Master the Force, you want to? Then Kinect Star Wars probably sounds just like what the Wookiee ordered: a chance to hone your Jedi skills with the Xbox’s motion-sensing gadget.
Chaperoned by C3PO and R2D2 doing their best Laurel and Hardy impressions, the game offers an assortment of controller-free fun. The most immediately appealing of these family-friendly gaming morsels are the lightsaber duels of the Story and Duels of Fate modes, where we get to swing light swords with one arm and summon the force with the other.
On paper it sounds perfect. After all, who couldn’t be seduced by the chance to prance around the living room in their jim-jams doing an authentic Luke Skywalker impression?
Alas, as is often the case with Kinect, the gap between ideal and reality is significant. The one-on-one combat feels stiff, constrained by Kinect’s limitations, and wild arm swings are often enough to win fights when facing numerous enemies. True, it is mildly enjoyable for a little while, and kids will get more out of it than adults anyway – something that’s true of the other games on offer here, too.
Rancor Rampage casts you as a giant monster on the loose, smashing buildings, eating unfortunate citizens and generally causing havoc. It’s debt to the 80s coin-op Rampage is obvious, but just like that golden oldie it’s a five-minute wonder rather than an enduring blast.
Then there’s the improbable Galactic Dance Off, in which famous Star Wars characters boogie to Star Wars-themed pop songs. It’s very silly and downright sacrilegious to devout Star Wars fanboys, but it also lacks the infectious joie de vivre of dedicated titles like Just Dance.
The final game is podracing – a straightforward sci-fi racer executed with competence but lacking the flair needed to truly thrill. And that’s Kinect Star Wars in a nutshell really – it’s entertaining in short blasts but ultimately lightweight. As far as they go, this is a rather forgettable trip to a galaxy far, far away.
Forgettable, that is, except for Han Solo’s dancing – we’re never going to be able to erase that memory.