The Kinect is no longer as important to Microsoft's Xbox One plans as it used to be (neither of the Call of Duty nor Sunset Overdrive bundles will include it). The Xbox One launched without any compelling Kinect games (though we enjoyed Zumba Fitness World Party), and developers haven't been too eager to pick up the slack since then.
Luckily, Harmonix is on the case. The studio has two Kinect-specific Xbox One games in store for the fall: the downloadable Dance Central Spotlight and the retail Fantasia: Music Evolved (Xbox One and 360, published by Disney). Dance Central comes with built in-good will from Xbox 360 Kinect owners, but Fantasia is a more unknown property. To help get things moving, Disney has announced that Fantasia preorders will include a bundle of three bonus songs – including "Let it Go" as performed by Demi Lovato!
Return to Fantasia
Having developed an arsenal of music games that includes Dance Central, Rock Band, Amplitude, and Frequency, Harmonix is no stranger to music games. They also made the only Kinect games that people really liked (Dance Central), so we know they have a good understanding of motion controls.
In Fantasia: Music Evolved, players will be able to conduct songs similar to the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene in Disney's Fantasia film. Arrows will pop up on screen, and players gesture along to those arrows. As they do so, colorful visuals will come to life in the background. It's not quite dancing game, but you'll still be moving along to the music.
Fantasia: Music Evolved also supports 2-player local co-op! Both players can progress through the entire game together, unlocking new songs and remixes of songs as they go. Songs will require players to move in sync together as well as taking turns. I thought Dance Central was a lot more fun with another player, so Fantasia's co-op is most welcome.
A music-themed game lives or dies by its music. Although Fantasia: Music Evolved's song lineup doesn't seem especially Disney-centric, it certainly has a fine selection of songs for players to interact with. Here are all the songs that have been announced so far. The game will ship with over 30 tracks, which means Disney and Harmonix still have a few more to announce before the game's release.
- Antonin Dvorak – "Symphony No. 9 from the New World"
- Antonio Vivaldi – "The Four Seasons: Winter, 1st Movement"
- AVICII – "Levels"
- Bruno Mars – "Locked Out of Heaven"
- Cee Lo Green – "Forget You"
- David Bowie – "Ziggy Stardust"
- Depeche Mode – "Enjoy the Silence"
- Drake – "Take Care" (ft. Rihanna)
- Elton John – "Rocket Man"
- Fun. – "Some Nights"
- Gorillaz – "Feel Good Inc."
- Kimbra – "Settle Down"
- Lorde – "Royals"
- MIA – "Galang"
- Modest Mussorgsky – "Night on Bald Mountain"
- Nicki Minaj – "Super Bass"
- Peter Gabriel – "In Your Eyes"
- Police – "Message in a Bottle"
- Queen – "Bohemian Rhapsody"
- Tchaikovsky – "The Nutcracker Medley"
- White Stripes – "Seven Nation Army"
- The Who – "The Real Me"
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"
Preorder at participating retailers to get a download pack containing these songs:
- EDM DJ AVICII – "Lay Me Down"
- Demi Lovato– "Let It Go" (Shame it's not the Idina Menzel version!)
- OneRepublic – "Counting Stars"
Amazon hasn't updated the game's pages to include the bonus at the time of this writing, but the retailer is very likely to implement the bonus soon.
I know we have some Kinect fans in the audience. Are you guys planning to support the peripheral by buying Fantasia and Dance Central Spotlight later this year? That's the best way (really the only way) to show Microsoft and game developers that we want Kinect and Kinect games to stick around.