I haven’t seen Xboxbride so taken with a game since “Kung Fu Panda”. I received a brand new Kinect for being on the Kinect launch team and brought it home along with 4 Kinect game titles, including “Dance Central”, “Kinectimals”, “Kinect Sports”, and “Joy Ride”. I popped in Dance Central per my wife’s request and she immediately jumped in and was absorbed by the game. She used to be on a Dance Team at UC Berkeley, so that’s probably one of the reasons why she was so excited about this spectacular dance game that uses the Kinect sensor to evaluate your moves as you try to imitate the in-game dancing avatar.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay very long since I was running off to the Kinect launch party at Cirque in Seattle. I left the house but she was too engrossed in the Break-it-Down mode of the game to turn around to say good-bye. By the time I got home, she was already in bed, so no time to ask about her experience (although I read about it the next morning in her blogpost,”Young MC Made Me Sweat”).
The next evening during dinner she asked me to turn on Dance Central. A request for a video game on Xbox during dinner? Unprecedented!! So, while I dropped some food into the hot pot, she turned to the break-it-down mode for the HARD level of Young MC’s “Bust A Move”.
Now the hard level of “Bust A Move” is very difficult, yet she was getting a bunch of diamonds for getting the routines on her first try. “Very impressive, sweetheart”, I encouraged, while picking out mushrooms and chicken strips from the hot pot. After finishing the break-it-down segment for the song, she waved her hands in front of Kinect to select “Perform It!” and danced the entire routine, scoring a very impressive 760K points and 5 Stars. “Wow”, I offered, with noodles and shrimp in my mouth. With a smugly satisfied look on her face, she finally left the Xbox and Kinect to eat some dinner. Over dinner I told her how that was probably one of the hardest routines I’d seen in the game. She looked quite content as she polished off her dinner.
We finished dinner and she jumped straight back to Dance Central to try some new songs. I watched her for quite some time, quite impressed with her natural dance abilities. “I’m done, I’m tired”, she proclaimed after several songs.
OK, so now it’s my turn. I select one of the few Latin style dance songs of the game, “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” by Pitbull. This is fairly easy for me as I used to be on a professional salsa dance team. So I selected the “No Flashcards” mode and put the song on Easy level to gain an achievement. Success!
After that, I decided to try the very same song that Xboxbride had mastered, so I put on “Bust a Move” in break-it-down mode on Hard. It was indeed very hard. “Nice job honey”, chirps Xboxbride from the far corner of the room where she is snuggling with the dog on the floor. After finishing the tutorial, I decide to perform it on Hard.
I certainly started working up a sweat with this song. Xboxbride continued to chirp various words of encouragement throughout the song, similar to how one encourages a child who can’t really get the grasp of something. As the song draws closer to it’s end, I stop hearing the words of encouragement. I finish the song with a quite impressive 730K points and 5 Stars. “Yes!” I proclaim in victorious elation at having completed such a difficult song with decent results. I turned to my wife who was by then on the corner of the couch. She’s deadly silent and gazing at me with cold, hard eyes. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?” I ask.
I go over to offer her a kiss. “Is everything alright?” She sits up on the couch, squinting her eyes at me. “This is not fair. You didn’t even do it right. I need to try this again” she growls, getting up off the couch and jumping in front of the TV screen. “I though you were tired”, I offered. “Hmph” is all I got in return.
She dances to “Bust a Move” again on Hard mode 4 times until she finally beats my score (which was already lower than her original score), and breaks 800K points. The smug look of satisfaction returns to her face. “I’m done now”, she declares, with a tone of finality.