make good use of the themes right down to the music. And even in the park, you can do all of the “touristy” things like hang out with Buzz Lightyear, Aladdin, Donald Duck, and Stitch, buying pins, getting autographs…. For a “kid’s game”, it’s really quite fun, and for a Disneyland fan like myself, it’s really enjoyable to explore due to the accuracy.

Just Dance 3 is the other game that I got. I avoided the series like the plague on the Wii, but the Kinect version is pretty serviceable, and makes me wish Michael Jackson: The Experience had been this easy and responsive to control. The only thing that I find myself stand offish with is the dance instructor avatar. I enjoy a lively video dance routine, but the wiry little scamp is like a cracked out mime. I get distracted by their Joker-like leer when I am trying to bust a move, and…. yeah. I’d rather play with my Avatar.

But it’s nice to give the Kinect something new to play with. I’ll be spending the rest of the week talking about dashboard upgrades, Mario Kart 7, and my choices of “Best Games Of 2011”.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under: christmaskinect