Okay, now it's just Avatar abuse.
I look upon Wipeout on ABC as the baby brother of Ninja Warrior, or Sasuke
as it's known in Japan, a demanding obstacle course that tests the agility, strength, and coordination of one hundred competitors every year on Mount Midoriyama. Where Ninja Warrior has a mix of hardcore athletes and plenty of no-chance-in-hell cosplayers, Wipeout is a family-friendly, candy-colored playground full of moms and amusement park line-fillers who must conquer obstacles as terrifying as The Big Red Balls. My hands are sore just thinking about it.
Suitably, Wipeout: In The Zone
is a Kinect-only fun-fest that encourages players to control their Xbox 360 Avatars by moving their body across dozens of obstacles, or be sent crashing into the water for an epic fail. And a replay and a replay and a replay... Controlling your avatar is fairly simple, but you need good coordination while focusing on the viewpoint of the camera as it switches from side-scrolling to behind-the-shoulder third-person for balance obstacles.
The pace your avatar runs across the stage depends on how fast you run in place, making sure you lift your knees so that the camera registers your movement. It's important to keep your avatar moving forward to lock in a low time when you reach the final platform, but for moments when you need to slow your momentum or refocus your attention for a jump (where you actually jump), you can put your hands out in front of you to have your avatar stop and step back. If you fail an obstacle too many times, you can also raise both hands to skip it and take a minute penalty (you quitter).
For the most part, obstacles test your timing, whether that means nailing a windmill of platforms, dodging punches that pop out of a wall, or maneuvering across a gauntlet of rotating cylinders. For times when you are balancing on a beam, you will need to hold out your arms and lean side to side to keep yourself square. Leaning is also important when you're in the air, perhaps bouncing off the The Big Red Balls, to control your landing.
To complete the package, Wipeout: In The Zone
will follow the Wipeout production including the hosts, their commentary, replays, and moments on the final platform where you pose and celebrate your victory. Look for Activision to release Wipeout: In The Zone
for Kinect to coincide near the show's season premiere on June 14, 2011.