Kinect Star Wars (LucasArts)From the moment Microsoft first showed off its controller-free Kinect sensor, millions of geeky minds were immediately flooded with images of twirling lightsaber duels set in a certain galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars plus Kinect? A perfect match! We'd fling stormtroopers left and right with a wave of the hand, lob lightning around like a Tesla coil, and choke out the faithless with a crushing grip. Star Wars kid, eat your heart out.
Unfortunately, virtual Jedi knights are going to have to tangle with the Dark Side if they choose to play 'Kinect Star Wars'. Releasing Tuesday, the long-awaited game is currently averaging a decidedly dull 59 on Metacritic.
"Your dreams of wielding a lightsaber and the all-powerful living Force have to be put on hold, because control issues and want for polish make the core game a chore to play," complains IGN. And while they appreciate the game's Podracing mini-game, it just doesn't make you feel like much of a Jedi.
"While basic enemies can be grabbed and tossed about (assuming you can actually target a specific foe with the finicky controls), most enemies simply stumble or shake off even the hardest Force push." The score? A 5.5/10.
Gamespot goes even lower, giving it a 5/10 while calling the game's story "completely forgettable," using the force "painful," and the action sequences "slowed down to a pace that saps the fun out of being a Jedi."
It's a 5/10 from Eurogamer, too, and for many of the same reasons: bad control, boring story, and a general lack of quality.
"For the most part, Kinect Star Wars is a half-hearted grab bag of ideas, few of which feel fully formed or have been executed with any polish," they grumble, adding that it's "an incoherent and clumsy compilation, one driven more by brand synergy than any creative imperative."
Even GamesBeat, who boost the overall rating with a relatively strong 70/100, rage against the controls and plot. They dig it as a kid's game, however, thanks in part to a mini-game in which players run amuck as a giant Rancor.
But while everyone agrees about the problematic Kinect controls, the jury is split on the game's controversial Galactic Dance Mode.
It's just what it sounds like: a dancing mini-game starring famous Star Wars characters, which Gamespot calls "equal parts shock, horror, and hilarity." They also call it a pretty good time.
"While your childhood memories may never recover, the dancing game is actually pretty fun. The choreography is suitably silly, and the move detection is great-- even with two players."
Eurogamer agrees, calling it "the only section of Kinect Star Wars where both gameplay and technology feel in perfect harmony." USA Today, meanwhile, calls it "disturbing," while IGN considers the bizarre mode "the most blatant abuse of the license since the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special." Yikes!
Unconvinced? Judge for yourself:
Okay, yeah. Guess the Dark Side wins this round.