Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor – The Calibration

If you were following the saga of Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor last week, the game a Kinect-infused sequel to a monster three-part controller title back on the Xbox, you’re aware of how crushingly brutal the reviews were. It’s scoring a whopping 40 on Metacritic if you need that hatred quantified. User reviews are even worse, garnering a whole 2.6.

But, one review you won’t find out there is my own. Why? I couldn’t get past the very first screen in the calibration menu. If you read text related to Heavy Armor that calls it, “broken,” they’re right.

Now, before you read any further, yes, some of this is my fault. I cannot claim that the mess to follow lies entirely within the design.

However, the simple task requested of me was to outstretch my arms. That’s all. Doing so led to constant errors though. The Kinect couldn’t find me. I was thrilled to learn Heavy Armor could be played sitting down, or rather, it was designed to be. Some of the best Kinect titles so far, including Gunstringer, worked fine sitting down in my play environment, while Heavy Armor was a special case.

So, outstretch arms, and nothing. No matter where I put the Kinect, no matter how far I leaned back, the camera could not adequately find me. It wasn’t necessarily my arms either; it refused to “find” me because my legs were not in view. In order to make this work, two things would need to happen. First, furniture would have to rearranged. One chair would need to find a home in another room, and the other would find itself shifted as far back as it could go, and still with no guarantee that it would work. Second, the Kinect would need rewired, pulled down to a lower shelf in order to ensure it could find all of me.

And to think that was just to play a game most are finding unplayable.

There were four other games awaiting my thoughts last week, and know what? None of them asked me to move my furniture to play them, never mind no other Kinect games have. So, I reviewed them instead. Capcom lost a review, although I’d be willing to bet they won’t miss it.