We've all been there. That moment of clarity as you see a lightsaber effortlessly slice through a stormtrooper for the first time and think, yes, this is it, this is what I've been searching for, my whole reason for being. I want to be a Jedi. As those childhood dreams manifested themselves as swordfights with broom handles and plenty of amateur "zchoom" sounds, or even some ill-advised Jedi cosplay in later life, there was always the hope that one day maybe, just maybe, we'd all be swinging lightsabers for real. Sadly, the world's scientists have been spending their time trying to cure things like "diseases," rather than creating an elegant weapon for a more civilized age, so we just have to make do with the next best thing.
6369672Droids don't stand a chance against Jedi.
That thing is the motion-controlled minigame collection Kinect Star Wars, but far from being the sabre-swinging Force-fest your childhood self hoped for, in reality it isn't quite up to the task of making you feel like an all-powerful Jedi. That painful realisation hits when you and a friend jump into Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising, a third-person adventure set between the events of Episode One and Episode Two that puts you in the shoes of a young padawan hoping to become a fully fledged knight. It's initially impressive to see the movements of your hand translated to the lightsaber. Broad swipes and sleek slashes are easy to perform and are accompanied by that oh-so-satisfying "zchoom" sound as you take out a group of floating droids that form part of your training.
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when you head to the Wookie home planet of Kashyyyk for your first mission. Surrounded by battle droids on the lush, green surface of the planet you swipe furiously at them, hoping to cut them asunder, only to find that the seemingly accurate tracking can't keep up with such quick movements. You can slow down your movements to a gingerly pace--hardly the hallmark of a great Jedi--but actually, any random flailing dispatches your foes; there's no skill required. Neither is there much skill needed to navigate each mission, with the action largely taking place on rails. What freedom you have is limited to battle sections where a quick step forward rushes your character toward an out-of-reach opponent or to the next predetermined goal.
Later levels introduce enemies that kick, punch, and defend themselves with swords, requiring side steps to break past their forward defences. It's all rather sluggish, though, so you never feel like you're taking part in an epic battle so much as going for a leisurely stroll through the jungle. And, as if that weren't disappointing enough, duels against staff-wielding enemies and the Sith--what should have been the most fun part of the game--are incredibly dull. They're very much like a Jedi version of Punch-Out, minus the clever, fast routines. Instead, you wait while your opponent takes a strike from one of four sides, each accompanied by a five-second delay. You hold out your lightsaber to block their attack and eventually break down their defence, letting you finish them off with a bit of random flailing.
This is no time for a nap!
Even using the Force has been reduced to a painful activity. Holding out your non-lightsaber hand lets you highlight objects and fling them into enemies, or you can fling the enemies themselves. Iffy item detection means that you don't always highlight the object you want, and it's impossible to know exactly where the object is going no matter what action you use to throw it. It's an incredibly slow process too, and because you can't move your character while using the Force, you're left open to rounds of blaster fire, making it much easier to just ignore the Force altogether and swipe away with your lightsaber.
If you were holding out hope for at least a decent story to propel you through the proceedings, then you're sorely out of luck there too. It's not that it's bad as such; it's just completely forgettable, consisting of a weird amalgamation of events from the original trilogy that have been carelessly shoehorned into the prequels' universe. You battle with droids, duel with the Sith, and make a miraculous--and very familiar--escape from a sarlacc pit. Plus, there are the automated vehicle sections, in which you use a combination of tilts and hand gestures to aim your shots while you pilot speeders through the jungles of Kashyyyk, shoot enemy craft using the guns of the Millennium Falcon, and--in another incredibly familiar mission--blow up the reactor core of a huge starship.