Exclusive Kinect Rush hands on and interview with Jay Ward from Pixar. We try out the new Kinect title and discover which Pixar fimls it includes: Ratatouille, Cars, Up, Toy Story and The Incredibles. We also ask him about guns in Cars 2 and the decision to make that film harder to follow for young viewers.
Previously on FGTV...
Pilot Episode: Pestridge Family Start Gaming
Episode 1.1: Pestridge Family Try Kinect
Episode 1.2: Pestridge Family Kinect Favs
Episode 1.3: Pestridge Family Tries PS3
Episode 1.4: Skylanders visit in San Francisco
Episode 1.5: Emmens Dad Kids Starts Gaming
Episode 1.6: Pestridge Mum Talks Kinect
Episode 1.7: Pestridge Super Young Gamers
Episode 1.8: Pestridge Dad uDraw and 3DS
Episode 1.9: Pestridge Mum tries Mario 3DS
Episode 1.10: Pestridge Mum Skylanders
Episode 1.11: Emmens Family Lego Games
Episode 1.12: Your Shape Fitness Part 1
Episode 1.13: Your Shape Fitness Part 2
Episode 1.14: Pestridge Mum Disneyland
Episode 1.15: Emmens Try Forza 4
Episode 1.16: Emmens iPad Gaming
Episode 1.17: Emmens Try 3DS and Mario
Episode 1.18: Guided Tour of the DS
Episode 1.19: Mum's Gaming Reality check
Episode 1.20: Emmens Plays Kinectimals
Episode 1.21: Emmens Try Skylanders
Episode 1.22: Season One Outtakes
Episode 1.23: Emmens try AppMates
Episode 1.24: Hilsons try PS Vita
Episode 1.25: Skylanders Giants
Episode 1.26: Skylanders Giants Devs
Episode 1.27: Kinect Rush Devs
Episode 1.28: Grand Slam Tennis 2
Episode 1.29: Skylanders Giants CEO
Episode 1.30: Hilsons try Runescape
Episode 1.31: Mum talks WiiU and Layton
Episode 1.32: Kinect Rush Gameplay
Episode 1.33: Kinect Star Wars
Episode 1.34: Right to Play Kinect
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Kinect Rush is more than Disneyland Adventures for Pixar films. It brings both ambition and common sense to steer the Cars, Toy Story and Incredibles themed exploration and adventuring in an engaging direction.
All but the most dedicated families will be struggling to keep up with Microsoft's Kinect games. After the initial blush of titles like Kinect Adventure, Dance Central and Kinect Sports came a range of third-party offerings that worked because they created genuinely new ways to play - Kinectimals, Fruit Ninja, Leedmees and GunStringer to name a few.
Then came a second wave of Kinect games that stretched the technology further. Whether it was Disneyland Adventure's open world exploration, Once Upon A Monster's interactions for pre-schoolers or Just Dance 3's four player support, these games changed the definition of what a Kinect game could be.
Now we have, what might be called, a third wave of games that build on earlier successes and broaden the range of franchises as well as the demographic. I spent time with Kinect Rush today, the first new Kinect game from Microsoft this year. Rush's headlines sound like a Pixar-ification of Disneyland Adventures, but while the main structure and approach is heavily informed from previous successes, it actually walks its own path and introduces both innovation and refinement.
Partnering with Pixar, Microsoft brings the polish and flare of Disneyland Adventures to a Pixar virtual world. Five of the Pixar films take the stage: The Incredibles, Up, Cars, Ratatouille and Toy Story. Each offers a unique adventure tied to the related film as well as a set of unlockable upgrades that players can win and apply to their characters - from rockets to Jetpacks.
The range of actions asked of the player are more exuberant style (compared to the sometimes hard to trigger Camera, High Five and Wand gestures in Disneyland Adventures). Actions like picking up objects, throwing objects along with the usual waving, pointing and jumping gestures steer sensibly away from too much fine control and keep the focus on reliability rather than wow-factor. For kids this is absolutely the right way to go.
Beyond all these technical concerns the most engaging aspect of Kinect Rush is the prospect of spending more time in these Pixar worlds. Although most have had games before, but there is something about playing hands free in Ratatouille's Paris or Toy Story's wild west or The Incredibles remote island that my kids find really exciting.
They roundly enjoyed Disneyland Adventures and dipping into different parts of the Disney stories, but Kinect Rush's ability to bring them into the world as well as the story is an intelligent next step for these kinds of experiences.
With Kinect Rush being released in the UK on 23rd March for RRP 39.99, it won't be long before you can try it out for yourself. This is another game that I'll be trying out on our Family Gamer TV families and will report back in the next show with first hand footage of how they get on.
This is where we take the chance to talk about what we have been playing and what's worked well for our families, from a newcomer and experienced perspective.
This week we talk about the following games:
We'll be back with more gaming surgery questions soon.
Andy Robertson appears in this podcast. "Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: