Top positive review
154 people found this helpful
Fun, immersive, 3D, and sore shoulder
on April 3, 2012
I bought this game for my kids, who played through Lego Star Wars, followed Clone War series, and loved to battle with other kids using the light saber toys. Like any "teen" rated games and movies, I do the screening since my kids are pre-teen. This review is based on me playing almost 3 hours finishing the story mode (campaign mode), and about 1 hour on other features. And I swear I nearly popped my shoulder twice swinging too hard!
The story mode is branched off from the prequel trilogy, sometime within the Clone Wars. It starts with basic training and then gets on with the action. You can start as a "Padiwan" or "Jedi". In Padiwan mode, if you die in a battle you get re-spawned immediately and continue battle without restarting from a checkpoint. This is obviously designed to minimize frustration and keep the momentum of the story. The battle with enemies can be on a spaceship or on planet surface. There are no shortage of space and land vehicle battles as well. The actions are almost non-stop. The most resting time I had are during longer cut-scenes and loading next chapter.
This story mode reminds me of Time Crisis series on PlayStation consoles. When finished battling one section, the story automatically "fast forward" and take you to the next area, even though that next area is few foot steps away. There is no full directional movement options with your body or use of a physical controller. The story mode is good to go through once or twice. But after that, I think most people will just go to battle in the Duels of Fate mode, race and bump in the Podracing mode, or go be a Rancor to level buildings and throw things around. The Rancor Rampage is really fun if you are in a destructive mood, and you can actually do a full 360-degree directional movement which couldn't be done in story mode. As for the Galactic Dance Off mode in front of Jabba? Well, it's a mini dance game with Star Wars characters in front of Jabba (first location). It's definitely intriguing! If I have a party and use one of the Kinect Dance off games, I would love to see the expressions of the party guests when I pop this in unexpectedly!
Generally, the graphics (cartoon'ish) is pretty much same of the Clone Wars cartoon series. Music is Star Wars derived. As far as controls go, it's Kinect! The good is the ability to perform like a Jedi during battle to get that in-the-action experience. The bad? Well, typical Kinect recognition issue. With an optimal light and well calibrated sensor, I think I got 90%+ accuracy. Of course, the time Kinect doesn't recognize seem to always be making that final strike to kill an enemy!
The game is fun for me at first, but 3 hours into the story mode I wasn't quite as enthusiastic battling the same way over and over again... Maybe after my sore shoulder recovers! I've seen enough of the action and the language to deem it acceptable for my pre-teen kids. I actually think the game is enjoyed most by kids, especially mine who like to participate in light saber battle.
In terms of soreness/calorie burning index (if there is one), this game is up there... Not only lots of swinging, but a lot of jumping (to strike from behind). It's not far from fitness games since player tends to over exert in battle!
*UPDATE 1: Kids Play*
My two grade level kids played 1/3 of the Dark Side rising story mode so far, and they loved it. One tends to use force to defeat enemies, and the other prefers to charge, swinging lightsaber, jump, and flip. Both are difficult to pry away from the game. This game will be the favorite with their friends for sure.
*UPDATE 2: 3D Play*
I got to setup Xbox/Kinect with my 3D Sharp XV-Z17000 1080p Projector on 125-inch screen. For comparison purposes, I use a PS3 for 3D blu-ray movies as well as games in 1080p mode. The main menu of this game goes into 1080p mode, but each game feature changed the display mode to 720p. For true assessment, I put my projector in native mode, which means 720p is shown at around 70" instead of 125". I've also set to the highest 3D depth option (there are low, medium, and high 3D).
* Story and Duel modes: The character you are playing is clearly separated from the rest. Others moving objects have a little bit of depth (consistent with most games supporting 3D). All cut scenes/movies are in 2D, which are also normal for other 3D games. However, for this game there are a lot of short video clips (2-5 seconds) that are mixed with game play, makeing it hard to really appreciate any subtle 3D effects. Overall I don't think 3D adds much to these games.
* Rancor Rampage: in this game also everything are pretty much in-screen, but 3D depth is more pronounced. Probably because Rancor is such a big object.
* Dance Off: The three characters dancing on the floor in front of Jabba are separated from the rest. The final hold produce a flash that has a little bit of out-of-screen (OOS) effect.
* Pod Racing: Now this one has the most pronounced 3D. To the best of my estimation, the player's vehicle has about 3/4 of the chasis out-of-screen! There appear good delineation between vehicles on the side and immediate front. There are also times I can see the debris ahead as clear 3D objects as well. The final winners' podium is nicely presented 3D for the first, second, and third place drivers. Heck, the entire podium seems to be lifted.