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Child of Eden


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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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07-25-2011, 11:05 PM
Post: #2
RE: Child of Eden
(07-25-2011 09:56 PM)KinectFace Wrote:  I wish it was more than one player. Kinda boring playing this sort of game by yourself.

Ionno about boring...

But multiplayer would bring a whole new dimension to it. I can totally imagine a co-op campaign being awesome.

Or throw in some multiplayer minigames. Like 2 capital ships facing off (a la Star Trek) where you have to destroy the opposing ship before they destroy you.

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07-26-2011, 10:04 AM
Post: #3
RE: Child of Eden
(07-25-2011 09:56 PM)KinectFace Wrote:  I wish it was more than one player. Kinda boring playing this sort of game by yourself.

Have you played it? It's non-stop action so you don't have time to be bored, lol! Plus the visuals are changing all the time so it's interesting just to look at. (Especially Lumi. Wink Lol!)
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