Want to know how to make some solid money? Trademark something, make a movie or two, create some toys out of it, then slap that trademark on a million items and you're set! Or, maybe it's not always that easy. It has been for Star Wars though. It's one of the easiest brands to market. So it likely took half a second to realize there would be a Star Wars game for Kinect. And with some lengthy delays, Kinect Star Wars is here.
What Is It?
Kinect Star Wars puts you in various shoes in a few segments. You'll fight through several missions in an incredibly lengthy 3-4 hour campaign. Beyond that, you'll stomp around like a baby with Rancor Rampage, shout “NOW THIS IS PODRACING”, get destroyed (but still win) in duels and dancing. Oh, indeed. You're going to dance, so put on your dancing boots with your Jedi robe.
Why Should I Care?
You'll appreciate this game more if you have a great sense of humor, or aren't older than 8 year of age. Does a toothbrush work any better because it's shaped like C3-P0? No, it's still a toothbrush. In fact it'll probably fall apart in 2 weeks, and that's what Kinect Star Wars feels like.
The main campaign will involve a LOT of standing around, so wearing pants with pockets is highly advised. You're playing the role of a padawan (trainee) helping to fight Battle Droids and Trandoshans, somehow soldiers of a Sith threat. You'll flail your right hand to force lightsaber movements, while pumping your left hand over and over to attempt Force powers. There are some space battles involved too, but you’ll spend most of your time dragging through the same waves of enemies over and over…and over.
It's a setting that makes little sense. Time-wise, it's set during The Clone Wars. However, Trandoshan enemies? The writers and designers must have loved the 4 seconds of Boskk in The Empire Strikes Back. Also, there are a couple of Darth Maul ripoffs that likely violate the “two Siths, no more, no less” statement Yoda makes in Episode 1. But to somewhat service the fanboy, you’ll hear lines (“Red 5, standing by”) and settings that have their roots (read: steal) from the original movies. It’s mind numbing to a certain degree.
Generally, one swipe will kill an enemy. But if you want to defeat anybody with a sword or metal pole, you'll have to constantly jump over them for any shot of taking them down. And any real challenge is taken on by your incredibly annoying teacher. You’ll face maybe two or three legitimately difficult situations. And it won't help that the motion sensing is generally awful. When we checked out Kinect Star Wars at Comic Con last year, we mentioned there would need to be a lot of work done. Despite the delay, not much changed. At best, motion recognition is spotty. You won’t feel like a lightsaber-wielding Jedi. You won't have much control over your Force powers either (ironically). Kinect Star Wars won't let you select a particular enemy among a group, so you'll often times grab the enemy itself rather than a box to drop on them. It's hard to have any sense of comfort.
That carries over to Rancor Rampage, where you'll take control of Jabba's pet to destroy various maps. It's a few minutes of decent fun until the game won't recognize that you're doing what it's telling you to do. Same goes for the Duels, where you're fighting classic characters in turn-based fighting. Podracing works significantly easier, and feels much more comfortable than Kinect Joy Ride. Despite some odd controls, it’s one of the most impressive parts of the game (technically speaking).There's another story mode here to become the ultimate podracer, but it won't be too engaging. You are dealing with Episode 1 characters after all, so it’s not particularly interesting. Though, you won’t hear Anakin shout “yipeee!”, so there’s that.
So that'll leave the most heinous part of the game to be the most enjoyable aspect of the game. It's basically Dance Central: Star Wars, named Galactic Dance Off. You'll dance through a small variety of pop songs, half of which have been rewritten with Star Wars lyrics. It's actually hilarious to hear Princess in a Battle instead of Christina Aguilera's Genie in a Bottle- and yes, there’s Slave Leia. Dance moves have also been named after various characters are Star Wars canon. There are definitely some missed opportunities, though. When Lando Calrissian comes out to dance, he doesn’t take off his cape. How does the Coolest Guy In The Galaxy not smoothly take off the cape? For shame.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
If you happen to be at a friend's house and they had $50 to waste, then sure. Get up and start dancing. You'll enjoy doing The Force Push or the Jar Jar while in the shoes of Boba Fett or Lando. You may even dabble with the other modes, but you’ll head back to dancing. But YOUR $50? Pay a bill instead. It's more fiscally responsible and likely more fun. You might even be able to write a check with a Star Wars pen.