Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Hands-on: Child of Eden with Kinect controls

11:00 AM on 09.28.2010 // Jonathan Holmes

Kinect is kind of a big deal. Since the motion controller (or as some call it, "the un-controller") was first announced at E3 09, the hands-free controller has built up quite a reputation. Some have said that Kinect isn't really even a videogame control device and is in fact a supernatural force created by magic. Microsoft seems to have gotten wind of Kinect's ability to inspire awe in those that are yet to experience it, hence their clown-packed, Tron-elephant-laden Kinect showcase at last summer's E3. If Bill Gates and company are embracing the notion that Kinect is some sort of otherworldly device, I fear that they'll live to regret it.

I don't think that level of hype is good for the console. Kinect may be good for a lot of things, but in my experience, magic isn't one of them. I had the opportunity to use Kinect to play Child of Eden, one of the most mystical, otherworldly games I've ever seen. By the end of my play-through, I came away feeling jealous of those around me who had opted to play the game with a standard controller.

Read on for my full impressions.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the creator of Child of Eden, gave the crowd a brief talk before we got to play the game. There was a PowerPoint presentation that went over all of his past games (including classics like Lumines, Space Channel 5, and Rez) as well as took a look at video work with Japanese art-pop group Genki Rockets. Then he showed us footage of Child of Eden, which consisted of a giant laser space whale that transformed into a phoenix, some stuff that looked a lot like classic arcade game Gyruss, a whole lot of sparkly explosions, and more Genki Rockets. As it turns out, they're doing the soundtrack for the game. Awesome.

So far, I was quite pleased. I've loved Genki Rockets ever since I heard them in No More Hereos. I love rhythm action games. I love abstract, metaphor-heavy, psychedelic visuals. I love shooting stuff. I even have a history of falling in love with particular on-rails shooters. How could I not love Child of Eden?

Sadly, Mizuguchi-san wasn't done talking yet. At the end of his presentation, he made a Freudian slip, one that I wont soon forget. I believe his exact words were, "Playing the game with Kinect is very difficult... I mean... different. It is very different." He was actually wrong both times. The word he should have used was "broken."

Kinect effectively ruined my experience with Child of Eden. It was a great idea in theory -- play a shooter where you aim with your hands, change weapons by clapping, and launch bombs by stretching both arms in the air. I would have loved that. It could have been total body immersion into the game world. What I got instead was a total backfire. As it turns out, it was poorly implemented, full body-only work that made the player constantly aware of their body and the frustrated in their attempts to interact with the game world. It's the opposite of immersion. I'm still definitely going to buy Child of Eden, but I'll be using the standard analog pad controls, or maybe the PS Move control scheme, assuming they aren't also broken. Unless there are some serious changes prior to release, I wont be touching the game's Kinect controls with a ten-foot pole.

Actually, maybe if I used a ten-foot pole, the game would have worked better. I don't have particularly short arms, but no matter how hard I reached, I couldn't get the game to let me aim outside of a 1/4 screen-sized boundary in the middle of the screen. I also couldn't shoot a lot of the time, or even move the cross-hairs. There was no sense of "playing a game with your body," just a sense of trying to communicate with a game that wasn't listening to me. I got so bored with the game's unresponsive attitude that I eventually started to breakdance while "playing" it. I figured that it wouldn't hurt to try to keep myself entertained, and the game's music was pretty catchy, so why not dance to it? Child of Eden seemed to appreciate my efforts to keep things light, as I actually managed to hit more targets once I stopped trying to aim and started popping and locking. Perhaps breakdancing will go on to be the Kinect equivalent of button mashing? I suppose time will tell.

So yeah, score one for Child of Eden, but strike one for Kinect. The game itself was fantastic, like a higher concept, brighter, and happier sequel to Rez. Kinect only served to botch the whole experience. The visuals are captivating. The way that on-screen events synchronize with the soundtrack is intoxicating. Sadly, none of that matters when the motion controls don't work.

I don't know if that's the fault of Microsoft or Q Entertainment, but either way, someone better get back to the drawing board before Child of Eden comes out Q1 of next year.

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Ju... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
Matheus Railane avatarMatheus Railane
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I was just playing Skyrim and wondered if anyone has come up with Fallout 3/New Vegas weapon mods for Skyrim? Fighting dragons with assault weapons sounds almost necessary. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just bought Fallout: New Vegas. Throw me the best mods there are that AREN'T Total Conversion mods. So now Who Vegas - yet.
Parismio avatarParismio
Oh this Undertale summaration flipnote is so good:
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
For an early Christmas present I got my girlfriend Wooly World to go with our new Wii U. I've gotten more joy out of how adorable all the character designs are than I'd like to admit.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Dtoiders ! Steam just destroyed my wallet ! Share here what you bought in this sale !
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
And so I purchased not just Hyper Dimension Neptunia, but also its sequel and Grim Fandango Remastered in the Steam Sale, and it isn't even the end of the first day. God damnit. At least refunds are thing a now.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -