Being a huge fan of Star Wars and the Kinect games in general I had very high hopes on this game. It completely satisfied me on the one hand, but also presented some disappointments as well as pleasant surprises. First of all, the idea is fantastic and I’m very glad someone found it worth their time to develop this game. The game will make any Star Wars fan jump around excitedly and get out their lightsabers from the vault (sadly I couldn’t do this yet, but I have acquired a lightsaber recently, so I will definitely try this next time). The game has different modes and minigames – which is also where its greatest faults and values lie.
The adventure mode is all you could wish for. You become a Padawan and join your Master in a heroic quest to save the Galaxy. Sounds like you? Oh, definitely! The variety of attacks is great and you really feel like you are fighting. It gets you off your bum and on your feet. What better way to exercise than use the force and kick Sith-ass with your lightsaber (this is where a prop may come in handy). The story is told so well and you really feel part of the action. It’s basically a Star Wars film starring you and your poor shape. But that’s fine – like me you will definitely enjoy this.
Then there is the Galactic Dance Off. I can only say that it’s one of the trashiest things I have ever seen in my life. And I love it to bits! It’s like Just Dance, only less demanding and Star Wars-centred. The songs are often Star Wars-themed parodies of well-known songs, so YMCA becomes „It’s fun to be at the Empire today“. The animations cast our beloved characters in the roles of dance stars and you have to battle them. Han Solo looks like he’s escaped a boyband and Lando beats any 70s Disco Queen. I’m still slightly disturbed by the Emperor and his Bantha Rider move, but that’s okay.
Now, the other minigames are those great ideas I talked about that weren’t executed properly. Or maybe it’s just me not getting it. One of them is Podracing. Of course, you might say. The problem here: my arms are way too weak to hold them up during the whole race. Which is what you have to do to get speed (or I got it wrong). Anyway, I have only played this once and then gave up. Shaaaaame on me! Then there is the Rancor Rampage. You become a Rancor and have to destroy everything. Could be fun, but the controls are much more difficult than you might assume. You end up waving around and your Rancor is just stomping on the ground. I gave up soon as well. Shaaaaame!
The Duel section basically repeats some of the fights from the story mode, but you can unlock some iconic fights (vs Count Dooku for example). This sets you a new challenge, when you have mastered fighting with your lightsaber. It’s a nice idea, but I was lacking the story here. The adventure mode just gets this right and when you then fight the duels without the story you are bound to miss something.
As you can see the game has its highlights and its downfalls, but for me the highlights prevail by far. I love the adventure story and the trashy Dance Off so much, that I would buy these games separately if I had to. But it’s all here in one package. So what does it matter that some minigames don’t quite work as expected? Be grateful for what you have and in Star Wars Kinect you have a fun, engaging and exciting Star Wars game with your own self as controller. What more do you want? Just being able to actually use the Force, perhaps…