***Please see bottom for update***
I'm writing this three hours after buying and playing the game for the first time.
I've had a good chance to look through and experience the different options.
The game begins with the main menu, which is in the Jedi Archives with R2D2 and C-3PO explaining the context of the game.
From here, you choose to begin your mission, which starts with a short training mode. From here, you continue with the main game - the 'mission' as it is called.
Other options on the main menu include a Dance-Off competition, which is great fun - and has some witty well-known songs with their titles changed (Going Solo = I'm Han Solo for example). This is a great passer of time, even for those players in the family who may not be Star Wars fans.
The Pod Racing section is also great fun, and quite difficult. This really gets the heart racing, and you'll be guaranteed to need a sit down after experiencing this!
I'm yet to experience Rancor Rampage or the Duel options - but they also look particularly intriguing.
As for the gameplay itself, I'll split it into positive and negative:
+ The graphics are great, especially close-ups of characters such as Yoda.
+ The music and settings, as obvious as this may be, are those of John Williams and George Lucas. It's authentic to the film canon.
+ You are playing as a Jedi, in private, hands-free, with no guilt. That can only be a good thing!
+ The use of the force is great. When you lift a ship for example, it really feels like you're doing something amazing!
+ Jumping is great fun! You'll see what I mean!
- The use of lightsabres. I may be struggling as it's my first day, but they're not as responsive as I'd like. Restricted to just a few moves.
- The learning curve is a bit steep, even on amateur mode. 2 minutes of training and then bang, you're off.
- A bit repetitive at the start.
Overall, I need more time to see what this is all about.
I'm a massive Star Wars fan, and this game promises so much. I'm pleased with the first 3 hours, but I feel I want it to get even better.
***UPDATE: 6.4.12 ***
Having progressed far into this game, I'm afraid I have had to reduce my star rating by 1. It simply is not living up to its expectations as I hoped it would.
Some more negatives are listed below:
- A bug means that even if you sign in to you Xbox profile on the main Xbox menu, the game logs you in as Guest. Throughout the game, it keeps logging in and out of its own accord, often disrupting the play with a 'Welcome USERID' message. The very next minute, it'll pop up saying 'Welcome back Guest'. So frustrating! This happens when the internet is both connected and disconnected.
- The lightsabre gameplay is simply too slapdash. I was hoping I'd find new moves and new accuracy, but I stand in front of the TV waving my arms around wildly and it does the job. The force and lightsabre technique is all about pinpoint accuracy, but this is just wild flailing of the arms. It doesn't feel right, and it's hopeless.
- The repetitiveness has continued well into the game. *SPOILER*: How many battle droids do we really need to face within the first 3-4 hours of gameplay? I know this game is set at the time when battle droids are prominent in the SW universe, but give us something more 'Jedi'-like to do! Does this game have to be all about fighting our way through large swarms of enemies? Surely exercises such as Luke's training with Yoda on Dagobah (from the films) would be rewarding gameplay. Perhaps accruing points for the most accurate force usage? Sadly, I have encountered nothing of the sort thus far.
- A small annoyance, but when characters in cutscenes (which sometimes contain essential mission information) are facing away from the camera, their voices are realistically quieter. However, sometimes, the ambient sounds of the game actually drown out their voices. I turned up the volume so I could hear, and when the camera panned back around to a front-facing shot of the character, I was practically defeaned! As I say, a minor annoyance, but another negative which hinders enjoyment.
I will continue to update this review as time goes on, but I feel as though I'm continuing the game to justify the pricetag, rather than because I am genuinely enjoying it. A real shame, and a letdown for Kinect.
I hope my next review can add some positives.
***UPDATE: 25.4.12 ***
This will be my final update to this review, and unfortunately it's not a positive one. I haven't played this game in 10 days now, and haven't completed it. I have simply run out of motivation to stand and repeat the same tired moves, and the same tired fighting sequences.
As someone else stated, this game is not an absolute stinker, but as Jar Jar would say - "It smells (a bit) stinkawhiff".
Sorry Star Wars fans, you will be sorely disappointed if you purchase this game.
So sad, as this could have been the game which kickstarted Kinect, which seems to be stuttering somewhat with decent new output.