When Kinect was announced for the Xbox 360 a few years ago, one of the first questions on nearly everyone’s mind was whether we might finally get a “Star Wars” game that would let fans act out their fantasies of being real-life Jedi Knights. The device’s motion sensor controls seemed tailor-made for the “Star Wars” universe, so it didn’t come as much of a shock that Microsoft already had a game in the works. Now that “Kinect Star Wars” is finally here, though, some fans might be upset to discover that it didn’t turn out the way they imagined. Although you do get to wield a lightsaber and toss enemies around like ragdolls using the Force in Jedi Destiny – a short but enjoyable story mode where players assume the role of a Padawan on a mission against the Empire – it’s only one of many different modes available.
Jedi Destiny is without a doubt the most fleshed-out of the bunch, but while it certainly delivers on the wish fulfillment aspect of the game (there’s nothing quite like taking down an entire army of droids with a swift swipe of the hand), the controls aren’t always precise, leading to a number of frustrating moments. Still, it fares a lot better than Duels of Fate, the only other lightsaber-related minigame on the disc, which is essentially a stripped-down version of the campaign-based combat that follows the same repetitive formula of blocking, battling for position, and attacking your opponent until he’s defeated. Also included is a solid Podracing game that’s only real downside is that it’ll make your arms feel like Jell-O after just a few laps, and a shallow but fun twist on the arcade classic “Rampage” where you take control of a Rancor and wreak havoc on popular locales like Mos Eisely in virtually every way possible.
The final piece in the “Kinect Star Wars” puzzle is also the strangest: a gonzo version of “Dance Central” called Galactic Dance Off that features “Star Wars” characters busting a move to spoofs of popular songs like Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” (“Hologram Girl”) and Jason Durelo’s “Ridin’ Solo” (“I’m Han Solo”). It sounds like a bad April Fool’s joke or something you might see on an episode of “Robot Chicken,” but it’s actually quite amusing in a weird sort of way. Though it’ll likely receive plenty of backlash from fans still complaining about Jar Jar Binks or who shot first, the dance mode adds to the whole party game experience; and for better or worse, that’s what “Kinect Star Wars” aims to deliver. It might not have the replay value to warrant a purchase, but there’s enough here to keep you and your friends entertained for the weekend.