In this review, I am going to be doing two things I do not normally do. First, I will be referencing another form of media (namely a podcast) and directly quoting something said there. The reason am going to do this is not for the comedy value or the shock value (although that may play a small part) – no I am going to go this route because I feel the points made there were valid, and I don’t want to use them without giving credit where credit is due. The second thing that will happen is a direct result of that, and that is that I will be using a few “four letter words” in here. I normally try to keep everything I write PG, but there is no better way to describe the pile of dung that is Star Wars Kinect than to let a few vulgarities fly. So without further adieu, let’s get on with this so I can get back to something more fun.
I take no joy in ripping a video game to shreds with my words – people presumably worked extremely hard to put it out, and they should get at least a modicum of credit for that. I am usually a lenient person because I feel this way, but there are times when no matter what kind of spin I try to put on something, it still ends up bad. If you are a fan of the director / writer / comedian Kevin Smith, then you probably know he has a podcast called “Hollywood Babble On” where they talk about different things happening in (obviously) Hollywood. There is a segment on the podcast that is entitles “Sh*t That Should Not Be” which usually shows movie segments that shouldn’t make it into movies – errors and such. Now all of this has nothing to do with video games; at least it didn’t until this past show. That is because on this past show they prominently featured Star Wars Kinect on Sh*t That Should Not Be.
Now their primary reason for including it there was because in Star Wars Kinect there is a dance section – yes, you read that right; you take a Star Wars character and dance a la Dance Central to music re purposed for Star Wars. The extremely offending piece (according to Mr. Smith) is Han Solo dancing to “I’m Han Solo” – a bastardized version of Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo”. Not only is the concept just so laughably bad that you wonder if Lucas is just green lighting ANYTHING Star Wars for a quick buck, but when you look closer you can see that (as Mr. Smith put it) Han Solo is actually dancing after getting out of a carbonite chamber with the backdrop of the carbon freezing chamber on Bespin which would be in Kevin Smith’s words (used because I can not think of any better way to say it) “like taking a movie about Jesus and having him dance in front of the cross”.
Another horrible song idea comes in the form of Slave Leia singing and dancing to “I’m a Princess in a Battle”. For your entertainment I will include some of the lyrics to this, just so you know that I am really not making this insanity up – I’m not that mentally unstable:
The wookiee’s sayin’ ‘Let’s go,’
But my heart is sayin’ no.
If you wanna be with me
Solo, there’s a price to pay
I’m a princess in a battle
You gotta join the Rebel Way.
Yeah – that is pretty much what you are going to be seeing in this absolute sham of a game. Lucas, when did you discover how much fun it was to bend over your loyal fans and rape their memories? Why won’t someone just stop him already.
Now I know some people will go on about how this game “is not for my age group”, but again I have a counter – my son as I have mentioned in many other reviews is ten, and one of the biggest Star Wars fans I have seen. He can recite pretty much all of “A New Hope” almost verbatim, and will finish off most other scenes in the other movies if you give him a starting point. He has more lightsabers in his room than I have review products in my possession at any one time, and he has every almost Star Wars LEGO set. He is the quintessential Star Wars fan, and is the exact age group that this is supposed to be marketed for, which should be a slam dunk sell – right?
Well as it would happen, even he can tell garbage from a game.
After about sixty minutes with Star Wars Kinect, and after trying every game mode, he actually asked me if we could microwave the disc (I knew showing him that trick would pay off some day). I was stunned, but proud. I asked him if there was anything he liked and he says “the Rancor was kinda cool, but the rest was stupid”. So he was not swayed by the Intergalactic Dance Off, was not moved by the horribly bad controls in the Pod Racing mini game, and completely shrugged off the simplistic and easily forgettable “story” as what it was – a mad grab for money by a company that just doesn’t give a sh*t anymore.
One of the biggest problems is the control issues. Now when the Kinect works in the way it is supposed to, it works pretty well – it is when a game tries to do things that the Kinect should NOT be able to do that problems arise. Things like pod racing. The problem is that unlike with analog sticks, there is no “dead zone”. This means that you are constantly being forced to move your arms to prevent over steering or under steering. Even on straightaways, unless you have the uncanny ability to keep your arms perfectly still, you will end up moving all over the place. Had they allowed controller usage here, if might have been a decent section of the game – maybe even the shining part of it. The story is another major point of contention. You aren’t supposed to be Luke, even though you look just like him, fly in a ship that looks suspiciously like the Millennium Falcon, and that ship even has a Wookie (it is Chewie, because apparently people can’t handle another named Wookie) for a pilot. It shows a complete and total lack of imagination, and is the prime factor for this game being completely and utterly artistically bankrupt. While the Force Unleashed games were by no means great Star Wars games (well an argument could be made for the first one), they at least had a compelling and ORIGINAL story. Not a rehashed version of the established story with another character. The other part of the story that really sucks (echoed by every other mode) is again the piss poor controls. Even the Wii got lightsaber fights right, but somehow they manage to make it about as much fun as ramming your head into a wall, over and over again.
It says something when the last great Star Wars product in the past few years has come from a company that is not Lucas Arts, but is BioWare. How little do you care about the IP that made your company what it is that you can nonchalantly put out something like this, and seriously, seriously expect people to buy it? I could spend a few hundred more words describing the problems with the other game modes on here (like how badly the pod racers control, and how unresponsive the “force” powers are), but what’s the point? If you were not dissuaded by the Dance Party mode alone, just make sure wherever you buy it from has a good return program so you can snap the disc, then take it back and say it was like that when you opened it up.
It isn’t as if this would be ANY better if it was called something other than a Star Wars game, but we may look at it in a different light. Had it been called “Random Sci-Fi Mini Games”, which is a more accurate title, it may have at least been somewhat passable as a game – or at least as a Kinect port of early Wii shovelware. As it stands though, this is branded as a Star Wars game, and that is just a shame. As gamers, we deserve better, our children that this is marketed to deserve better, and God dammit Star Wars deserves better.
Worse Than Dirt
(As I have never rated anything with a score of -zero- before, I need to post from our “Ratings Explained” page what that actually means:
Worse Than Dirt – The worst crap ever built. They couldn’t pay us to have it. It’s not only worth less than the junk it’s built from, every second of its continued existence somehow still manages to devalue it over time. This product is so bad that it’s not funny. The best comedians can spend years making insults and would come up short on this. In fact, should a product ever be rated this poorly, we have no doubts that its makers will soon be Darwin Awards recipients.
You have been warned)
The Bottom Line: I have never played anything this bad, and hope I am never as unlucky to play something like it again.
- Umm…you can always use the disc as an expensive coaster?
- The entire game is a negative and should be erased from the annals of history a la E.T. for the 2600
If you really want to buy this when you could easily get more enjoyment by setting dollar bills on fire, or throwing the cost as pennies off of buildings, then you can find it at places like Amazon for $49.99