I decided to to get my snow tires put on today but when I went down to Canadian Tire they told me that they were booked up. Thinking that I should make the most of my trip, I went over to the nearby Best Buy to do some Christmas shopping. To my delight, there was a demonstration of Kinect set up and I watched something that I never thought I would see. A grown man getting the shit kicked out of him by a five year old in Kinect boxing.
It was David versus Goliath. I could tell that this man had some experience with boxing because his guard was up high instead of hanging about his mid section. The child had no guard up. As the match started, the man began to dip and swerve, throwing hooks, rights, and uppercuts. The child decided to channel the power of the Fist of the North Star. Arms flailing, feet kicking out to no discernible rhythm, this child unleashed a wave of rapid, snake-like strikes that overwhelmed and confused this grown man. In fact, when the man fell, it took him a moment to realize that it was his avatar lying on the ground, broken and defeated. He said "Wait, is that me?". Yes it was you, my friend. The man bravely got back up by punching the stars out of his avatar's vision, trying to shake off the mental anguish at being on the receiving end of a five year old's fury. Sadly, he didn't realize that he was already dead. Again, the child went into his crazed assault, not allowing any quarter even when the man was clearly out of range of his punches. To an untrained eye the child's technique may have been called "cheap" but I could see the brilliance in this little behemoth's onslaught. You see, while his wave of tiny fists lacked power, they made up for in sheer numbers and variety. The child even used his feet to amazing effect, kicking them out and withdrawing them so fast that it seemed as if they were the spasms of a dieing snake. This was an obvious psychological attack. His kicks served no purpose when it came to offense but the simple fact that he was using KICKS in a BOXING match threw his assailant into confusion. Glorious. What came next was inevitable. The man fell once again, then another time. TKO was announced. The man left the stage defeated, his mind and body shattered. I would have offered him my help but I dared not incite the wrath of what was obviously the reincarnation of Kenshiro who stood triumphant in front of me. As the replay started, I witnessed the boxing match again in slow motion which only served to make the losing avatar's pain all the more obvious. The child's avatars fists were so blindingly fast that even in slow motion they were difficult to make out and his feet once again showed their amazing psychological assault upon the victim's mind. Picture four jackhammers jury rigged onto a steel girder with each jackhammer working as a human limb. That was what this avatar looked like, a four pointed device of pain.
Another brave soul (who was also fully grown) challenged the child to a "friendly" game of volleyball. He lost 7-1. Nuff' said.
My own turn playing Kinect was thankfully not against this child-demon-warrior-king, but against one of the staff. I have to say, Kinect is surprisingly impressive. My time spent with Wii boxing was what I used to compare to Kinect and I have to say that Microsoft did a great job when it comes to actually making Kinect work as advertised. When I was playing Wii boxing, I could never get down the proper way to move my body so that my punches were registering. It felt like I was supposed to make certain movements that would then serve as a button to activate a type of punch, rather than a one to one representation of what I wanted to do. With Kinect, each punch I threw was represented on screen down to even the speed of the punch. What was more impressive was that the heavier the punch I threw, the more damage it would do when it connected. After I discovered this, I began to use my hip to get the most power I could out of an attack and when one of my "power" attacks hit my opponent, it took off an appropriate amount of health. It was a very satisfying experience, to immediately be able to pick up and play Kinect boxing with little to no learning curve and to discover deeper mechanics as I played. When I threw a punch at the head, that was what my avatar did, when I aimed at the mid section, that was where I hit. Kinect really does work, at least in boxing. I came away the victor in my match and was quietly satisfied that I had beaten one of the staff.
All in all, a pretty cool experience that came from needing to get snow tires.
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