It looks like the rock gods smiled upon the developers of this latest Kinect gem. If you're ready to kick out some serious jams and destroy dastardly dudes in the process then grab your axe and let's rock!
Air Guitar Warrior is played by pretending like you're holding a guitar and performing four different actions that correspond to different shot types in order to shoot oncoming enemies. If that sounds crazy then you're right. Thankfully, this setup works perfectly to create an immediately gratifying motion-controlled gaming experience. Basically, each stance is a combination of having your hands far apart or close together and strumming to the beat or twice as fast. Considering every shot type runs out of ammo (which automatically regenerates), you're forced to constantly change your stance. Additionally, you may ride vehicles or animals that can move up and down by tilting your virtual guitar. Overall, I'm impressed by how everything comes together to make a constantly enjoyable and hectic shooter that's powered exclusively by your ability to rock.
Each one of Air Guitar Warrior's stages (and there are a ton of them) presents a unique scenario composed of different environments, vehicles, and enemies. These stages are mind-blowing in their ridiculousness as you see yourself ride through Egyptian tombs, standing on an asteroid, and even mounting a giant eagle. All the while, you're shooting at Viking ghosts, UFOs, and floating skulls. It's crazy stuff indeed that'll surely put a smile on your face. On top of all that, after you complete a group of stages, you can pose for an album cover which becomes that section's image from then on. Now, that's a reward suitable for a rock god!
As you progress through Air Guitar Warrior's off-the-wall campaign, you'll unlock a wide array of guitars that feature distinct shots and abilities. For example, one guitar allows you to lean back in order to unleash a special attack. It's awesome discovering what each guitar is capable of and they add a lot of variety to the gameplay. Besides simply beating stages, you can replay them in order to outdo your previous efforts. Perfectionists will enjoy doing so while trying to defeat all of the enemies and not take damage but being able to accomplish that on every level will be quite a tough feat. The fact that the campaign is lengthy and full of variety while offering loads of satisfying rewards and replay value makes Air Guitar Warrior one of the most substantial Kinect games on the market.
Air Guitar Warrior has its downsides, though. First off, for a game all about rock, the soundtrack definitely leaves a lot to be desired. It's decent, sure, but it doesn't quite escape rock mediocrity as you'll hear mostly generic tunes that sound like they're lifted from a free music library. That being said, listening to different riffs as you change stances is rather cool. Next, the core gameplay remains a bit too simple and it starts to overstay its welcome after a while. Even with the array of guitars and campaign scenarios, the fact that you're just playing air guitar gets kind of monotonous. Finally, the bosses are great fun to take on but they require a bit of memorization in order to pass (especially later in the campaign). For example, when a boss lifts their hand to the upper-left of the screen, how would you know to move to the lower-right in order to avoid the upcoming attack? There should have been a warning system implemented.
When it comes to having fun with Kinect, you can't do much better than Air Guitar Warrior. The ridiculous premise combines with satisfying gameplay to craft one unique gem of a game so whip out your axe and get ready to rock!
- + Immediately gratifying gameplay that makes Kinect genuinely fun again
- + Crazy stages will blow your mind
- + Rewarding sense of progression
- - For a rock-oriented game, the soundtrack isn't as rocking as it could be
- - Gameplay gets monotonous after a while
- - The bosses require some memorization