Britt5091 Origins: My Thoughts on Natal

Welcome to Britt5091: Origins, where I dig up old blog posts I used to write for IGN’s community under the username Britt5091. Some posts may make you giggle, some may make your eyes bleed, and some may make you stroke your beard in a pensive manner. All you need to know is that these posts, no matter how terrible some of them may be, ultimately lead to everything I do now.

 

My Thoughts on Natal

September 24th, 2009

Yay or Nay?

Microsoft recently showcased an impressive list consisting of developers and publishers that are ‘actively working’ on games that will utilize their newest baby, Natal. Companies include Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Capcom, Disney Interactive, EA, Konami, MTV Games, Namco Bandai, Sega, Square Enix, THQ Inc. and Ubisoft. 

Even with this, clouds of skepticism, frustration and speculation still swirl around Natal; the same clouds since its reveal at this year’s E3. Gamers are worried. Worried that their favorite titles will lose that certain something if or when developed for Natal. 

Personally, I don’t think Microsoft (or other publishers/developers for that matter) would sacrifice losing a major fan base by developing their most popular titles exclusively for Natal, unless they fabricate some sort of ‘spin-off’, like Nintendo did with Link’s Crossbow Training. Not the best example, but hopefully you get my point. 

First, they know the skepticism is out there. It’s going to take a hell of a lot to convince those out there that Natal is the ‘future of gaming’. Why ruin a perfectly good game by forcing interactive motion? Second, the price tag. The average guesstimates range from $199-$299. Even if it’s ‘only?’ $199, that price is still going to turn a lot of people off. Low Natal sales=low game sales.

Honestly, I am excited for Natal. When I was ten years old playing Ocarina of Time I kept thinking how AMAZING it would be to be ported into that game. The same thought crossed through my mind while playing Resident Evil 2, and a several years later Final Fantasy IX, so and and so forth. 

While standing in front of a camera and potentially clawing at the air like a madman to fight off Zombies is NOT the experience I had in mind, but it’s a step in the right direction. 

And really, it’s not like the gaming universe is new to crazy and bizarre attempts to immerse players into the game using gadgets. Remember the Nintendo Power Pad?


For all you youngins’, this was the Power Pad. There were around 11 games compatible with it. It was the Wii Fit of the 1980’s, the DDR of the dark ages, the…okay I’m done. .

Although all of these ‘interactive’ gadgets are relatively extinct such as the Power Pad, NES Zappers, Game Boy Camera, Eye Toy, SIXAXIS, Balance Board, Wiimotes and now Sony’s motion controller and Natal, it makes sense that one wouldn’t have evolved without the other. Do you know what I mean? Without those baby steps taken years back, what would we have evolved from? We might not have the technology we have today.

That’s why I’m giving Natal a chance. It might flop and fail miserably or it might revolutionize gaming. Either way, it’s a step forward, and I’m holding out for it.

And until the day I am able to shake Zidane Tribal or Leon Kennedy’s hand, I will keep optimistic when it comes to interactive gameplay.

Hey, you never know.

How do you feel about Natal?

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Update

June 25th, 2012

Oh, Natal…er, I mean Kinect. Three years later I still find myself on the fence.

I mean, on one hand Kinect has provided hours of fruity entertainment with Dance Central, and, uh, Dance Central, but on the other hand I have yet to see a Kinect game advertised AND reviewed so well to the point of “ZOMG I NEED TO PURCHASE THIS AND FLAIL AROUND RIGHT NOW!” (Hell, I haven’t even utilized the Kinect in order to bark commands to my squad mates in Mass Effect 3.) And while the technology has improved since launch, I still find it buggy and not as responsive as it should be.

But like I said above, it might be a step in the right direction, but only time will tell.

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