I love my Kinect, although I've never really tried playing a fighting game on it. But that all changed when Namco Bandai demoed Dragonball Z For Kinect at their recent presentation. Not being a big fan of Dragonball Z, I'm not impressed that the game includes faithful storylines from the series. But I can appreciate how pretty the cel-shaded graphics look. There are over 50 playable characters, but only a couple were available in the demo. And there are over 100 different authentic DBZ moves for you to perform, and I do mean perform. Because of the Kinect, you will actually do the exact motions that the characters do in order to activate their special moves. Of course, regular punching and kicking is done the usual way!
The demo was just a random vs. level from Score Attack Mode, and while I was initially taken out of the moment by the game switching from first-person view to third-person, it mostly just does that when you're doing special moves. It can be a little jarring occasionally, but when you're shooting off that giant laser beam at your opponent, you kind of appreciate the camera pulling back to show you the entire spectacular spectacular. The whole thing is just as over-the-top ridiculous as you would expect a DBZ game to be.
There are moment when your opponent comes at you and you have to choose how to dodge, based on the on-screen icons. That was easy. I had a little trouble getting the hang of filling up my special meter so I could pull off the special attacks, but that would probably get easier as you go. Also, not being a fan of the series, I don't know exactly how they do their special moves, so I kept doing the laser beam one wrong. Still, even just punching and kicking was kind of fun, and not a bad workout, like most Kinect games! I was sweating after playing it, and not just because the ventilation in the room sucked!
Dragonball Z For Kinect also contains some pretty cool fan service. For the first time in the US and Europe, fans will get to see the Episode of Bardock anime that has previously only been seen in Japan. And Namco Bandai is producing a slew of QR codes that you can old up in front of the Kinect Sensor to unlock new characters and power-ups. These will be distributed free at various events like PAX and whatnot, but naturally once fans get their hands on them, they'll be all over the internet for you to print out and use yourself. Dragonball Z For Kinect is due out on October 9!