Kinect Star Wars Review: The Force Is Not Strong With This One

Posted: April 3, 2012 in Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)
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Pros:
Podracing and Rancor Rampage are actually fun to play
The banter between C-3PO and R2-D2

Cons:
Game doesn’t really make you feel like a Jedi
Galactic Dance Off

Not so long ago in the living room of my home…

I placed in my Xbox 360 a copy of the at one time highly anticipated Kinect Star Wars. For a while I had the memory of that moment at E3 2010 when the Kinect was revealed and they showed Kinect Star Wars on the big screen. Sure we all marked out at the mere thought of wielding a lightsaber and using the force as we make our way through enemy forces only to come face to face with Darth Vader himself for what we thought would be a battle of epic proportions. At the time I was sold. Now after countless delays it’s finally here. Sure I said that this game was an abomination, but the fan in me wanted to give it a chance. Next time I’ll listen to my inner Admiral Akbar when he said “It’s a trap!”

Kinect Star Wars is mainly a collection of mini-games spanning the Star Wars universe. There’s also a main campaign where you take on the role of a young Padawan. Cleverly narrated featuring C-3PO and R2-D2, the story has you going through the Jedi archives where you’ll come across some memorable moments from the Star Wars saga. You’ll begin by going through some rigorous training from the Jedi Master himself…a terrible sounding Yoda. Then it’s on to a mashup montage of scenes which will have you using your lightsaber to moments including the destruction of the second Death Star. The campaign as a whole is more of a roller coaster affair as you’ll go from the fun moments to trudging your way through the dull and boring hoping that the next mission will ignite that fun factor in you.

Now as a fan of Star Wars I found the banter between the two droids a welcome addition. This will definitely bring smiles to fans faces who remember the classic films of the “original” trilogy. The rest of the game is more of a mixed bag. Let me just state that not all of these mini-games are bad. Some are actually quite fun, but the package as a whole is rather disappointing. The missions that I enjoyed include the space missions are basically shooters on rails with the Kinect movements reminding me of Child of Eden. The podracing is a blast to play and the Kinect features are spot on. Rancor Rampage allows you to destroy everything in your path leading to some fun times whether your playing the game or watching on the couch with a few friends.

Of course not everything is right in the Kinect Star Wars universe. The lightsaber duels, which in my opinion was this  game’s biggest selling point is not that good. There’s some noticeable lag between your movements and the Kinect sensor leading to plenty of failures especially when dodging laser blasts to the duels with enemy characters including Darth Vader. At no point during this did I truly feel like I was an all powerful Jedi. If this was the feeling that you want then might I suggest playing a game called Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Now let’s get to the Galactic Dance Off which in my opinion is an embarrassment to the entire Star Wars brand. If you thought Jar Jar Binks, the Ewoks and Greedo shooting first was bad then wait until you see this. The songs used in this game mode are spinoffs of popular hit tracks, but reworded (like George Lucas changing his films) to fit the Star Wars theme. Most of the songs come off as terrible. Then there was the horrific moment of seeing Han Solo dancing on he screen. After seeing that I quickly exited this mode and vowed to never go back ever again. Just plain sad.

Kinect Star Wars is clearly not a game for everyone. This is definitely a game aimed towards children and families alike. For the hardcore fans like myself it’s a travesty.  It’s a sure bet that the Kinect bashers are laughing their asses off on this one. At least the limited edition console featuring C-3PO and R2-D2 looks amazing and is definitely a collector’s item. Now all I can do is look to the stars and wonder if there will ever be redemption for the Star Wars brand. Maybe one day there will be Star Wars Battlefront 3.

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