It couldn’t have gone any other way could it? Introduced to near derision at E3 2010, the on stage demo was clearly a video as it didn’t appear follow the movements of the person playing it. Not a good start.
The game was delayed and was eventually released in April of this year and like almost every other Kinect game, was hampered by a broken and largely unresponsive control system.
Clearly aimed at children, the games plot sees you working with C-3PO and R2-D2 to go through the recently discovered Jedi archives. There is a main campaign called Jedi Destiny and the player assumes the role of a Padawan, set during the time of episodes I to III. You acquire force powers and swish about unsatisfactorily with a light sabre, swinging both arms behind you to move forward and advance through the levels as wave after wave of dumb Stormtroopers run towards you.
There are plenty of other things to go through in the archives and to be fair, the Pod Racing is the best of the bunch, it’s pretty good and works well. But it suffers from the number one problem that all Kinect games suffer, and that is a lack of tactile feedback. There’s the Rancor Rampage that sees you stomping around Mos Eisley picking up people to eat and throw and smash up buildings. It’s reasonable fun to try it once, but there’s not much to keep you coming back.
Then there’s Duels of Fate. Will this be that great light sabre game I’ve always wanted to play? Can I be less ridiculous Star Wars kid? No. No of course not. Again, the controls suffer from delays and a lack of recognition and you’ll likely have worn yourself out or lost interest long before you eventually get to battle Vader.
So, there’s one last thing I haven’t mentioned. What do you do when your control system works really well for one particular type of game? Shoehorn that type of game in of course. There’s a pretty general consensus that Star Wars isn’t what it was, that the second trilogy wasn’t anywhere near as good the first, and that George Lucas is more interested in money than respecting the body of work that he created. And there’s another general consensus that Kinect does dancing games well.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Star Wars Kinect Galactic Dance Off. In my opinion without doubt the nadir of Star Wars. If I could trouble you to watch the following video for the next four minutes you’ll learn all you need to know and experience one of the biggest WTF moments of your life:
As Midlife Gamer Community Manager Adamski put it when we were discussing these things:
‘How can a title that features characters from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away dancing to contemporary disco tunes be considered a stinker? Oh yeah. Pretty obvious. How very dare they. Wankers!’
And that, is why Star Wars Kinect is our Stinker of the Year.