Pixar have delivered us some of the most memorable childrenâ€™s movies in recent times. Titles like Wall-E, Monsters Inc, The Invincibles and the trilogy of Toy Story films - Pixar are the pinnacle of animated entertainment for all ages. With perhaps the exception of Cars. I never understood Cars - if there are no humans around, who made them all? And if they made themselves, why do they have door handles made for people? I know, itâ€™s a kidâ€™s film, use your imagination, blah blah. Trust me, Iâ€™m probably the biggest kid trapped inside an adult body youâ€™ll ever meet. But this is just common sense, right? Who built that freaking stadium they all raced in? They have no opposable thumbs!
Ahem, anyway. Thereâ€™s no question that Pixar have produced characters and stories that have captured the hearts and minds of the wee ones. Kinect Rush brings together a handful of these characters with Kinectâ€™s youthful and energetic motion capture technology. And they go together like Gin and Tonic... or perhaps more age appropriately, Bert and Ernie. Or Milk and Cookies.
The game features five of Pixarâ€™s franchises; Toy Story, Cars, The Incredibles, UP!, and Ratatouille, and presents them across a series of fun, interactive mini-games. For example, you might be Buzz Lightyear trying to escape from a P.O.W.-esque kindergarten. Or Mr. Incredible, attempting to save the city from an army of evil robotic creations. Each one will have you (or your wee one) up on their feet and waving their arms and legs around like they fell into a vat of sugar.
While previous Kinect titles have used your Xbox avatars, Kinect Rush goes that extra mile and instead lets you actually be the lead character from the film. When you start, the game will use the Kinect camera to scan your body and then create the appropriate models for each of the Pixar flicks. So if youâ€™re playing the Ratatouille episode, youâ€™ll literally control the little cheeky rodent by moving your arms and legs around and watch him do the same on screen. Want to see what youâ€™d look like as a cartoon car? Now you can. The highlight for me was seeing what Iâ€™d look like in a superhero costume. It was pure awesome.
From an adultâ€™s point of view, the quantity of game time is limited. But the quality is superb,
with the Pixar worlds all perfectly presented in each film's style. The only downside is, with a lack of story before each episode, the game assumes that you are 100% familiar with each of these movies.
The range of activities are well implemented and include jogging on the spot, picking up huge boulders, throwing said boulders, gliding, driving, climbing, swimming, skiing, and more. All up, there is only around 3 hours of solid gameplay from start to finish, but kids will definitely return to old activities. Replaying levels unlocks extra powers or objectives, and there are hidden collectibles and alternative routes to explore. Furthermore the two-player cooperative mode that lets a friend join in the shenanigans and the slightly lower retail price more than makes up for the lack of depth.
The only negative aspect, as is often the case with Kinect titles, lies in the controls. Kinect Rush is probably one of the better games and does an admirable job with the avatar scanning and basic movement capture like gliding and driving. Where it does fall short is in the running and general navigation controls. For example the game features a hub where players jog around the Pixar lobby to chat to kids and select which mini-game (or movie) they want to play. Weâ€™ve seen it before, where moving your arms in a jogging manner moves your player forward and turning your body directs where you want to go. But just like in Kinect Disney Adventures, this isnâ€™t very intuitive as the human body is designed to move the upper torso when alternatively moving your arms.
The end result is youâ€™ll often end up veering all over the place like a drunken monkey. The correct procedure is to look like an arthritic robot instead, taking great pains to keep your body still while pumping your arms up and down uncomfortably. As an adult, I learned this pretty quick and had the patience to get around. But just watch the carnage when a kid tries it out for the first time. Iâ€™m worried that Kinect is teaching the youth of today to run like wind-up toys.
This doesnâ€™t stop users from enjoying the game though, and - just like the Pixar films - each mini-game is worth the price of admission (Cars 2 excluded [Amen! - Ed.]). With a mixture of action and basic puzzles, theyâ€™ll spark the imagination, keep them laughing, and soak up a decent amount of energy too. Itâ€™s perfect for a lazy Sunday when you just want to sit back and read the paper. Chuck Kinect Rush in, put on some ear-muffs, and enjoy the mad antics that take place out of the corner of your eye.