When Kinect Star Wars was announced, it generated a curious ripple through the force, with some fans being both interested and skeptic, it was unleashed onto this universe with a big question: Could it live up to it’s full potential? The game is divided into five different game modes: Jedi Destiny, Duels of Fate, Rancor Rampage, Galactic Dance-Off and Pod Racing. In most of these game modes beloved characters from the franchise will make an appearance, be it to try to move the plot on, or just for kicks.
Jedi Destiny makes the bulk of the game, being a short campaign that story wise follows right after the end of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, you are a nameless padawan that helps the Jedi Order fight off the enemies of the Republic, the story and character development are null, and will hardly generate any interest. It’s controls are simple and fairly responsive, you move your saber around with your right hand to hack and slash and deflect blaster shots, your left hand can pull, push or throw objects and enemies with the force and you step forward, left or right to make a dash in that direction. It’s very interesting for the first hour, but the novelty runs out quickly, and the several hours long campaign will get boring.
Duels of Fate are introduced during Jedi Destiny, it sets you one-on-one lightsaber duels against five different opponents, the hardest of them being Darth Vader, you need to dodge, block or parry until allowed to attack the enemy. It works like a time trial mode, where you need to defeat your opponent under a specific amount of time to unlock the next one. Rancor Rampage puts you in the skin of a Rancor, and your mission is to cause as much destruction as possible in a time limit, the short skits before the start of the level are sometimes funny, and being able to destroy places you’ve known from the franchise is very interesting, even if the cities look a little bland, it’s still fun to smash a building and eat a stormtrooper.
Galactic Dance-Off is a dance game, using characters from the franchise in well known locations as dance models to fifteen actual famous tunes, some of the lyrics are even modified to bring a little hilarity to the world, for example “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguillera is remixed into “Princess in a Battle” and “YMCA” by The Village People becomes “Empire Today”, some of these are quite funny, adding to the amusement of watching Emperor Palpatine or Boba Fett dance to those tunes. Midway through the songs there is a cutscene that switches another character into the dance, this happens on every songs, and gets quite annoying.
Pod Racing brings back the famous intergalactic sport, making you pilot a pod between nine different tracks. It is fun with friends, but the controls are a bit awkward, even more if you don’t have assists on. The races are pretty long, considering you have to keep your arms straight to keep the vehicle from making crazy turns, that can be quite taxing depending on the player.
The graphics in general are bland, but still manage to work enough so the game is not overly distracting you. Soundwise it works, with some returning voice actors and the easily recognizable soundtrack, but the game ends up feeling more like a collection of mini games than a full bodied game in itself, all of which will bore most gamers after a single hour. Kinect Star Wars was marketed as the definite Star Wars experience, by implementing the kinect sensor, it had the potential to provide the ultimate Jedi sensation, it does provide several hours of fun that will be easily forgotten by mild fans and which will probably inspire more hardcore fans to join the dark side of the force.
What We Loved
- Controls are responsive most of the time.
- Fun to smash things with a Rancor.
- Boba Fett dancing to The Village People.
What We Hated
- Collection of game modes with little essence.
- Awfully boring story mode.