How’s that for a tease? I’ll begin with the more pleasurable challenges.
First, enjoy some pure Podracing on Mos Eisley and beyond with controls requiring a player’s hands gripped forward like riding a bicycle. He speeds around locations in a campaign mode called Destiny, might fly through a Sandcrawler with the greatest of ease and duck bullets from the Sand People while throwing tools at womp rats and vulture droids to knock them off of his engines.
Optional hand motions speed up and slow down the racer and, complete with some training from junk shop owner Watto, it is easily the best of the challenges while equally rewarding ó whether watching and taking part in the events.
Next, take physical control of a Rancor (the beast that almost took down Luke Skywalker in Jabba’s dungeon) as you wipe out towns in locations such as Tatooine and Felucia.
Perform your best knuckle-dragging behemoth impression as you hulk around near your television monitor and watch your drooling avatar respond by crushing Stormtroopers, munching on helpless townsfolk and crunching through buildings.
Also, a Duels of Fate mode lets the fury of the blade fly as a player hones his lightsaber skills in classic matches that lead up to a fight against Darth Vader.
Unfortunately the duels were lumbering and predictable at best (block, block, block, block and attack for a few seconds as an enemy’s health meter shrinks), It is still hampered by the sluggish Kinect response.
Now, finally, Galactic Dance Off is where things fall into the Great Pit of Carkoon. Players pick a character and enter Jabba the Hutt’s den (is that Max Rebo’s band?) or the Death Star or Carbonite freezing facility on Bespin and match flashy moves against classic characters.
Backed by modern songs tweaked with amusing Star Wars-inspired lyrics (“you’re blasting the guards and blowing kisses my way”), hits such as “We No Speak Huttese,” “Empire Today” and “Blasterproof” deliver grooves to perform the Chewie Hug and Jar Jar Rock. It’s quite the “Twilight Zone” episode.
Watching Princess Leia in a bikini shake her bootie won’t disappoint (though the thought of her being a hostage makes it kind of creepy), but it was even odder to challenge a hoofing Han Solo knowing this guy was minutes away from ending up as a metallic Fudgesicle.
Still, children will probably find this an amusing thrill as they dance away and collect points to unlock new locations and characters for their efforts.
So the buzzwords for the Kinect Star Wars experience is moments of motion-sensing purgatory combined with some big giggles for tweens as parents smile at their offspring’s antics. Let’s ignore the teen rating.
Backed by some pretty visuals, legendary characters and a John Williams-style musical score, it’s a package crafted for the nostalgic family yearning for a taste of life in a galaxy far, far away.
Though beware, diehard Jedi devotees, you will still find it unfulfilling and heresy.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
By Mark Mix
Home day care providers would be forced into unions
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
What does the middle-class conservative think about everything? Find out here.
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal