A long time ago at a convention center far, far away, Microsoft promised gamers a Star Wars adventure using the Xbox 360’s Kinect motion-sensing camera. You’d wield a lightsaber by swinging your arms, while tossing Stormtroopers around with a flick of the hand. For many people watching Microsoft’s Kinect press conference at E3 2010, this was childhood fantasy come true. A new video shows just how far Kinect Star Wars has strayed from that ideal.
The extensive footage of Kinect Star Wars‘ dancing minigame shows Han Solo and a troupe of backup dancers shaking it to modern pop music. Later in the video, Lando Calrissian joins the action, just to make sure that no image of a Star Wars badass is left untainted. Although the lightsaber-wielding, Force-manipulating gameplay is still part of the finished product, it is now one minigame among many.
Not surprisingly, the Star Wars faithful are treating this as a great disturbance. The gaming site CVG claimed that the video “violates our childhood.” Destructoid’s Jim Sterling went a step further, saying Kinect Star Wars will “violate everything you believe in,” and that “Harrison Ford may be able to sue Microsoft for slander.” On YouTube, the video has more than 1,000 dislikes and less than 400 likes as of this writing.
Not everyone’s upset about these dance battles. Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett, for instance, called them “at once the most excruciating and enjoyable things about the game.” One Kotaku commenter said of the detractors that they “don’t know fun when they see it.”
I’m not above the idea that Star Wars fans needn’t take every aspect of the IP so seriously. But I still remember the dream that Microsoft proffered to its core gamers at E3 2010. Then I played a preview one year later, and was disappointed by how unpolished the experience was. I’m worried that instead of improving the core game, Microsoft took the easy way out by packing Kinect Star Wars with minigame filler–and it couldn’t be harder to watch.
Here’s another equally-awful video if you’re not yet mortified: