Dis-Kinect Me, Please!

There are many times in my gaming career that I regret getting a piece of hardware. Sometimes it’s simple as a downloadable game on Xbox Live, and sometimes it goes as far as being a full console. Heck if you all remember when the PlayStation 2 came out I regretted the purchase at its start. At least that regret changed into a purchase that I am proud to have made.

But now regret is starting to take shape’and it’s in the form of a foot long sensor bar that is mounted on the wall above my television.

That’s right. I’m talking about the Kinect. At first when it came out I was fascinated by the Kinect and how it could change the way I interact with my Xbox. Even some of the motion based games that came out for it impressed me, such as Dance Central and Kinect Sports. But over the next few months it started to become more and more of a hassle.

There were times I would talk to a friend on the phone, and the moment I say the word ‘Xbox,’ the Kinect would start to take over. If I’m watching a movie, the simple movement of me typing on my laptop will cause the Kinect to kick in and control the action by itself. Sure there is that waving gesture that should work to activate or turn off the motion controls, but lately there are some apps that don’t support it.

And that is when the last straw finally broke the Kinect back for me. When MLB.TV was added to the Xbox 360, the Kinect became self-aware. No longer restrained by the waving gesture, if there was any subtle movement in the room, the Kinect will take over.

And even if I don’t say the voice recognition trigger of ‘Xbox,’ the voice recognition will start at the slightest murmur. If I am talking with someone on the phone while a game was on in the background, I would end up yelling out ‘CANCEL’ without warning to save my characters. The person I’m talking to always ends up thinking I suffer from Tourette’s, until I explain that my Kinect is taking over my Xbox and I have to yell out ‘Cancel’ in order to get out of the voice recognition menu.

It just got too much for me. I like the integration of my Kinect in some of my games, such as the voice recognition used in Mass Effect 3 and in Skyrim, but when it took over all of my video apps, that was the end of it. And just last week I pulled the plug on my Kinect.

Did I un-mount it from my wall? No. I’m keeping it up for the time being. After all, there are games that will take advantage of it such as the upcoming Dawnguard expansion for Skyrim (yes, yelling FUS RO DAH never gets tiresome at all) as well as when Dance Central 3 comes out this fall. But of course with the alluring also comes the frustrating, as I’m experiencing with Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor. I wanted to know how a game that originally was known for its 40-button, $200 controller would be implemented with the Kinect. But even that is turning into an exercise in futility, as my upcoming review will explain’

Currently Playing: Skyrim: Dawnguard (360)

TRYING to Play: Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Kinect)

Waiting For: XCOM Enemy Unknown

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