December 29, 2011

Sweet’N Low – Saving Eden

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:18 am

Child of Eden
With all the year-end articles that take time out to lament how the Kinect still lacks a single title that breaks the dancing and aerobics fixation, it has crossed my mind that I may have been playing Child of Eden wrong. And yet revisiting the title has confirmed that waltzing while shooting does little to raise my scores. It’s puzzling to say the least.

Returning to Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Kinect-enabled title did offer me the chance to once again glide along a rail through a cosmic ocean though, cleansing red points of infection from particle whales moving along the same tide before eventually vanishing on the horizon that gives birth to a fiery phoenix. My right hand grabbed multiple targets before a flip of the wrist fired locked-on shots. The left hand fired a repeating laser stream into the wings of the bird, producing a sound that left me feeling as if I were running my hands across a harp.

Perhaps this is the point where touch, vision, and sound come together in a harmony that exposes an experience of subtle discovery – you could miss it entirely in the action of firing lasers and target tracking. The sensory experience provides a clean palette for sights and sounds to emerge, so many tiny pieces weaving together in response to the actions of your hands.

Child of Eden also makes an existing genre more accessible, and that open-invitation encourages the desire to perfect the play of the performance the Kinect allows me to conduct.

Playing the game with a standard controller offers a striking difference – not necessarily lesser, but more linear, and something I want to often compare to traveling along the trench of the Death Star. The Kinect alternative never feels like anything less than the absolute emphasis, offering players a chance to feel quite a bit like Johnny Mnemonic – minus the burden of having to be Keanu Reeves, of course.

Eden is a space and place where abstract concepts take physical shape, and symbolic logic builds a complex world awaiting agile hands. Perhaps the accomplishment was doomed to always be undermined by the want for an expensive peripheral to fully appreciate the offering, but the experience left a significant mark on me this year all the same.


  1. I still think Kinect is lacking in the “feedback” department. MS should have sold little vibrating nunchuck like controllers to give you the best of both worlds.

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — January 3, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  2. You can actually use your controller as a vibrator for feedback while playing CofE, I had mine under my feet the whole time, it was pretty cool.

    I think I probably need to revisit CofE, it kinda disappointed me in terms of living up to how much I utterly adore REZ ( not helped by the fact that I kinda have a small TV, and this game is way more impressive on the big screens at work) but I was kinda impressed with how it dealt with controller-free controls for a rail shooter, so much more elegant than what Gunstringer did.

    Mind, it still kinda irks me that it was more of a game of two hands than really taking advantage of spacial gaming, the way the ‘step on the cracks’ and ‘pop the bubbles’ minigames do in Kinect Adventures. I suppose we’ll have to wait for Kinect2 for anything like that to resurface.

    Comment by AngelosLH — January 11, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  3. Gunstringer got by on humor for me, but I hear you on that note. Thanks for pointing out the feedback vibration!

    Comment by Jamie Love — January 12, 2012 @ 2:20 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress