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updated 4/10/2012 5:23:59 PM ET 2012-04-10T21:23:59

A long time ago, in a galaxy not far away …

… Microsoft began a project for use with its motion-reading Kinect device for Xbox 360, one that revolves around the "Star Wars" universe. In development at the studios of Terminal Reality, the project took quite some time. Now, at long last, "Kinect Star Wars" has arrived. Though some hard-core fans are likely to give it the same dismissive treatment as "Episode 1: The Phantom Menace," kids and casual players will find plenty to enjoy.

"Kinect Star Wars" is split up into multiple parts that can be played in any order. Let’s go over each part.

Dark Side Rising

This is the main story mode, where you choose a Padawan (apprentice) and go through a story with the help of your Jedi master, Mavra Zane. Your main weapon is a lightsaber, which you guide with your arm. You also can use your hands to summon a Force attack, pushing an object or enemy out of your way. There are times when your motions aren’t read accurately, but for the most part it’s an enjoyable, albeit short, mode that lets you feel like a Jedi.

Duels of Fate

Once you complete a stage in Rising, you unlock this mode in which you face a number of enemies, starting with lowly soldiers before moving up to Count Dooku and Darth Vader. This mode is better when it comes to teaching Force powers and lightsaber technique, so check it out.

Podracing

As in "Phantom Menace," you can race across a number of intergalactic circuits in a high-speed podracing unit, using your arm motions to steer, jump and boost your way past the competition. A number of race types are available, and you also can compete with a friend. This mode is a bit short but lots of fun.

Rancor Rampage

In this mode, Jabba the Hutt’s favorite pet, a towering beast known as the Rancor, runs loose in the city, throwing people around and smashing through buildings. You take control of it by flinging your arms, crouching (to set up a charge attack) and throwing your fists down to ground pound. There’s something wildly fun about trashing a village to earn points.

Galactic Dancing

This mode will clearly separate those who love Kinect Star Wars from those who despise it. Similar to Harmonix’s Dance Central game, Galactic Dancing lets you choose from a variety of songs that are "Star Wars-ized" versions of pop hits. (“Hollaback Girl” is now “Hologram Girl.”) You’ll see everyone from Darth Vader to C-3PO to Slave Princess Leia here.

Kinect Star Wars won’t be for everyone. That said, it does have a lot to offer, and it’s way more fun than we expected.

RATING: 3 / 4

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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