It's over 9000 gestures!
At first glance, a Kinect version for Dragon Ball Z sounds like a completely gimmick. You wouldn't be wrong… but it also makes complete sense. Think about it. What kind of people would still be obsessed enough with a Japanese animation that started its run in 1989 to play a Dragon Ball Z game in the first place? Kids and teenagers who have way too much energy and way too much interest in blabbering our ears off about the various hair levels of Super Saiyan. So what better way to drain all that rambunctiousness out of their system with some arm flailing?
The most striking but still obvious feature of Dragon Ball Z Kinect is that it's played in first-person, with the player performing moves as their hero of choice. Goku, Krillin, Piccolo, and Yamcha were unlocked for the demo, in a fight against Goku's notorious brother Raditz (ever the introductory meat puppet). More characters were shown locked, likely made available by playing through the game's ever familiar story mode. Additional characters can be unlocked by holding up special QR codes on limited edition cards (the one we were given unlocked Yamcha).
Players can perform a tight selection of movements that the Kinect will detect. Punching at the screen repeatedly will start a basic string of attacks, where you can pummel your foe for about fifteen hits before returning to a regular stance. It actually inflicts a fairly good amount of damage, indicated by numbers in the thousands. Outside of that, you can dodge left or right by leaning your body in the corresponding direction, and you can put your fists close to your face to guard any incoming attacks.
Just flailing about, though, makes people feel more like an amateur boxer than an overpowered DBZ warrior. Throwing out blasts of energy does the trick. After charging enough ki, by keeping your legs apart and putting your arms to the side (excessive man yelling is optional), you can shoot out one of two special ki attacks. The best part, especially for the fans, is that you need to make hand gestures that the DBZ characters perform, like putting your fingers on your forehead to use Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon. (I hope you have to do the Fusion dance. Hey, I enjoy laughing at people.)
Dragon Ball Z Kinect will be available on Xbox 360 some time this coming October.