Twisted Pixel Games finally announced the highly speculated release information of where The Gunstringer‘s virtual home would be. At the February 24th Xbox press event held in San Francisco, Twisted Pixel debuted the hands-on demonstration of The Gunstringer and revealed if the title would be a digital or retail release. As many had guessed, The Gunstringer has become the first announced XBLA Kinect title.

While this means gamers can enjoy a quality hardcore experience for much less than the cost of a retail disc, the announcement has an even more important implication: indie and mainstream developers will be able to develop and release for the XBLA service. Some of the most experimental and certainly some of the most retro games release digitally on XBLA. While AAA companies may be hesitant to spend multitudes of millions of dollars creating a game that hinges on hardcore Kinect adoptability, smaller companies can and will be willing to experiment with the hands-free controller.

Twisted Pixel’s The Gunstringer is an excellent example of experimentation and ingenuity. Gamers use their hands to control the skeleton marionette in a 2D and 3D Western action game. Though most of the game clips may remind players of last year’s Comic Jumper Game Rant reviewed in terms of run and gun play viewed in different perspectives, the idea of controlling a run and gun skeleton marionette with one’s fingers is novelty at its finest.

However, the team has a little ways to go with the implementaion of such a grand idea, as revealed in IGN‘s “hands-off” gameplay video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51vj5Duk44A

The demonstrator used his left hand (that looks like a spider) to control the movement of the marionette from left to right. He doesn’t move his left hand’s fingers at all, so the intricacies of movement are still unknown. The right hand shot off the gun with decent accuracy. Some shots didn’t seem to fire, and the Kinect camera didn’t always seem to follow his gun hand’s movement.

In continued Twisted Pixel tradition, the game seems to provide comedic relief. When the player ran into the terrain at the end of the video, the narrator was quick to vocalize the gamer’s poor play. Along with Ms. Splosion Man, Twisted Pixel will have The Gunstringer at PAX East for test play. If the performance is less than stellar, the team has plenty of time to fix it.

Are you sold on the marionette implementation? Is this the kind of hardcore experience that will make you purchase a Kinect?

Source: Major Nelson

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