Entertainment writer. Loves games, movies, and comics. Also loves talking in the third person
Growing up, the Xbox Kinect seemed like the next step into a futuristic world, and that every household would own one.
Well, it didn’t exactly turn out that way.
Xbox would end up discontinuing the Kinect, and it’s become a thing of the past. But the Kinect had a wide, interesting catalog of games, ranging from Sonic to Michael Jackson. Here are the 5 best Xbox Kinect games you've probably never played. If you still have a Kinect, you should definitely give these a try.
Star Wars fans have been wanting to become Jedis and swing their lightsabers since the first Star Wars film, and they finally got their chance with the game, Kinect Star Wars. Released in 2012, the game offered 4 distinct game modes: a story mode, a racing mode, a duel mode, and a dancing mode; with the story mode taking place in the original trilogy.
Players swung and controlled their lightsabers using their arms, and they also controlled vehicles the same way; the dance mode, however, had full body tracking. The dance mode was also one of the most popular aspects of the game, with the video of Han Solo dancing becoming infamous on the internet.
When fans of the series imagined themselves in the Star Wars universe, I don’t think they ever imagined themselves as a dancing Han Solo. Or maybe they did, who knows, I’m not one to judge.
Another massive franchise that many people wished they lived in, Harry Potter for Kinect lets players feel what it’s like to be a student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. The game was an adaptation of the film series with players going through the story’s major events, although the game told the story in a much faster and simpler way.
Like other Xbox Kinect games, the player would wave their arms to play the game. Players were also able to say things out loud to do certain commands, such as call for backup from their friends.
Moving their arms around in a specific way would do different spells, and players also used their hands to make potions. Wingardium leviosa, incendio, and expecto patronum were just some of the spells players could cast.
I remember seeing commercials for Sonic Free Riders and thinking it looked like a blast, the Kinect looked like it was worth it solely for this game. A hoverboard racing game starring Sonic characters, Sonic Free Riders was the last installment in the Sonic Riders trilogy.
The story sees Sonic characters racing in a tournament set up by the nefarious Doctor Eggman. Some of the playable characters include Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Amy, and Shadow, although there are plenty more.
The game requires the full use of the player’s body to race; different movements perform different functions. You move your body left or right to navigate, kicking your foot, as you would a skateboard, will propel you forward, and players can also jump to do tricks while their character is in the air.
The Just Dance games were pretty popular. The Kinect needed games that would make use of full-body tracking, and Michael Jackson is known for his dance moves; so, this was a match made in heaven.
Michael Jackson: The Experience was a dancing game developed by Ubisoft, the same developer behind the Just Dance series, where players dance to iconic Michael Jackson songs.
Like the Just Dance series, players look to the screen and repeat the characters’ dances. The closer they get to imitating the characters, the higher their score is.
The game also gives players the option to have singing segments, where they have to follow along with the song’s lyrics, making use of Kinect’s voice feature. Some of the songs available to dance to include: Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat it, and Smooth Criminal.
Just like racing, dancing, or waving wands and lightsabers, having a Kinect fighting game made sense because of the console’s ability to track movement. And what sounds like a better Kinect fighting game than a Dragonball Z game? Play as your favorite characters as you battle in 1-1 fights, using punches, dodges, and ki blasts to get the victory.
Some of the iconic characters you can choose from include: Goku, Vegeta, Majin Buu, and Trunks. The game offers a story mode that allows players to play and relive important fights from the Dragonball series, and the game also included locations from the series. Some of these locations include Namek, Cell Games Arena, and Supreme Kai’s World.
The Kinect might not be the gaming juggernaut Microsoft wanted it to be, but it does deserve credit for housing some unique games. These 5 Xbox Kinect games are just the tip of the iceberg, and the Kinect has plenty more interesting games.
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