Like some Xbox players, I have been trying to find a reason to really love my Kinect. When I first got my 360 I was thinking it was going to be great, but more and more I was disappointed by the games that utilized it. It was a gimmick for than anything. And the system integration has been sketchy at best. It has become more of a quicker way to turn my system off as I am cleaning up for the night, than a gaming tool. I will occassionally use it record some of my semi-par game play, but that is about it.
Very few companies even pay attention to the Kinect these days, which is why I keep an eye out for new releases from Virtual Air Guitar Company. Their games draw you into the game with camera and allow you control the action with the motion sensors. Their newest release is no different. Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect lets you live out your rock god fantasies while never leaving the comfort of your home.
As the title suggests you will pick up you invisible axe and battle waves of enemies. Your skill and technique will directly impact your performance, but don't fret, you don't have to actually be able to play to do well. There are four distinctly different attacks that depend on your hand placement on the neck of the "guitar" and how fast you strum. Hand placement decides on if you are playing lead or rhythm and your strumming speed will vary between fast and slow. The catch is that each part has a limited amount of ammo, so you can't just constantly use strong attacks, or attacks that are weaker but have a larger damage radius. You will have to vary your attacks if you want to clear levels with 100% efficency and your health in tact.
The game is at heart a side scrolling shooter. You will mount anything from a dinosaur to a viking ship or and eagle and enemies start to attack as the hard rocking original soundtrack plays in the background. You will play along and shoot foes down before they have a chance to get close enough to attack you. You don't earn points through out each level, but at the end of the level you are shown the number of each type of enemy you dispatched and give you a level completion percentage. You will also gain XP which levels up you character.
The game is divided into albums, each of which has 5 tracks. There are 4 levels and one final album boss. Once you complete all 10 albums, you can replay them on a higher difficulty. As you progress through the campaign you will also unlock new guitars that have different firing abilities. Some are tied to the albums that you playing, others just look really cool. Either way, the new weapons add to the replay value of the game as you can try to best all the levels with each one.
The kinect integration into the game is pretty much seemless. You will appear on screen in all of your rocking glory. The strumming and hand positions are picked up without an issue. Navigating the menu between albums can be a little clunky at times, but works with the kinect or you can just flick your controller once or twice. Also since you are playing guitar and not moving around, the kinect only really needs to pick up your upper torso so the game doesn't require you to have a large space cleared. An added bonus of this game is that if you wear any sort of fitness tracking device on the wrist of your strumming hand you will rack up a nice little workout when you play.
Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect is a fun game for all of those that like to rock out on their imaginary guitars when nobody is looking. It can also double as a light exercise program. You can grab it at the Xbox store for $19.99. The title is a little pricey, but I have to admit that it is a fun game to just pick up and play for 5 - 10 minutes when you need to unwind. But you may also find yourself jamming out for an hour and stopping only when your body says you need to take a break.