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Child of Eden
06-16-2011, 09:59 AM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2011 06:58 PM by dirtyvu.)
Post: #1
Child of Eden
[Child of Eden] Review: Must own game to show off your Kinect [9/10]

Child of Eden

[Image: 23ixwnn.jpg]
  • Official site link
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Q Entertainment
  • Genre: Shoot-em Up (SHMUP)
  • Players: 1
  • Xbox Live supported?: Yes, online leaderboard only
  • Uses avatars?: No
  • Age group: 6+


Child of Eden - The good
  • Beautiful graphics and audio soundtrack
  • Immersive Kinect controls
  • Use of up to 4 controllers as vibrating force feedback
  • Well-designed shmup with intricate gameplay-scoring mechanics

Child of Eden - The not so good
  • Shmups tend to be shorter games than other genres
  • Menu navigation can be confusing because it sometimes switches between Kinect and controller
  • No cooperative multiplayer

Child of Eden - Story

Lumi was the first human born in space. Before her passing, her memories and thoughts were stored in data archives in Eden which is the future version of the Internet. Project Lumi was a project to restore her memories and experiences. But a virus is threatening the data and must be eradicated so that her records can be restored.

Child of Eden - Kinect experience

Menu navigation can be with either the Kinect of the game controller. Menu navigation is a little confusing because it's very easy to switch between Kinect mode and controller mode. Merely pressing a button on the controller can switch controls to the controller. To revert back to Kinect controls, you have to press the back button. In general, the menus are a little confusing in terms of selecting missions.

The game is definitely meant to be played with Kinect controls rather than the standard 360 game controller. Combined with the controllers for force feedback, controlling with the Kinect is the most immersive experience where you just forget the interface and become one with the game.

If you place your Kinect at waist level, the game doesn't appear to control as well as with the Kinect above the TV, especially when targeting near the bottom of the TV. It's not a major difference but if you can, put the Kinect above the TV.

The logic also applies to sitting down. Child of Eden does allow you to play in the sitting position but when sitting down, targeting objects near the bottom of the screen can sometimes be hard because if the Kinect is placed low and you're sitting down, when you move your hand to hip level to target low objects, the cursor will jitter occasionally while the Kinect is figuring out where your hand is. But it's not the accuracy of the sitting position that's necessarily the problem. With the Kinect and TV higher than your body (when you're in the sitting position), I tended to actually get more tired than when standing because I would have to raise my arm higher to reach all parts of the screen. The game controls better in the standing position. When I'm playing standing up, my arm doesn't have to go that high in order to reach the top part of the screen so the arm fatigue is not as much as when sitting down.

The game uniquely allows you to use up to 4 controllers as vibrating devices so if you wear baggy pants or shorts with pockets, it's an awesome experience. I thought it would be a gimmick, but it just feels awesome. It's not just generic vibrations either. Different explosions seem to produce different effects. The vibrations also appear to be spatial and positional as well. There's also some pulsations due to the various music beats. You have to experience this pants vibration to understand how good it feels. I only have 3 wireless 360 controllers so I didn't have the full 4 controller experience but it felt great nonetheless. I also tried 2 controllers in the front pockets of my shorts and it worked great. It really recreates the atmosphere of being in a game machine at the local arcade.

Unfortunately, the vibration setting is not retained. Every time you launch Child of Eden, you have to go to the settings to set it again. Another issue is if your pockets are not large enough and the pocket presses down on any of the controller buttons, it can revert control back to the game controller.


Child of Eden - Graphics and Sound

The game starts with an introductory movie in high definition that looks like something out of the mind of Tim Burton. You see a real actress model playing Yumi where she's walking through a surreal forest scene with augmented CGI. Her images will intersperse throughout the game. The actual in-game graphics are outstanding. The framerate is extremely solid and shows no obvious moments of slowdown.

The music is the truly spectacular element of this game. You'll often find yourself bouncing with the music as you play. This is one game where I'll definitely be looking to acquire the soundtrack.


Child of Eden - Gameplay

The first mission is the tutorial level where they teach you the game mechanics. The right hand is used to paint the various enemies on-screen. You just move your hand over the enemies which locks onto them. Once they are locked you do a simple wrist flick to unleash the explosions. You don't have to do a dramatic motion to unleash your weaponry like you may have seen in various hands-on gameplay videos, just a quick flick of the wrist. The left hand controls your tracer weapon which is behaves like a machine gun. There is no locking of targets with the tracer gun. You simply maneuver the onscreen cursor with your hand which autofires.

The trick is figuring out which weapon to use on which enemies so you'll be switching back and forth between the weapons constantly. As part of the game mechanics, the game doesn't allow you to use both weapons simultaneously. They designed the game to force you to switch hands thru the different types of enemies so weapon choice is not merely preference. Raising both arms a la an orchestral conductor will unleash your smart bomb. General movement of the screen is on-rails. However, you can shift the view in a direction by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. And you will be required to pan the view as some objects and enemy bullets will be off the screen. Panning around will also allow you to destroy the most amount of objects. You can't kill everything by just waiting for it to appear in the middle of the screen. During the frantic scenes where enemies are filling the screen, you'll often be waving your right hand as if you're erasing a chalkboard in order to paint enemies and launch explosions quickly.

Targeting via your hands is wonderfully done as you never feel like you're fighting the controls. You'll feel part Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprenctice, part Tom Cruise in The Minority Report. I've never liked the Rez controls whether it was on the Sega Dreamcast, Sony Playstation 2 or Xbox 360. Every time I played Rez, I kept wishing the game used a mouse. But in Kinect, it feels amazing and accurate with your hand. It gives you the feeling of a mouse. You rarely overshoot the cursor like with a game controller.

There is a second set of Kinect controls available as an option. If you set the Kinect to Gesture Type B, you can switch between tracer and lock-on laser by clapping your hands together. This way, you can alternate hands without alternating weapons (good for when you want to play for long periods of time). The default Kinect controls plays fine for me.

There is also the option of using the standard 360 game controller to play Child of Eden. The controls have been tightened up since Rez. There are 4 available control templates for the buttons. While the control is very tight, the sensitivity cannot be adjusted. This made it hard to quickly scan across the entire screen, a feat very easy to do with the Kinect controls. The advantage of using the controller comes into play when you need precision to switch weapons and maintain targeting. With Kinect controls, as you switch arms by raising one and lowering the other, you are also dragging the reticule with it which means you need to reacquire after you change arms. But because you can quickly move the cursor with Kinect controls, it's not much of a sacrifice.

Game mechanics-wise, there are multiple ways to play Child of Eden like most shmups (shoot-em-up games). If you simply want to kill enemies and finish the game, you can play frantically and move your hands rapidly. If you want to score higher and increase your multiplier, you have to play more precisely and deliberately. For example, you should max out the targeting before launching explosions. Also, the more you launch missiles to the beat of the music, the higher your multiplier score will be.

Like other shmups, the screen can become quite hectic where it's hard to distinguish between debris, enemy bullets, or enemies themselves so it requires constant attention to quickly identify the various elements. The name of the game in shmups is pattern recognition (figuring out how the enemies are appearing on the screen and choosing the most effective means to target all of them with minimal movement). If you love shmups, you'll love Child of Eden.

Of course people will note Child of Eden's lineage to Rez because Tetsuya Mizuguchi was basically the father of both games. But for people that don't know Rez, Child of Eden is like playing your typical shmup such as Raiden or Ikaruga or Torus Trooper or even more old school, games like Galaga or After Burner. The only difference is Child of Eden plays from a first person perspective rather than third person.

I cannot comment on the length of Child of Eden as I have not yet finished the game. However, from reading other reviews, it appears the game is short. Shmups tend to be short so this is more a negative on the genre than on Child of Eden (I finished Raiden IV rather quickly). When compared to other shmups, Child of Eden's length is very good actually. Also, in order to unlock the various levels, you are required to accumulate enough stars which requires you to play the same archives multiple times. The level design is somewhat organic so that when you play an archive again, the experience is not exactly the same. So replayability, such as with Pac-Man Championship Edition and other such games, comes from achieving higher scores. Length is mostly likely the greatest weakness in this fine game.

There are a nice number of unlockables in the game. If you're a fan of the music (and the music is pretty spectacular), you'll love the inclusion of music videos.


Game Name - Multiplayer options

There are no multiplayer game modes. Xbox Live support is restricted on online leaderboards. It's unclear if there will be any DLC levels in the future.


Screenshots

[Image: 2010-09-28-Child-Of-Eden.jpg]



[Image: child-of-eden.jpg]


Video



Conclusion

Child of Eden is a must-own Kinect game. There are now 3 games that people universally use to show off the Kinect: Dance Central, Kinect Sports, and now Child of Eden. This game is defined by the Kinect controls and the amazing music.

The music is so well integrated into the gameplay and is not just background noise. Most age groups will enjoy playing Child of Eden except for young children whose dexterity might not be high enough to subtly control the cursor. If you don't have a Kinect, it's still a great game, but you may feel a bit disconnected. If you do have a Kinect, it becomes a phenomenal game. I wanted to give it a 10 but to truly deserve a 10, it should've had multiplayer options. Most shmups have cooperative campaigns. But that doesn't truly mar a fabulous gaming experience. I can't wait for the sequel...

[game info] [buy game]

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06-16-2011, 01:40 PM
Post: #2
RE: Child of Eden
Great review! Fun and easy read through thanks a lot! Btw, just got my Child of Eden a minute ago, and am excited to try it after reading all this Big Grin

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06-16-2011, 06:02 PM
Post: #3
RE: Child of Eden
I was going to wait and get it when the price goes down, but your review makes me want to go out and get it right now. Great job! And thanks for taking the time out to write it.
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06-16-2011, 06:51 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2011 06:54 PM by Clemens.)
Post: #4
RE: Child of Eden
Just got back, been through the first 3 archives now and found the game challenging and fun! Challenging as starting a level doesn't mean you'll finish it (even on normal mode) and fun because it feels different from any game I've ever played.

The game works really well with the Kinect sensor, and the menu's are a lot easier on the arms than let's say Kinect Sports' menu (as long as you don't push the buttons on any of the controllers you may put 'on' yourself).

Also, the music really connects to what you do.. that's hard to grasp unless you're playing this game Smile.

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06-16-2011, 06:59 PM
Post: #5
RE: Child of Eden
The only thing you forgot to mention was difficulty levels. There are three. You start on normal mode and once the game is beaten on normal, it unlocks a hard level (I haven't done this yet, but the manual says it does). Also, there is a free play mode where you can play through levels you have beaten on normal mode without being hurt. This is great for kids. My 3 year old and 4 year old loved playing it and were able to play through the entire first level "Matrix."

Loving this game so far.

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06-16-2011, 07:25 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2011 07:28 PM by dirtyvu.)
Post: #6
RE: Child of Eden
(06-16-2011 06:59 PM)UndgnfiedWrshpr Wrote:  The only thing you forgot to mention was difficulty levels. There are three. You start on normal mode and once the game is beaten on normal, it unlocks a hard level (I haven't done this yet, but the manual says it does). Also, there is a free play mode where you can play through levels you have beaten on normal mode without being hurt. This is great for kids. My 3 year old and 4 year old loved playing it and were able to play through the entire first level "Matrix."

Loving this game so far.

Thanks for the input. Yeah, normally people find the difficulty that fits them. If the game was too easy or too hard and had no difficulty settings, I would've mentioned it because then it becomes important (no one wants to buy a game that's impossible). but yeah, for completeness, I should've put it in.

For those interested in the music, some of it was by Genki Rockets. Check out the Heavenly Star album. So check them out on Amazon and show support. And tell Harmonix to put a Child of Eden song for DLC (or maybe even Dance Central 2!!!)! I would love to dance to some Child of Eden song. The first Dance didn't have enough music variety which they appear to address in DC2.

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06-16-2011, 09:14 PM
Post: #7
Thumbs Up RE: Child of Eden
If I hadn't already pre-ordered it your review would MAKE me buy it, lol!

Quote:General movement of the screen is on-rails. However, you can shift the view in a direction by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. And you will be required to pan the view as some objects and enemy bullets will be off the screen. Panning around will also allow you to destroy the most amount of objects.

So this replaces using the joypad's shoulder buttons to quick-look left & right in Rez? (I think you could do that in Rez couldn't you? Or was that just Panzer Dragoon where you could also look behind you?) I'm surprised they didn't use head-tracking for that actually. I think Sega should now patch Rez HD to use Kinect, it would sell loads more!

By the way, anybody who thinks Child Of Eden is short should play Confidential Mission, it's a great game (a LOT like the first 2 Virtua Cop games but it's also made by Sega so can't really be called a rip-off in that respect) but it's only got 3 levels and only takes about 30 mins to complete, lol! (If you don't die of course.) Luckily the Dreamcast conversion (it was originally an arcade game) added extra content like a shooting range.
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06-16-2011, 11:03 PM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2011 11:10 PM by VermillionSQD.)
Post: #8
RE: Child of Eden
Someone should make aftermarket...uhhh, vibrators, for Kinect game force feedback. Would you buy?
I was half joking regarding this, but I think it might be really useful. For example, strap them to your arms and legs in Dance Central and when you get a red outline, it also buzzes that appendage. Or if you have seen the kinect massage application, strap them to your hands for a guided muscle relaxant for your girl (or guy). Or strap them to your hands while playing Kinect Joy Ride and shake the virtual wheel when you drive over rough surface. Or feel the purr from your Kinectimal. Someone get on this!
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06-17-2011, 06:36 PM
Post: #9
RE: Child of Eden
Thanks dirtyvu, very good review. I wasn't very interested by this game but now I will surely rent it Smile
I like your idea of head-tracking Corellian, maybe in a sequel...
You may have something Vermillion!

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06-18-2011, 12:06 AM (This post was last modified: 06-18-2011 12:15 AM by meistroracer.)
Post: #10
RE: Child of Eden
Talk about getting your gift early. I was just getting home from work. Lo and behold...a package sitting on my porch. I was all smiles. Yes, finally.

My first experience. I put the cd in the console. I was so excited after reading all the reviews about this and Dirtyvu was icing on the cake review.

So anyways, I am going through the menu screen. I encounter a problem. On the menu screen, when I select start with my hand. My kinect Senor would go downward. Then the game instructs you to move closer to the sensor. Well, now how can I move closer when it viewing downward. I went through the Kinect tracking menu and I have adjusted it accordingly. About the third attempt, I was getting pretty aggravated. I didn't want to use the controller to play this game. Fourth attempt, but I did something different before the sensor moved down. I moved forward. This time the game continue on. Now I was happy.

Let me tell you the intro of the game was so beautiful and very well thought out. Explaining the situation of what is happening. I was in awe just by the graphics of this game. And yes, this game is similar to RezHD but better imo.

I finally get into the game the tutorial pops up on what to do when viruses comes up. I tell you...by flickering your arm back and forth. My arm were getting tired...but the cool thing is that you have to use the left hand as well to get rid the ones that are firing at you. I did get confused as to which is which at times.

Well, i'm going back to play some more. Oh I got to get something to eat.

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06-21-2011, 06:27 PM
Post: #11
RE: Child of Eden
I saw this tip on Arstechnica from ShapeGSX about how to avoid the switching between controller and Kinect:

For the vibration from the controllers, here is a tip. If you move a joystick on the main controller, it will automatically switch to controller mode. So, if you have more than one controller, set them all up for vibration but controller 1. Leave controller 1 on the couch and use the other 2 or 3 controllers for the vibration so you don't accidentally change it to controller mode while playing the game with Kinect.

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06-23-2011, 05:22 AM
Post: #12
Exclamation RE: Child of Eden
I thought I'd repost these tips here:

I've got 2 tips for everyone:

The first is either don't wear even slightly baggy clothing when playing Child Of Eden (or presumably any future Kinect games) or at least roll up your sleeves or something because when I was playing Child Of Eden at first I was getting a lot of cursor glitching and erratic movement as well as randomly firing. I knew it couldn't be the game as nobody mentioned that so I tried recalibrating Kinect but it didn't really help much at all. So I figured it must just be my cluttered room and/or having to stand further back than I was. I thought it was odd because Child of Eden just uses your hands, or arms too at most, so clutter shouldn't affect it too much (although I suppose Kinect is always processing what it "sees" even if it quickly discards everything but the player during games) and you should be able to stand pretty close. Anyway, I started playing again but it was just annoying me so much and I couldn't even really play it properly. Then I suddenly had an idea out of the blue to try rolling up my sleeves as they were a bit baggy (although not that much), so I rolled them right up to my upper arms and played again and the game worked virtually fine! Big Grin (Every now any again there's a tiny shake but that could be to do with my set-up.) So my theory is that not only does Child Of Eden use the new Kinect update but a slightly unfortunate side-effect of the new update is that it's far more sensitive to baggy clothing, even just slightly baggy.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the second tip. Don't scratch your nose with your left hand while playing Child Of Eden and using the lock-on weapon, lol! Big Grin (At least not unless you're using the clap method to change weapons.)
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06-23-2011, 07:57 AM
Post: #13
RE: Child of Eden
(06-23-2011 05:22 AM)Corellianrogue Wrote:  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the second tip. Don't scratch your nose with your left hand while playing Child Of Eden and using the lock-on weapon, lol! Big Grin (At least not unless you're using the clap method to change weapons.)

Big Grin yeah, I found the scratching problem too...

yeah, I wear short sleeve shirts (it's starting to warm up). but you have to have the baggy pants with the controllers!

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06-28-2011, 03:08 AM (This post was last modified: 06-28-2011 03:09 AM by Big Daddy104.)
Post: #14
RE: Child of Eden
(06-23-2011 05:22 AM)Corellianrogue Wrote:  I thought I'd repost these tips here:

I've got 2 tips for everyone:

The first is either don't wear even slightly baggy clothing when playing Child Of Eden (or presumably any future Kinect games) or at least roll up your sleeves or something because when I was playing Child Of Eden at first I was getting a lot of cursor glitching and erratic movement as well as randomly firing. I knew it couldn't be the game as nobody mentioned that so I tried recalibrating Kinect but it didn't really help much at all. So I figured it must just be my cluttered room and/or having to stand further back than I was. I thought it was odd because Child of Eden just uses your hands, or arms too at most, so clutter shouldn't affect it too much (although I suppose Kinect is always processing what it "sees" even if it quickly discards everything but the player during games) and you should be able to stand pretty close. Anyway, I started playing again but it was just annoying me so much and I couldn't even really play it properly. Then I suddenly had an idea out of the blue to try rolling up my sleeves as they were a bit baggy (although not that much), so I rolled them right up to my upper arms and played again and the game worked virtually fine! Big Grin (Every now any again there's a tiny shake but that could be to do with my set-up.) So my theory is that not only does Child Of Eden use the new Kinect update but a slightly unfortunate side-effect of the new update is that it's far more sensitive to baggy clothing, even just slightly baggy.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the second tip. Don't scratch your nose with your left hand while playing Child Of Eden and using the lock-on weapon, lol! Big Grin (At least not unless you're using the clap method to change weapons.)

I find using a fist instead of an open palm helps alot (yeah, say what you want.... sometimes I dont even need hands Angel). Also keep your hands in front of your body a good 12 inches at all times to avoid the missles from firing randomly.... if you lock on with your hands in that position, a quick punch/push will work flawlessly....
The biggest problem I have found is the "no longer recognized" when playing at night, which only pauses the game (probably need to run the Kinect ID tool a time or two more?)- but can be a distracting problem when in the midst of some busier action...

Tryin to stay around top 10 on the leaderboards has been fun so far (some of the scores are unreal) and the Hope archive "survival" is very challenging....

effortless playability, endless replayabillity....
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06-28-2011, 03:29 AM
Post: #15
Information RE: Child of Eden
(06-28-2011 03:08 AM)Big Daddy104 Wrote:  
(06-23-2011 05:22 AM)Corellianrogue Wrote:  I thought I'd repost these tips here:

I've got 2 tips for everyone:

The first is either don't wear even slightly baggy clothing when playing Child Of Eden (or presumably any future Kinect games) or at least roll up your sleeves or something because when I was playing Child Of Eden at first I was getting a lot of cursor glitching and erratic movement as well as randomly firing. I knew it couldn't be the game as nobody mentioned that so I tried recalibrating Kinect but it didn't really help much at all. So I figured it must just be my cluttered room and/or having to stand further back than I was. I thought it was odd because Child of Eden just uses your hands, or arms too at most, so clutter shouldn't affect it too much (although I suppose Kinect is always processing what it "sees" even if it quickly discards everything but the player during games) and you should be able to stand pretty close. Anyway, I started playing again but it was just annoying me so much and I couldn't even really play it properly. Then I suddenly had an idea out of the blue to try rolling up my sleeves as they were a bit baggy (although not that much), so I rolled them right up to my upper arms and played again and the game worked virtually fine! Big Grin (Every now any again there's a tiny shake but that could be to do with my set-up.) So my theory is that not only does Child Of Eden use the new Kinect update but a slightly unfortunate side-effect of the new update is that it's far more sensitive to baggy clothing, even just slightly baggy.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the second tip. Don't scratch your nose with your left hand while playing Child Of Eden and using the lock-on weapon, lol! Big Grin (At least not unless you're using the clap method to change weapons.)

I find using a fist instead of an open palm helps alot (yeah, say what you want.... sometimes I dont even need hands Angel). Also keep your hands in front of your body a good 12 inches at all times to avoid the missles from firing randomly.... if you lock on with your hands in that position, a quick punch/push will work flawlessly....
The biggest problem I have found is the "no longer recognized" when playing at night, which only pauses the game (probably need to run the Kinect ID tool a time or two more?)- but can be a distracting problem when in the midst of some busier action...

Tryin to stay around top 10 on the leaderboards has been fun so far (some of the scores are unreal) and the Hope archive "survival" is very challenging....

effortless playability, endless replayabillity....

I'm guessing you were originally signed in via Kinect ID before getting the "no longer recognised" at night? That's because Kinect ID doesn't work very well (at all for me actually, although maybe because I wear glasses?) in low light or if the light is switched off because it uses video as part of the recognition process, so whatever game you're playing will say "no longer recognised" in low light/darkness and you have to sign in manually. Unless you mean sometimes Kinect doesn't detect you (as a human, not personally) at all at night? If so then that's weird as most Kinect games (including Child Of Eden) can be played in total darkness if you want.
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