By Mike Bowser
Editors Note: Please welcome Mike Bowser as one of our dad contributors. A busy father of 4, and a gamer at heart, Mike thrives on technology both at work, as a Software programmer, and at home. Mike is a bona-fide Star Wars fan, avidly seeking Star Wars experiences and memorabilia at every turn. He was more than up for the challenge to train with Star Wars Kinect to provide you with his insight.
Game Features Include:
- Use the Force wielding a Lightsaber to defeat your enemies
- Compete in a Podrace challenge
- Fly in famous Star Wars ships as well as the dangerous speeder bikes
- Control a Rancor to demolish Mos Eisley
- Dance your way through a dance revolution like competition in Jabba’s Palace
- Compete in co-op and competitive duel modes
Let me start off by saying that in order to play this game you will need the XBOX Kinect. Microsoft has a great site that gives you a video preview of the game and interaction with the
What I Loved About Star Wars Kinect
When I first started playing I’ll have to admit I started having goose bumps being able to wield a light saber swinging my arms and using the force to defeat my enemies. It almost brought a tear to my eye because for the last 25 years of playing Star Wars games I have been limited to button pressing while on my Jedi training journey.
The game does not follow a single storyline like the Force Unleashed but rather is is a collection of stories from the Jedi archives including a podrace, taking controller of a Rancor which I have to admit is pretty cool. The game is even geared towards those that like to dance bringing a galactic dance off level where players are required to match the dance motions on the screen to move on. I personally enjoyed the speeder bike level because it felt like I was reliving the chase scene in the Return of the Jedi film. I really liked the force interaction sequences where you could use the force to throw objects or lift a ship.
My sons learns about the ways of the Force.
As the game progressed I could definitely sense some control issues with the the Kinect being able to track every movement of my hands which would result in me taking damage in the game and having to retry my moves when I know it wasn’t my own fault. I don’t blame the game for this as I think this is an inherit problem with the Kinect itself.
The Kinect is a fairly new gaming add-on that is facing many challenges that the original Wii controller had until Nintendo began selling the Wii Motion plus which was a plug that attached to the original controller to give more stability and accuracy to the player. Unfortunately I think Microsoft still has the jury out on whether its Kinect is going to be a hit like the Wii was. If that is the case then Microsoft will most likely release a newer more robust version of the Kinect sometime in the future to aid in players motions accurately translated into the game.
Other challenges I found while playing were the-stop and-go interaction of the game. It became very frustrating when you get a couple of minutes into to using your newly acquired lightsaber and Jedi force abilities only to be stopped by a story interaction/animation or you have to use a very clunky forward step to get over obstacles or navigate terrain. The animations throughout the game break up from time-to-time which can be distracting.
From a Dad’s Perspective
Star Wars Kinect is definitely a game geared towards kids. If you are a long time star wars fan you will probably have more complaints about game then your children. My kids loved the game and continue to play it on a daily basis with the only complaint of that some of the levels were hard. There is no blood or excessive violence in the game which makes it super friendly for my youngest one to watch while the older ones play. The game also has co-op or two player modes so 2 of my kids can play at the same time.
Hard core gamers will find this game mediocre at best. The main problem is LucasArts sells this game on being able to immerse you in the Star Wars universe as though you are actually there and every motion you make is accurately interpreted by the Kinect. This game is an early example of the direction that motion gaming will take us in the future, we just have to be patient for the research and development to step up in order to meet our expectations.
Being an avid Star Wars fan I became immediately addicted to the game play using the force and a lightsaber with my hands as well as being immersed in the plots and storyline that unfolded throughout the game. The minor imperfections did not at all get in the way of my overall delight to feel like my journey towards becoming a Jedi Knight is close within my grasp. I wholeheartedly endorse this game for any Star Wars fan or level of game player.
Star Wars Kinect is available at Gamestop new for $49.99 and used for $44.99. You can also get it on sale at Amazon.com for $42.46 and eligible for free Super Saver Shipping. This is a great deal! Take advantage of it!
* I was given Star Wars Kinect in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own.