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Star Wars Kinect offers gamers a Free Gift

Let's face it, the world is not filled with enough free gifts -- certainly not as full of free gifts as we would like anyway -- so when one comes along, even one that encourages you to use the special printer at work that can print really large sheets of paper using a wicked expensive wax-based color-jet printing tech that costs some obscene amount of money any time you use it, well, hey, it is FREE after all! It is a FREE GIFT! You gotta do it, right?

Well Microsoft clearly thinks so, which is why this weekend they sent out an official email to pretty much everyone whose email address they know -- including yours truly -- and while I was slurping a double-cup-of-soup and eating an English muffin with two packets of Philly Cream Cheese that I snagged out of the morning snack basket that they put out for the staff who have to work the weekend (there as other stuff I passed on, like raisin bread and a suspicious looking container of Yogurt that is labeled "Greek Yogurt" that, in my experience, is code for "doesn't have any fruit or other flavoring in it" but it does not actually say that -- where was I?

Yeah the thing about cup-a-soup is that one packet really is not enough to get you through an entire English Muffin (assuming you cut it in half long-ways which I did) that is slathered with Philly Cream Cheese (one packet per side because I like Philly Cream Cheese on my English Muffin as long as it a toasted English Muffin which this one is) so what you have to do is put in TWO packets of cup-a-soup (Chicken flavored mind you) and then you put the regular amount of water that the packet says to use for ONE packet... That way it is like a strong cup of chickeny goodness that is perfect for dipping your English Muffin into. Of course you have to tear your muffin into pieces so that you can actually fit it into the mug, that goes without saying -- and you should really try not to make a mess all over your desk -- do it in the break room, that way someone else will have to clean it up...

The idea here is that you eat your English Muffin which you dip into your mug of chickeny goodness while sipping a strong cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer, both work) WHILE you wait for your FREE GIFT to print on that huge printer that in theory only the editor's are supposed to use, but unlike the Xerox Machines the printer is on the network and does not require a password to use (though there is a sign on it that asks "Are you supposed to be using me?" to which I always tell it "Yes, yes I am! You are a printer and I need to print my FREE GIFT!")...

This Week's Free Gift from Star Wars Kinect
The poster is a very cool artistic rendering of the view of a Pod Race from a position right in front of a Pod that is like the one that a young (who are we kidding, he was a baby!) Anakin Skywalker was racing which was a custom-built podracer that Annie constructed from the odd spare parts and whatever he could scrounge during that bleak period when he was still a slave on Tatooine, but that he used to secure his freedom during the Boonta Eve Classic with the help of the smelly but very friendly Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn who is not above using his Jedi Powers to cheat, but that is another story...

The actual pod -- for those of you who care about that sort of thing which is pretty much all of you -- was built from a pair of Radon-Ulzer 620c turbines, with one engine put together from spare parts Annie found in Watto's junkyard which included a burned-out turbine from Watto's own podracer that Annie crashed in a race and then rebuilt himself (he was really good at that sort of thing) while the other engine was acquired when he bartered with Jawas as part of his official duties as Watto's slave and parts bitch...

After heavily modifying the engines -- mostly he improved the fuel injection system to increase thrust and add to the upper-end power -- Annie attached triple yellow air scoops to the engines to give the assembled Pod a wicked cool look but also improve its maneuverability while turning... You may find it interesting to learn that the method that he used to attach the cockpit to the racer (Steelton control cables) is not technically an approved method according to the race rules book, but it was allowed (they don't really care if you kill yourself or other racers as long as you don't kill spectators)...

I just checked and it is not done printing my FREE GIFT yet, so we have more time to talk about this...

When I got the email from Microsoft I was actually getting ready to head to the break room to raid the snack basket, which I observed being delivered to the break room only moments before, but the words FREE GIFT in the subject line of the email caught my eye, so I had to read that email because when was the last time Microsoft gave me a free gift? I cannot remember!

The now opened email read: "Kinect Star Wars is here! Get revved up with this downloadable poster featuring Boonta Eve. Watch for more free gifts in Newsletters, Facebook updates, and emails." -- I assure you Microsoft Elf who sent me this email with its FREE GIFT that I will indeed be on the lookout for more Swag from you -- and a big purple button urging me to "GET YOUR FREE POSTER" which of course I clicked. It needed to be clicked. Really.

At which point a box popped up asking me if I wanted to save the file or open it -- and I thought, hey, if I save it I can get a FREE GIFT whenever I wanted one -- and besides then I could share it on the network and EVERYONE could get a FREE GIFT whenever THEY wanted one... So yeah, I saved it first and THEN I opened it...

I went to check the printer and one of the sub-editors was standing next to it watching as it finished printing my poster and he saw me and asked if this was mine?

"You know it costs $29 every time you use this printer? This poster probably cost the company $50 to print out," he said, taking the poster from the hopper and holding it up. It looks very cool.

"I am confiscating this," he announced. "Don't let me catch you printing another one -- I am going outside to have a smoke I won't be back for twenty minutes" he said, rolling up my poster as he walked away.

That's OK, remember I saved the FREE GIFT -- so I spooled another one. It only takes about ten minutes to print so I could probably print two before he gets back, but I only have room for one on the wall in my basement where I have my man cave and video game playing space...

To help you out and make this feel all official and stuff I will insert the image below but if you hit this link you can see what the invitation looks like to get your own FREE GIFT!
As you can see from the much smaller image above (the printer here is loaded with three-foot by six-foot paper so you know, mine is probably way bigger than yours) this is a pretty spiffy poster and an excellent FREE GIFT! In addition to the link to the poster the email includes a few other notes -- something about The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition (cool game) and a note telling me to download Trials Evolution from Xbox LIVE Arcade Marketplace today -- I am pretty sure that Trials Evolution is a physics-based motorcycle racer (note to self, check that out later), another suggestion to download Teeth of Naros, and a link to the video of Jon "Bones" Jones fighting "Suga" Rashad Evans for the World Light Heavyweight Championship title live on Xbox LIVE -- which is coming to the UFC app yesterday... Humph.

There is a link to the trailer for Steel Battalion Heavy Armor which I am pretty sure is a Kinect-aware title -- I have been trying really hard to get Kinect-aware games to review in order to justify the expense receipt I put through accounting to get my check from the company (paying for my Kinect controller is totally a legitimate expense but I could kick myself for not realizing that the Mass Effect 3 Limited Edition Kinect Controller Bundle was only a couple of weeks away when I got the regular black one, sigh)... And a final link telling me to click it to see how Max Payne 3 multiplayer brings the franchise's combination of responsive and cinematic shooting action to the realm of online multiplayer -- clearly I have today's assignment right in front of me so if you will excuse me I am going to refill my tea and head back to my desk in the GU Bullpen now so I can get started on that...

I love working weekends!

Posted: 22nd Apr 2012 by CMBF
Kinect Star Wars, Xbox 360, XBLA, Kinect,

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