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Xbox games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Kinect Star Wars review


Manufacturer: Microsoft Game Studios

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The exercise strikes back

The most delight comes from the sideshows, however. A body-controlled Podracing mini-game is remarkably well-realised, replacing a sort of high-speed canoeing control system whereby you pull an imaginary lever down with your left hand to turn left (and vice-versa for the right), or a consistently exhilarting double-handed slam down then up for a temporary boost. It's more attuned to broad gestures than the lightsaber stuff, and as a result there feels like that much more of a connection between player and hurtling, fragile vehicle. Inevitably, it's shortl-lived and couldn't be called a serious racing game, but it's a surprisingly satisfying realisation of one of the Phantom Menace's few saving graces. It could and perhaps should have been fleshed out into a game of its own, as it's that distressingly rarest of things - an experience that makes owning a Kinect seem worthwhile after all. It's also a hell of a workout on the shoulders.

The Rancor rampage mini-game, wherein you steer one of the giant beasts from Return of the Jedi around assorted familiar Star Wars locales trashing everything you can is a laugh for the first ten minutes and repetitive and totally disposable afterwards, not to mention being the mode that most shows up Kinect's body-mapping shortcomings. Which leaves the notorious dance mode. It's nothing more than a deliberately dumb bonus that is only relevant to Star Wars in that famous characters appear and body-pop. Again, it's a giggle - especially if you're not a grim puritan about the original movies - but nothing more.

As a package, Kinect Star Wars is flat-out weird and riddled with design and control failings, but if you can treat it as the galactic joke toybox it intermittently strives to be rather than another sucker-punch to Star Wars' increasingly tarnished reputation it's certainly one of the most entertaining Kinect titles around. Not that it has much competition, of course -  a year on, Microsoft's overpriced motion camera has summarily failed to live up to its early hype, and as it stands doesn't offer much more than the PlayStation 2 EyeToy did. 

Kinect Star Wars Expert Verdict »

Available for Xbox 360 only. Requires Kinect sensor (sold separately).
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The controls are all over the place and it's packed with ways to irk the purists, but treat Kinect Star Wars as a logical and thoroughly 21st century evolution of the toys we lapped up in the 80s and it's a right old giggle.

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