Kinect Star Wars
Finally you can swing your imaginary lightsaber and see it move accordingly on the screen – with Kinect Star Wars, many fans of the movies can get their dreams come true. From Padawan to Jedi, you fight your way through the intergalactic war.
Ever since the lightsaber was first introduced in the first Star Wars movie, many fans have dreamed of being able to fight with a lightsaber themselves. Back then it wasn’t an option in arcade games or on home computers though, since they simply weren’t powerful enough, players had to cope with modest 2D platformers and fighters. With the launch of Nintendos Wii console, every Star Wars fan slightly interested in the new Wii Remote was hoping that Lucas Arts would finally release a game where you can literally swing your own sword. Now that time has come. Not on the Wii, but on the Xbox 360 with a Kinect attached.
But how well has it been implemented? Let’s dig in.
Let’s activate that lightsaber
In the main menu you have five different game modes to choose from, including a general adventure, a pod racing mode, a duel mode, a rampage experience and a galactic dance off.
When you set out on your Jedi destiny career, you have to choose between eight characters previously unknown to the universe. You then have the option to play on either casual or advanced difficulty before heading to Kashyyk for your first training missions. The game supports two players in multiplayer through an easy jump-in-jump-out feature empowered by Kinect. If you start out solo, the game will automatically choose a character for the second player.
While holding your lightsaber, it would help if you were actually holding something in your hand, since the feeling is a little lacking without any actual weight to swing with. Also the platforming elements which requires the player to jump and make specific arm movements, can be a little imprecise, although not in a horrible game breaking way. I’m sure kids of the age 12 and under will find this much more amusing to play than old people like me – kids at a young age doesn’t find it as hard to jump around as older, spent bodies.
Fast and spacious
The pod racing game mode lets you jump right into a quick race or let you start a campaign, where you start from scratch and try to make a name for yourself. Here you have the choice of three different difficulties as well as a separate setting for driving assist. The steering mechanism is very well done: you control the two thrusters separately with each arm, which means you’ll wave your arms back and forth to swerve around corners. The steering is highly sensitive, so it takes a little getting used to to master. On lower difficulties the game is very forgiving, but you always have the choice of playing on a higher difficulty.
The dance off game mode is as ridiculous as you would expect, speaking as an adult and avid Star Wars fan. But I don’t doubt for a second, that many people would find it entertaining, especially looking at all the dance games coming out for Kinect – it looks like the Dance Central code has been used for this mode. However seeing some of the well known characters in the universe prance around to a cover number of Hollaback Girl (Hologram Girl), is just gut wrenchingly awkward.
Go out for a rampage and end things
Rancor rampage on the other hand is much more fun. Here you take the role as a Rancor, the giant beast that tried to munch on Luke when he tried to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt. Here you run around a desert city on tatooine smashing buildings, droids and stormtroopers. Another minigame where you look absolutely ridiculous while playing, but it’s actually quite entertaining.
The game actually hit most of the essentials that we know from the movies – witty comments, fast spaceships, huge explosions and funny machines with human features. It’s perfect for the Star Wars fan and the kid between 8 and 14, not to mention that it’s extremely well suited to capture a good and fun moment in a family game night – no more dull board games or card games where the smallest in the family can’t be a part of it.
Miss; Weird ways to move your character, but I don’t think it could have been done different, as you use the Kinect for everything in the game.
Need; Known playable characters!