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DID YOU READ

Insert Credit: “Fruit Ninja Kinect”

Insert Credit: “Fruit Ninja Kinect”  (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of August 9, 2011, you should insert credit into: “Fruit Ninja Kinect.”

One of the things that old-school gamers lament about the end of the arcade era is the way that the physical space around video games changed. When coin-op stand-ups went extinct, so too did the standing around and milling about in the name of interactive entertainment. You could read the pleasure or concentration in a fellow player’s face in a way that couch-centric gaming doesn’t let you do. Watching how a player interacts with a gameplay experience can be a wondrous thing, if things are designed right.

“Fruit Ninja Kinect” brings that physicality back in a different form as the hit iOS game gets embiggened for a port onto the Xbox 360. Instead of gestures interpolated through a touchscreen, your movements get read by the Kinect. As I demonstrated during my preview, the responsiveness of “FNK” is great and avoids many of the frustrations of other Kinect games. The shadowy on-screen silhouette always lets you know where you are, relative to the action, so you can adjust your body position accordingly.

There’s not much of a story in the “Fruit Ninja” games. You’re pretty much an apprentice ninja, practicing your swordplay by cutting up fruit that flies onto the screen. You get a few different ways to play . Classic Mode gives you three lives and failure to slice every piece of fruit on the screen costs one life. Hitting the pesky bombs means an instant ‘game over’. You’ve got 60 seconds to score as much as you can in Arcade Mode, with bombs taking away points. The explosives-free Zen Mode lets you just have at an incessant onslaught of fruit for a 90-second time limit. Along the way, magic banana power-ups will give you a score multiplier, let you slow time to a crawl, or spawn a torrent of produce that you can slash madly for extra points.

08092011_FNKBoxArt.jpgThere’s competitive and co-operative multiplayer modes, too; in the former, players must only slice the fruits that are highlighted with the corresponding red or blue glow. Challenge Mode draws from your Xbox Live friends list and pulls out a buddy’s high score for you to try and beat in a certain amount of time. It’s a nice implementation of social networking designed to keep you playing, in much the same way that seeing your high score bested in the local “Pac-Man” machine back in the day would get you to try and right that wrong.

“Fruit Ninja Kinect” invites you to join its madness. It’s going to make a great party game in that way and it stands out from the sorry, under-realized pile of dreck that makes up the Kinect-compatible library. The jump to a big-screen makes the fruitricidal action feel larger than life, a plus for a fanciful title like this one. Like “World of Goo” on iPad, this feels like a transition that makes an already great game better than its initial iteration.

Planning to get “Fruit Ninja Kinect”? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…