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Pimp my Kinect, sez Kylie Minogue to Microsoft

Kylie Minogue, the singer who kinda fell out of my head about 10 years ago after her last hit single “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” but is still active and touring, has partnered with Microsoft to offer up this blinged-out Kinect sensor, studded with blue and white Swarovski crystals. My first thought was, don’t they interfere with the camera’s motion? But I suppose that if you can afford it ($1242 according to BornRich) then you’re already too rich and thin to do any actual exergaming.  Whatevah… (Via geeksugar)

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Michael Phelps dives into Kinect with a swimming game

Michael Phelps was the male swimmer of the yea...

Image via Wikipedia

Olympic swimming champ Michael Phelps is going to be the star of an Xbox 360 Kinect game called Michael Phelps: Push the Limit.  According to a USA Today article, the game (due in June) doesn’t need water – you swim while standing upright, and Phelps will teach you the correct stroke techniques to “beat” him.

The article adds:

Even diving into the pool has its intricacies. For instance, to start a freestyle swim race, you bend down as if to touch your toes, and at the start of the race, move into an upright position to trigger your swimmer’s dive into the pool. How quickly you transition from bent over to proper swimming position determines your velocity entering the pool.

So having a good hip snap could help you beat Phelps.  This may be the first video game where kettlebell swings can train you to get higher scores.

Dance Masters for Kinect demo is available, for Xbox Live Gold

If you have Xbox Live Gold (a free one-month membership came with my console) and Kinect, now you can download a demo of Dance Masters.  This is the “other” dance game for Kinect.  Dance Central has gotten most of the attention and sales, and the demo I played from the Kinect Adventures disc was lots of fun, but when I heard about Dance Masters, that was the one I wanted.  And I don’t regret it.

Dance Masters is to Dance Central what DDR is to Just Dance.  Just Dance (for Wii) and Dance Central (for Xbox 360 Kinect) are fun, casual games your whole family will enjoy, loaded with familiar hit songs.  But Dance Masters, which is on Kinect only,  is more of a “gamer’s” dance game.  Rather than club-style dancing, the dances are more like a stage performance, and the Kinect is your electronic Carrie/Len/Bruno, judging whether you hit those moves just right.

In lieu of scrolling arrows like DDR, DM has an interesting set of “marks” to hit.  A green silhouette will sometimes scroll in from the side, and you have to hit that pose right as it reaches the center of the screen (like in the TV show Hole In The Wall).  There are also round bullseye targets that you have to hit with either your hands or feet, We Cheer-like arm lines, and a green circle on the “floor” to be stepped on to the beat.  The choreography is the same for each song on all difficulties, but the number of marks increases on each difficulty.  Thus you can get away with just a series of poses on “easy”, but once you get to “extreme” or “master”, you pretty much have to have the dance down pat as marks come flying from all directions.

For extra fun (or embarrassment), DM puts you right up on stage with the dancers!  You can even “clone” yourself by projecting a video of yourself on a previous dance along with your live image.  Multiplayer puts both players up on the stage, and DM (unlike DC) offers online play as well.

The Dance Masters demo includes both solo and duet versions of three songs:  A Geisha’s Dream, Unity and We Can Win the Fight.  These aren’t “hits” like Dance Central or Just Dance offer; they’re original, Jpop-style songs that only DDR fans will be familiar with.  I love the choreography of DM, but A Geisha’s Dream is a particular favorite, and not that hard to do.  Here’s a gameplay video:

No, I’m not posting a video of myself doing it, sorry!

ExerBeat for Wii is announced

Namco Bandai, makers  of the We Cheer and Active Life sweaty games, announced an upcoming game called ExerBeat that looks like We Cheer with personal trainers.  It’s compatible with Motion Plus and the balance board, keeps track of calories (I hope it’s more accurate than the We Cheer calorie counter!) supports your Mii and has a feature where you travel “around the world” unlocking new games and places.

The screen shots on IGN only show dancing and boxing type moves using the upper body.  I hope there’s a walking mode; Konami’s been dragging its feet on a Walk It Out sequel, so maybe other companies like Namco or Ubisoft can fill those shoes.  (Via IGN)

Personal Trainer:Walking for DS plus 2 pedometers for a bargain price

It’s a little too late for Christmas shopping, but if you want to start on those post-holiday resolutions by just getting up off your glutes more, Amazon is currently selling Personal Trainer: Walking for Nintendo DS for under $20.

This game comes with 2 pedometers, so you and a friend or SO can play, or you can even attach a pedometer to your dog’s collar.  It also lets you import a Mii from your Wii.  I don’t have it, but if I get a little Christmas loot, I might consider it.  Here’s the official website to learn more about Personal Trainer:Walking, and here are more fitness-related games for your DS.

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