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  1.  A Pleasant Surprise


    As a hardcore Xbox 360 gamer I was seriously worried the Kinect would be aimed solely at casual gamers and families. A year ago I had seen the graphics and couldn't help but think this would be a cheap cross between the Nintendo Wii and the old Eye Toy. However, I couldn't have been more mistaken.

    Using a VGA camera and IR projector the Kinect tracks movement surprisingly well and manages to distinguish between player and pet flawlessly. The voice recognition works a dream as well. I went all giggly the first time I played a DVD:

    "Xbox. Play disk." It did. First time!
    "Fast forward." Again, too easy.
    "Faster." Up to 4x speed.
    "Faster." 8x speed.
    "Play." I've missed half of the original Tron but, all I do is lift my hand and swipe to the left and I'm back at the beginning. Child's play.

    Gameplay is incredibly natural. To kick a football I don't press the A button on a controller, I kick. To bowl a bowling ball I swing your arm forward exactly as I would do down at the local 10 pin alley only I'm not wearing some communal shoes and I've yet to put any trousers on.

    Of course, I'm referring to Kinect Sports but, I purchased the two together (highly recommended). Kinect Adventures is slightly less fun and with only 5 mini games it is a tad repetitive. On the plus side, playing a game is so tiring, you usually end up going to the kitchen to get a drink or cool off in the shower before you get bored.

    Yes, the games are not up to the graphical standard of Call of Duty Black Ops and sure, there's only a basket load of games available to purchase at present but, that was exactly the same as the Wii, the PS3 and the Xbox 360. This is a worthy investment.

    Oh, and worried about looking ridiculous? Don't be! Everyone just has to have a go as well. It's the first time I've ever manage to get my girlfriend to play a video game and now we play doubles volleyball and table tennis daily.