Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Clone YMCA: Why Star Wars Kinect is Creatively Bankrupt.

I love Star Wars. I'm the biggest Star Wars apologist. But I cannot possibly apologise for this. New gameplay footage of next month's Star Wars Kinect is gut-wrenchingly awful. In fact, I'm sorry to say that it's probably the first Star Wars endeavour in many, many years that I've felt actively opposed to (well... this and Hyperspace Hoopla). From pretending to podrace with your arms to awkwardly mimicking clone troopers dancing and singing to YMCA, this collection of mini-games (is that what this thing is?) looks like a massive disappointment. And that sucks as fan, because there are already a million people out there lining up to take cheap shots at Star Wars and this game is bound to give them plenty of ammunition.

Watch the clip for yourself if you dare:

Video via Topless Robot.

So whose fault is it? Well Lucasarts needs to take some flak for allowing it to happen, but I can't help feeling that the real villain here is the Kinect itself.

Join me after the jump to find out how many kittens Microsoft's Kinect makes me want to shit.

Now let's go back to our memories of that video. Do you remember the awkward child pretending to podrace with his arms? Is that an activity you want to engage with for more than a minute? Do you see these kids swishing around their arms and clumsily dancing and think that this is something you would like to do.

Okay - the elephant in the room - clearly this is for kids. Right? And kids don't give a shit, so they'll love this. Right? Maybe. I don't know. I don't know if they will. If your kid loves Star Wars then I'm thinking that they - like myself as a child - like the action, and excitement, and the creatures and the characters. I loved Star Wars as a kid - but that doesn't mean I loved the Village People. Do kids today even know who the Village People are?

And I don't feel like Star Wars Kinect was initially marketed as a throwaway game for children. In fact, in many ways I think a lot of people were pinning their hopes on the game being the reason to purchase the Kinect unit. At previous E3's we heard many complaints about a lacklustre line up of games, and yet even some of the most hardened critics admitted that the game with the most potential to not suck was Star Wars.

Who is this game for - or more to the point, who is the Kinect for? It's been out for well over a year with very little of interest released on it and yet Microsoft still continues to push it. Developers continue to hoodwink us into believing that it will be an integral part of their future games. And worse of all,  in its time since release it doesn't appear to have evolved. Star Wars Kinect highlights this fact by being nothing more than a rehash of existing Kinect games styles (racing, dancing) with Star Wars characters shoehorned over the top. To me, that Village People sequence is as magic-and-myth-busting as the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. And nowhere near as charming.

The Kinect is neat tech. I've played around with it. For about a minute. After which I never need to do it again.

Can anyone convince me otherwise?


  1. My God I think I'm going to puke!!!!

  2. haha oh sweet jeebus, that is aaaamazing at how bad it is.

    I think it always comes down to developers need to find a use for the tech. Something that is fun and engaging but most of these kinetic tie ins look like shovelware.

    There's this game coming out by Suda51 "Diabolical Pitch" which looks pretty funny. It still not a must have but it is finding newish uses for the tech.
    check it out

  3. Ha, I still wouldn't play that game for more than a few minutes either! And games like that will never win my money over games like Mass Effect or Skyrim.

  4. I actually think the YMCA part is the only part that makes any sense. Not in a Star Wars sense, but in a gaming sense. That part seems like more of an activity than a game.

    The race and lightsaber battle look like absolute torture. Even selecting a menu screen with my hand in Kinect is torture. Taking your hands go from a rested position on a controller, where you can just move one finger to tap a button, to the new method where you have to sway your hands and arms around... is pretty damn silly. Accuracy is gone, the technicality of it is gone, and everything is being dumbed down. I'm no fan of it for games, but I don't mind it so much for things like dancing around.

    I'm going to have to buy this when it comes out because my daughter will want to dance with the Stormtroopers. She also loves Hyperspace Hoopla.