When the Wii made motion control popular, making you the controller it was only a matter of time that Microsoft tried to improve the concept. This was where the Kinect came in. The selection of games for the Kinect is pretty unspectacular at the moment but this is slowly changing.
Kinect Star Wars is one of the latest attempts to get people interested in the Kinect. The question is though will Pod Racing and making Star Wars characters dance going to connect with the avid and often fanatical fans out there or do they crave more? Is there enough light sabre action in the game to keep people happy?
The first thing that will bring smiles to people’s faces is the inclusion of fan favourites R2-D2 and C-3PO on the main menu. This is where you will be given the five game type options which range from “Duels of Fate” where you will get to the light sabre action straight away to Pod racing which could be the best use of the Kinect technology if it was used correctly.
As well as the expected pod racing and light sabre action there are also modes like Rancor Rampage where you get to control the beast from the Return of the Jedi movie. The aim of the game in this mode is to destroy the levels you are placed in; it’s a bit like Rampage for the modern generation, just not as good.
One of the most controversial modes for fans of the films is the Galactic Dance-Off. From online comments seeing Han-Solo dancing around to “I’m Han Solo” has not been taken lightly. It’s interesting to note though people do complain before they actually try the game, for people who like Dance Off games this is the mode for them. The problem is of course who are they aiming a Star Wars game at?
The main disappointment about Kinect Star Wars, is that it’s quite repetitive and the dreams of being able to have light sabre battles with the likes of Darth Vader soon disappear as you realise the gameplay is repetitive and there is very little freedom in what you can actually do. The whole essence of sword fighting games, which is what a light sabre fight would be, is to have full control and the ability to have fluid reactions, something you do not get in this game.
Pod racing is different though, as there is very little movement needed but moving from side to side this actually works with the Kinect controller. The controls are actually more intuitive than the action modes and can be quite fun, it’s just a shame that this is just one mode and not the full game.
Now to the Galactic Dance Off; this modes credibility was arguably injured from people being able to see the songs and dancing on YouTube before it was actually played, so of course fans of the films looked on in disbelief as their favourite characters danced around to pop music. The sad fact is though this is probably the most playable and enjoyable part of the game itself, it’s just not going to find that much of a fan base in Star Wars fans. It’s a novelty mode at best and probably does not have long term playability to it and just a shame it’s terribly misplaced in a game of this type.
Kinect Star Wars is a flawed game because the license promises so much but the Kinect can’t live up to it or this game can’t anyway. If the focus was more on the Pod Races and Dance Off modes then it would hide the flawed nature of the repetitive and guided gameplay that this game relies on.
The fact that the Dance Off will never really catch on with fans of Star Wars is damaging to the credibility of the game to fans and Kinect arguably has another title here that shows the technology off as a novelty. It will take time to see if Kinect can gain more interest from the hard-core gamers but there are other games that are making roads into this, Skyrim for example has a Kinect patch that actually shows the technology can be used to extend an already existing game and actually make it more fun. It’s just a shame such a promising license like Star Wars was wasted.