Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 Impressions

As part of WPCentral’s ongoing Xbox 360 coverage, we’ll sometimes discuss console titles of interest to our readers. Kinect Star Wars, which rolls out to retail today, certainly fits that bill. It comes from developer Terminal Reality with LucasArts and Microsoft Studios sharing publishing duties.

As the title suggests, Kinect Star Wars is an Xbox 360-exclusive title that requires the Kinect motion-sensing peripheral to play. Players are tasked with helping C3PO and R2-D2 sort through the Jedi archives. The two lovable droids run around and make all kinds of silly quips as you navigate the game’s excellent menus, which also happen to have the best voice controls of any Kinect title so far. Each of the five archives is a distinct game mode, allowing the game to deliver a variety of classic Star Wars moments and gameplay styles.

Game modes include:

Jedi Destiny: The actual campaign mode casts players as Jedi apprentices who are caught up in a battle good and evil. You’ll fight with a lightsaber, force push and throw opponents, ride vehicles, and more. The experience is largely on rails outside of the combat, but the story and situations certainly do a good job of creating an authentic Star Wars adventure. Staple Clone Wars characters Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi Wan all show up too, though their voice actors leave something to be desired.

Rancor Rampage: It’s like arcade classic Rampage, but with Rancors! That’s right, players get to control a rancor as it runs around smashing buildings, munching on people, and basically being a nuisance. It’s great, silly fun.

Podracing: While The Phantom Menace’s podracing sequence was entirely unnecessary, it certainly makes for a good gaming experience. Hold out your arms to steer (not unlike Kinect Joyride) at breakneck speeds.

Duels of Fate: Participate in one-on-one lightsaber fights, culminating in a battle against Darth Vader.

Galactic Dance Off: The most controversial element of Kinect Star Wars is actually one of my favorites. Yes, somebody stuck a dancing game into Star Wars. Choose from a variety of Star Wars-themed covers of real songs and dance along with characters like Boba Fett and Princess Leia amid classic Star Wars backdrops. It plays just like the awesome Dance Central 2 (not to be confused with the crappy Dance Central 2 Dance*Cam).  Galactic Dance Off is intentionally silly, and that’s why it works. Take it too seriously and you’re missing the point.

Kinect Star Wars, like many Kinect titles, is aimed at the younger set, but that doesn’t mean adults won’t enjoy it too. Everything supports 2 player local co-op, so you and a friend or loved one can let loose and enjoy the Star Wars make-believe together. My family and I have been playing this one for a few days, and we all had a great, sometimes exhausting time. If you’ve been going through Star Wars withdrawal since Star Wars Cantina and Battle for Hoth were pulled from the Windows Phone Marketplace, and you’ve got the right equipment for it, don’t hesitate to give this one a try.

Kinect Star Wars is now available for the suggested retail price of $49.99. It requires both an Xbox 360 and Kinect to play. The game also comes packed in with the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle (opens in new tab), which includes an R2D2-themed console, a white Kinect, two C3PO-colored controllers, and Kinect Adventures, all for $449.99.

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Do a let's play!
  • Just a note, Podrace does support coop play in Quickplay mode, you just need to set it to two players before the race begins!
    Excellent write-up, glad your family is enjoying it!!
  • Thanks for pointing that out, man. :)
  • Sorry, it's really bad. Passable mini games which would have scored 3/10 if it hadn't Star Wars brand (which in itself is a joke nowdays).
  • You've played it then? How about a more through review.  What was "really bad" about it?
  • Yeah, I did (of course). Sluggish, unresponsive controls, irritating lag, total lack of accuracy, sub-Wii level textures, more of "what can we put here that might entertain an undemanding audience" rather than any organic feel. I'm quite astounded how/why MS hyped this very, very average game...
  • Oh, btw, was a gift to my 7 yo nephew, who after about 1 hour, started to look very bored and whispered "can we play Rayman Origins uncle?"
  • I really didn't have any problem with the controls, nor did my daughter, who usually struggles with Kinect games due to her short height. Do you generally enjoy Kinect games? Important thing to remember: just because *you* don't like it, that doesn't mean other people won't. My experience was much different than yours.
  • True. My opinion, of course, this is what the forums are for, so we can share our experiences and opinions.
  • Looks like it could be entertaining for a little while...Like most Kinect games. I'll wait till it drops to around $30 and I'll grab it. Every Kinect game I grab does get played but, not as much as a AAA title...
  • So why are we talking about a 360 game again? I love my 360 but there are already too many sources for video game news and reviews. Probably don't have any say at this point but can we keep it to windows phone news?
  • I am gonna assume because of the interconnecting of WP and Xbox Live. But that's just my assumption. Anyways, I don't think it hurts anyone for a review here and there. At the very least, we're bound to get some mature and honest responses on here in the comment section compared to other sites.
  • Sure but why not just win phone games? I dunno just seems like added fluff to me. As long as it doesn't affect their coverage of wp news I guess it's fine.
  • Get used to the idea of an ecosystem. I'm all for these kinda articles, btw.
  • Like Slayer said, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and Windows (PC) are all part of an ecosystem, and there is often a lot of crossover between topics. We certainly won't be posting Xbox 360-specific articles every day, but we might do one every week or so, depending on the news and what's coming out. If you're not interested in an article with Xbox 360 in the title, just don't read it and you'll be fine.
  • It's nerd time!
    The podracing scene in TPM was to show Anakins skills as a pilot and his reflexes from being strong with the force. 
    I wouldn't call that scene unecessary.
    Jar Jar Binks on the other hand...
  • Agree 100%. The podrace in TPM is actually my favorite part of TPM!
  • Those benefits you list could have been accomplished in 100 less disruptive and time-consuming ways.  It's fine if you enjoyed the movie or whatever, but I highly recommend you watch this video review to learn about its structural problems, etc:
  • I love it. Controls are spot on. It doesn't lag at all. Normally I'm sceptical about kinect games, but this one is fantastic and probably as close to being a Jedi as I'm ever going to get. By far the best kinect game to date 10\10