I picked up Gunstringer on pre-order but it took a good two or so months before I first played and I have to say, from my first impressions it is a damn fine game. With the exception of Fruit Ninja Kinect, all the Kinect titles that I’ve played have had sub par gameplay or suffered from poor accuracy in controls. Gunstringer may yet be the first full box release for the Kinect worthy of buying.
Stepping aside from the fact that it is a Kinect game, there’s a lot going for it. The visuals may not be incredible but they are vibrant and set the tone of the game very well. However what I really liked is the narration. With the typical Twisted Pixels humour the player is instructed on what to do with subtle reminders when they are making mistakes. Its no secret that text messages popping up all the time are annoying and can provide an unwanted distraction so using audio is a stroke of genius. The player doesn’t need to take their visual focus away from the actual combat whilst still being informed of how to play. Because the script is amusing the player doesn’t feel nagged like with most repeated messages or instructions. Simply put, it doesn’t feel like instructions. The narrator’s script isn’t just great for instructing the player but also combined with the visuals and caricature style characters provides a light hearted and enjoyable tone to the game.
I’ve found aiming to be a little clunky and awkward in my play session and when someone else was playing, they seemed to have similar issues. Perhaps it is a technical limitation that we’re stuck with but I can only hope that in due time it will pick up! Controlling the character’s movements doesn’t seem as much of an issue though but that may be simply down to the fact that there’s only simple movements and less immediate accuracy required. My other criticism, which to be honest is quite a notable one, is that the start of the game is too hard. After doing basic movement and stationary combat the player is thrust into fast movement whilst shooting at the same time. Really you want a much slower introduction getting used to the shooting and moving, then pick up the pace a little.
I’m looking forward to playing this game more and if you’ve got a Kinect, I highly reccomend it! For people undecided on getting the sensor then this game could well be the one to persuade folk to splash out on a purchase.