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Jun. 17 2010 - 1:32 am | 2,017 views | 0 recommendations | 9 comments

E3 2010: Miyamoto Reportedly Gives ‘Game of the Show’ to ‘Child of Eden’

(Update: a producer on Child of Eden, whose post to Facebook was the source of this story, has since taken his page down and called the comment a “joke” that was not intended for publication. In my opinion, Child of Eden really is “game of the show” and has the power to sell many a Kinect for Microsoft. Did Miyamoto actually agree? The game’s producer said he did, but that fact remains decidedly unconfirmed.)

I was perhaps a bit too quick to pronounce The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword my “Game of the Show” for E3 2010. A little title called “Child of Eden” offered in playable form today behind closed doors at UbiSoft has set the world of gaming aflutter.

Here’s why:

In the midst of E3’s mad rush, this game’s existence somehow escaped me until hours ago, when I read a blog by one of the game’s producers, former EGM and 1UP journalist James Mielke, describing why he’d quit writing to join developer Q? in fleshing out a mystery project.

According to Mielke’s Facebook page, legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto — creator of Zelda, Mario and, arguably, the modern gaming industry as a whole — sat down for a Kinect-infused Eden demo and came away calling it “game of the show.”

Eden is a first-person experience, to put it lightly. It uses the Xbox 360’s camera-based controller to transform the player’s palms into targeting cursors. While I have not yet played Eden, I’ve seen it on demo.

This was enough to convince me: it will blow people’s minds.

In my book, this game is the ONLY good thing so far about the Kinect, which otherwise appears to be a huge embarrassment for Microsoft thanks to a lineup of shoddy Wii ripoffs promoted by some seriously bizarre PR stunts.

Eden’s palm-based gameplay, on the other hand, can only be done with a Kinect … And Hot Damn, does it look cool.

Here’s a live demonstration:

This game is the spiritual sequel to Rez, an otherwise obscure, artsy game made for the Sega Dreamcast and ported to PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. Its creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, was the driving force behind eclectic music and puzzle titles like Space Channel 5, Meteos and Lumines. His interactive portfolio is unique among acclaimed designers, making Mizuguchi games increasingly valuable beyond their initial printings.

(Disclosure: Rez is my favorite game, like, ever; I’m pretty biased towards its sequel.)

Eden looks to be Mizucuchi’s masterpiece. He said the game’s story would be simply that of a girl becoming human.

It is a product that will hold much water with gamers. I would buy a Kinect just for Eden, even though it is playable with a traditional controller and headed for PlayStation 3.

If I can get a hands-on demo, I’ll have much more to say. Still, simply for what it is and the people behind it, this game has already eclipsed every other title I’ve seen at E3 2010.

Merely looking at Q?’s next phenomenon left me completely slack-jawed and feeling like a teenager. Now I’m just praying they’ll let me play it.

If that happens, I’ll have to restrain myself from the keyboard for a few hours while the sensory input digests, lest I engage in what objective observers might call “gushing.”


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  1. collapse expand

    I haven’t heard or seen a demo of I feel is the most important question about Kinect. That is, response time. That can limit the type of games. For example, a sword fighting game wouldn’t be fun at all if there is too much of a lag. What is “too much?” That’s also a good question. I’d say where in a full arm motion, at your highest speed, that if it lags more than a hand width, that’s a deficit and you really wouldn’t want to play swords or sports such as tennis. I’d like to know the actual numbers in milliseconds.

    It seems like such a basic question, I’m more than a little puzzled why it isn’t discussed. If it’s a problem, MS wouldn’t talk about it, but I’ve seen many objective critics who’ve had access to demos and NO ONE has talked about it, not even people who have a bone to pick with the system. I mean, I’ve heard people say they thought it lagged, but why not show a clear demo or give details on the amount of lag they are seeing, such as (positive) “It responds immediately from what I’ve seen.” or (negative) “It lagged so much, my arm gesture was complete before it even started on the screen.”

    • collapse expand

      Having played with Kinect, Move and Wii Motion Plus, I’ll say that Nintendo still has the best offering. Sony and Microsoft promise more accurate movement sensing, but I couldn’t tell the difference.

      Both Move and Kinect have a minor latency about them, and both are roughly the same as Wii’s 1:1 motion. For Move and Kinect, I’d put the on-screen motion maybe 1/10th of a second behind the player. Watch Mizuguchi’s hands in the Eden stage demo video for an idea on how quickly it responds. Kinect isn’t exact, but it’s close.

      I’d add that a sword fighting game on Kinect doesn’t sound very interesting. I’d rather play that on a Wii, where I’ve actually got something in my hand.

      In short, the software and price point are what will make or break these add-ons and Nintendo has both on complete lockdown for at least the next year.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Thanks! I have the Wii with Motion+ and it doesn’t really know where the controller is in space.. in infers. If you’ve ever tried to play one of the Tennis games, you know what I mean, it gets confused on backhand/forehand. You always have to help it find “center.” I think the Move has the best chance at getting my money. I did see a demo finally (I think on a BBC site) with a fighting sequence and they said the reaction (because it is a device, like the Wii) is instant… and they showed the player and screen clearly and it sure looked like it was instant both in beginning moving and in placement in space. I’m having a growing unease that the Kinect is doing so much work that it can’t process fast enough. That would be sad because it is so amazing! The Sony just has to follow some lights (probably using a color key or perhaps a known carrier frequency?).

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    I’m watching that “Child of Eden” video and thinking “Wow!”

    But at the same time I’m listening to Randi Rhodes explain how Tea Party candidates are being selected and funded by former Congressmen like Dick Armey because they’ll be useful dupes and stooges once they’re elected to Congress.

    They’re easier to lobby and purchase. They’ll vote the way Dick Armey’s clients in oil and gas and industry want them to vote.

    And I’m thinking…

    Can an entire generation of under-30s really afford to give a flying F about the Corporatists’ zombified enslavement video games?

    • collapse expand

      That’s one of my big complaints about this year’s show, and one of the reasons why Nintendo seemed to shine so brightly. Everyone else has very same-looking games: generic gray/brown first-person shooter #437, street racing game #872, more sports franchise updates and, oh look, a whole row of World of Warcraft clones.

      Meh. I’d say that sort of recycled gameplay dominated 90% of everything that was shown. I’ll have a list of the products that most impressed me sometime tomorrow, once I have a chance to hash it all out with some colleagues.

      What really captures my attention is true innovation and big, game-changing ideas. I didn’t see much of that in 2010, apart from the 3DS which immediately became THE thing to see.

      Still, I plan to write much more coverage now that I’m done with the show’s madness and settling in for a quiet day off.

      Let’s just hope that Los Angeles isn’t rioting tonight after Game 7 of the NBA finals.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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