GAME NAME: Kinect Star Wars
DEVELOPER(S): Terminal Reality
PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360
GENRE(S): Adventure, Action, Minigame, Racing
RELEASE DATE(S): 3 April 2012
Star Wars has had its share of genuinely good games over the years. Star Wars: TIE Fighter, LEGO Star Wars and Knights of the Old Republic have more than lived up to the dreams of little boys aged between 30 and 40. This effort however will make them cry like those aged 3-4.
Kinect Star Wars is more of a variety party pack than a serious attempt to outdo the likes of The Force Unleashed and Jedi Knight. For all the Lightsaber-swinging and force pushing found in Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising – the story-driven bulk of the game – the exciting prospects end right there. The combat is sluggish, the adventure casual and generally feels like an interactive on-rails borefest. When your main control in the room – that being you – has delayed reaction issues it does bring into question why in the world the developers opted for a Kinect-only control method. Your controller is as useless as you imagine your reaction times might be. Jumping, leaning forward to move ahead and swinging your arms aimlessly to wield the lightsaber becomes very repetitive. Not even a thrust from your left arm to fire a good dose of the Force at the enemy can save this from feeling anything other than plain lame. There are some vehicle and on-rail shooting bits to complete this campaign that will last you a mere three hours.
There’s a ton of wackier content to start the party, or at least attempt at starting it, in the form of Pod Racing, Rancor Rampage, Galactic Dance-Off and Duels of Fate. Pod Racing seems to be the silver lining in this basket of rotten eggs. It asked us to steer with body leans to pilot the ship and to sharply thrust our arms forward to switch on the relevant engine’s booster. Add another friend in the room and it really is some good fun… especially when you realise you’re not the only one who looks like a moron. Though the collisions are somewhat soft, the mode is surprisingly entertaining. You’d have to be some kind of Jedi to cope without steering assists on though…
Then we have the Rancor Rampage level, where your goal is to become the towering beast that smashes up the environment – think King Kong invades a Star Wars galaxy. Of all the playable modes this is one of the weakest of the bunch. It’s cumbersome stomping and arm smashing feels silly and the objectives are pointless. Galactic Dance-Off is in essence a Dance Central clone featuring hits from deadmau5, Britney Spears and Bruno Mars, all with twisted lyrics to match the Star Wars theme. The ladies might find some fun in this as it generally works but like anything else in the game chances are good that the guys will run for the hills.
Lastly we have a Duels of Fate mode which pits you against other foes in a lightsaber battle all in your aim to make it to Darth Vader in a historic Lightsaber duel to the death… but isn’t that exactly what you were playing in Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising mode? Other than R2D2 and C3PO acting as guides in the startup menu it’s a Star Wars game that deserves to remain in a galaxy far far away.