Let’s get this out-of-the-way right now: this is, unsurprisingly, not the saviour for Kinect. This game is something close to a disposable bit of amusement, and rather than keeping you fit and healthy is more of an exercise in attention-span and patience.
The concept is simple; you control a pair of giant fists with your own hands while moving constantly forward, and smash a number of crystals in time to a beat. You also move left, right, up and down to dodge and reach oncoming objects, and…well, that’s pretty much it.
It starts off okay, introducing you to its premise and tempting you with the assumption that there’ll be more music tracks and an array of more moves and mechanics to learn about. This sadly never surfaces however, as what you learn in the first few stages is what the majority of the game consists of. The severe shortage of music tracks is an issue too; I think I heard less than five for the entirety of the game.
The basic premise could be the foundation for something rewarding and strangely addictive, but it isn’t. The “music” used in each repetitive level isn’t particularly loud or even catchy, and doesn’t even seem to be in time with what’s happening on-screen most of the time.
One thing that seems odd is the lack of some kind of co-op or competitive mode, even locally. The option to stand next to a friend and both flap your arms about like a demented penguin would be a welcome one, albeit mildly dangerous. The only alternative is instead to have them laugh at and film you from the side-lines, turning you into the star of your own embarrassing gameshow.
The game has an ‘Easy’ and ‘Expert’ difficulty, but there doesn’t seem to be an enormous difference between the two other than a few more ‘notes’ to hit on the higher one. Expert consequently feels more rewarding, but that’s not saying much considering how irrefutably barebones the game as a whole is. With that in mind, there is something to be said for the feeling you get from smashing the crystals brought about by the sound effects and the fact that it’s your own fist doing the smashing.
It is in this respect that Beatsplosion could be considered a success in its context as a Kinect title. The console’s controversial accessory has seen little praise since its release; however its future clearly lies in the physicality of games released for it. Indie titles like this do well to remind us what technology is available to the games industry, and when they’re priced at a reasonable $12.99 (about £9.20) you can’t really complain too much when they don’t blow you away.
In fact, Beatsplosion for Kinect triviality could even be seen as its strong point. This is the kind of thing that would do well at some kind of social gathering, or as something to keep the kids happy for a few hours. It’s not a work of art, but it doesn’t want to be. It wants to make you feel like an idiot, but to laugh while it happens.
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