Today we look at Air Guitar Warrior for the Xbox One, a game that can be controlled using either a Kinect sensor or a gamepad – depending on which version of the game you pick up. We played it using our Kinect sensor, which hadn’t been getting much love lately.
With Black Friday approaching, I doubt many Xbox One owners will be investing in a Kinect sensor. Not only did Microsoft recently cease production on the hardware, it also has a hefty price tag attached to it. Buying a sensor for a new console also means having to invest in a separate adapter, and the total package will set you back almost as much as a brand new console would – assuming it’s on sale. Luckily, existing Kinect owners will be able to pick up something new for far less, with games like Air Guitar Warrior available for a fraction of the price of a new AAA release.
Air Guitar Warrior has a gamepad edition as well, but with a title that includes the words “air guitar” we really had no choice but to dust off the old Kinect sensor once more and assume the air guitar position. In Air Guitar Warrior this doesn’t mean you’re about to play a Kinect-based version of Guitar Hero, but rather a side-scrolling shooter with a few rhythm-based elements. Translated to what you see on screen, just imagine yourself riding on top of a giant shark while shooting laser bullets out of a guitar that you aim at bad guys.
One of your arms controls the direction the guitar/weapon is aiming and shooting in, and how far you hold it out determines your ammo type. The hand that’s closer to you determines the firing rate for your bullets, which plays into how much ammo you have available to you. Combining a bullet type with a firing rate means you have a vast array of possible firing modes available to you, although most enemies can be tackled with any firing option you choose to use – provided that your aim is halfway decent.
You can choose to try and play the game by taking down enemies in sync to the rhythm, but it generally works just as well to just mindlessly aim and shoot. During our testing session, this was actually the preferred way of playing for another reason as well – possible frustrations with the controls. While aiming is easy enough, selecting the right ammo type and firing rate requires a lot more precision and fine hand movements – which can be tricky and can lead to a few wrong choices on accident.
In classic arcade shooter style, you’ll encounter a boss fight every few levels as well – which is where it pays to have a bit of the stronger ammo ready to go. It’s all very familiar to fans of the classic arcade shooter, and Air Guitar Warrior provides them with a fun new way to play one. It doesn’t reinvent the genre itself, so unless you’re interested in motion controls and enjoy music-based titles, Air Guitar Warrior won’t sway you. But if you already have a Kinect unit sitting on top of your TV, then this could be a fun little title to add to your collection for the holidays.