Adrenaline Misfits

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In case you hadn't heard, Microsoft is putting out this controller-free gaming peripheral called Kinect. The company has announced a set of games that it has planned as the Kinect launch lineup. One of those games wasn't mentioned during the Microsoft press conference, nor has it been talked about in the past, but I just spent a good half of an hour putting it through its paces. The game is called Adrenalin Misfits and it's on the way from Konami.


Adrenalin Misfits is a pretty standard downhill extreme sports game, only you don't get to use a controller. Instead it will be a true test of physical prowess as your entire body can affect what happens on your TV. In order to be the best at Adrenalin Misfits -- and online leaderboards will track exactly who is the best -- you'll have to get up off of your couch and go through the motions.

As a downhill racer, Adrenalin Misfits tasks you with racing down rivers or snow covered mountains on a board. Different modes that I played include straight racing, flag slalom, and jumping for distance. You can play with a friend locally, but the short development cycle prevented any sort of online head-to-head competition. The modes themselves are pretty standard. It's how you play them that makes Adrenalin Misfits unique.


Lean toward the screen and you'll speed up. Bend your torso forward and you'll begin to turn. Hop and flip which way you're facing and you can switch from goofy to normal stance. Take a jump off of a cliff and you can hold out your arms to start gliding, or wave them in circles to start doing flips. Time a crouch properly as you land and you'll earn a speed boost while the screen tints fiery red.


As you might imagine, Adrenalin Misfits looks like it targets that "family fun" category of videogames. The racing contestants that you play as are characters like a dragon with a fire tail named Flame or a crazy looking amphibian called Pester. They've got 'tude, but they aren't really a major part of the game aside from window dressing. And the backgrounds are bright and colorful and full of detail.


As a children's game, Adrenalin Misfits seems sure to please. Though I'm sure I looked like a fool hopping around on the mini-stage in the midst of Konami's E3 booth, I instantly had a flood of childhood memories rush to the forefront while playing. Memories of old SEGA arcade games that featured oversized skateboards or giant bikes to pedal came racing back, and it now seems certain that the same sorts of memories will be made with this younger generation as they jump around using motion controllers like the Xbox Kinect.


One thing I was pleasantly surprised with was how well the menus work without a controller. When I stepped up to the kiosk all I had to do was wave at the screen and it recognized that I was ready to play. A handy on-screen box would then show an image of you and guide you towards the proper foot and body placement to get things started. From there, you just raise your hand to get started or skip a cutscene. Adjusting which mode you wanted to play works similarly, with a wave to the left or right to change your options, and then an outstretched palm held for a few seconds to make a selection.


Adrenalin Misfits doesn't have a set release date just yet. Konami is targeting the Kinect launch window but isn't ready to say that it will be a game available on the same day as the motion-controller from Microsoft.


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