Long time ago, In a galaxy far far away.....
To be precise, about 6 days ago, at the Address Downtown Hotel right next to the towering Burj Khalifa, I witnessed Microsoft unveil Star Wars for the Kinect. In 2 words, "I'm impressed".
a) Microsoft knows how to throw a party.
b) After being a Star Wars buff for almost a decade (which includes wishing some luck by saying "May the force be with you" instead of "Good luck" even now...), I must say, this was one game I have been eagerly waiting for ever since the Kinect launched in the later half of 2010.
Did the game live up to its hype?
If I had to Rate the Game on a scale of 10:
Graphics : 8
The developers have paid minute attention to details in this game. If you slash a droid with the light saber, one can notice the molten metal right where the player cuts the droid. A lot of effort has been put into making the player believe that they are really playing in the Star Wars Universe. So Kudos to the team for that.
Gameplay : 8
Now, I have mixed feelings with regards to the gameplay. Most of the modes, are just brilliant and addictive, while a few others could use a little improvement. But on the whole, I think the development team must take a bow. To give a brief description:
Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising (10/10)
This is easily the best mode in the game. You can use the force push, force speed, force jump. One can relive their childhood dreams by actually performing the same light saber moves and see the character in the game replicate those moves. It is simply beautiful to see one's childhood fantasies come to life in this mode. :D This mode gets a perfect score from my side. To quote my fellow colleague Radhakrishna Sanka ( aka Sanka aka Krishna ), "It was EPIC!!! It actually feels like you are in the movie. The cinematic keeps one's interest alive. It takes a little playing to get used to, but once you do, its brilliant.".
Rancor Rampage: ( 9/10)
I loved this mode. It's funny, its satisfying in its own way. Here you play as a Rancor and go about destroying a city, tossing people around. My friend and fellow Microsoft Student Partner Sweekriti (aka Sweeky) loved this mode. It was funny watching her play that game like a 5-year-old kid... which she is anyway. She described the mode as "Very thrilling and satisfying". Its funny when the Rancor emulates the weird hand movements that you do.
Not bad at all. In this mode, I would assume that they have used the same gestures as the racing game in Kinect Joy Ride. Its fun. Ashok another fellow Student Partner thought of the mode as pretty awesome, but felt that perhaps the sensitivity could be worked upon a little more. But on the whole, he loved it.
Galactic Dance Off (8/10)
Inspired by Dance central, this mode is quite innovative. I realize that many die-hard Star Wars fans were offended by this mode. But let's remember one fact. Not every single game is made for just a specific niche of gamers. Star Wars like all other Kinect games is supposed to be a family game to be enjoyed by all, and not just the few "Chosen Ones". I liked the concept of this game with Han Solo and Princess Leia as the lead dancers. I thought as the game mode to be very innovative and it was fun to watch my friends face off in the dance competition. Sweeky brought in her best dance moves, and Ashok did well to keep up (he even beat her in one dance duel by about 200,000 points).
Duels of Fate (7/10)
Now this game mode was ok. It was a little slow. It was fun to play at first. But it gets a little boring after a while. This may be unfair on my side considering that all playable characters were not unlocked. So I will still give it the benefit of doubt.
All in all, I think the game is brilliant. I read reports which claimed that the game was a big disappointment, and I disagree. Yes, the game can be improved. But this game represents something totally different to the Kinect community. It brings life to the characters we all have loved for decades. It transports you to a whole new plane. Most importantly, I can finally see myself as a Jedi Knight using the force and fighting the dark side. It is a beautiful experience, and I'm sure many Star Wars fans would agree.
Now I havent played the full game. But if I'm not mistaken, the story is set sometime during the Clone Wars Era, at least quite a few of the game modes.
What I loved best about the launch was a few guys dressing up as Darth Vader, Storm Troopers and Boba Fett and making a dramatic entrance. It had a localized touch to it with the unveiling of quite a few posters showing Darth Vader in Dubai. Quite hilarious if you ask me. Click here to view all the pictures.
There even was a showcase which had the special limited edition Star Wars Kinect & XBOX 360 console which had been customized to look like R2D2 and C3P0. It is also interesting to note that these are the only set of consoles where the Kinect sensors have a White body.
I guess that's it for now. Hope you guys had a great week. And till we meet again, May the force be with you...
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