Did you ever wonder what it was about those late night Kung Fu flicks that kept you watching them until 4am on week nights. They were cheesy, poorly constructed, and the dialogue was flat out stupid at times yet you sat there like an obedient dog waiting on the credits to roll. Entertainment is a vast medium that can intrigue people in many ways. I think that we as Americans take for granted how great the simple things in life are. Those old movies made staying up late that much more fun and we should remember those times. Now that we are all grown up, physically not mentally of course, we can once again live out those kung fu memories with Kung Fu Chaos. A game that takes everything that made those movies great to watch and slams it into a party game all to be enjoyed on your giant green VCR known as the XBox. Without further hesitation, get ready make fight!
Enter The Graphics
The first thing you will notice about KFC (god I love that pun!) is it’s original style visually. Characters are highly detailed and yet feel so cheesy at the same time. With names like Master Sho Yu and Ninja Fu Hiya you are certain to have a tough decision choosing your combatant…yeah. The levels sport some high quality textures and absolutely astounding level animations. Typical XBox fashion of course, the water is purdy and the frame rate is smooth but what about design? Well most of the levels are very well done while others could use some work especially in the camera department. Losing track of your character is not uncommon and can become a pain when in the heat of battle. The stages all scroll automatically and have pre set events such as falling into a almost bottomless pit to fighting down the side of a sinking ship. The levels are vast and deliver plenty of fighting goodness I just wish they were a bit better designed with four players in mind.
To Kill With Sound
The music in KFC is typical, taken almost directly from the movies that inspire it. It also allows for custom soundtracks which is quite humorous, if you can imagine a kung fu movie blaring something like White Zombie. The sound effects are standard fare and set the mood but the real audio treat is the character chatter. Some of the lines are downright hilarious, I can recall many times when I took a severe beating simply because I was laughing at the chatter. The director has his moments but most of the time he is annoying as all hell. The developers must have know this because you have the option to shut him up. As per usual all of this is presented in XBox glory, 5.1 digital sound baby!
Half A Loaf Of Gameplay
The meat of KFC is the single player experience, which is odd since this game is dubbed as a party game. You will be required to go through the one player mode to unlock the stages, mini games, and extras. This is imperative to gain any enjoyment out of the multi-player game since at the start you are limited to only a couple stages. Playing through one player is actually more enjoyable than it seems with scenarios ranging from tossing a princess to throwing life preservers to sinking ninjas while avoiding a nasty seal. The combo system is also surprisingly deep consisting of counter attacks, super combos, and of course plenty of button mashing. What the game lacks in depth it surely makes up for in fun factor but for some weird reason I found the game more fun when playing it alone.
While KFC may not be the best game to showcase the XBox and it’s capabilities it does do something that most others do not, it brings a new flavor to gaming in such a stale time. With so many clones, wannabes, and lame rehashes around it is good to see some originality thrown into the mix. This is what made the Dreamcast such a great system and I hope more developers take the time to shoot out more games that innovate rather than imitate. A great experience that is only drawn down by it’s few shortcomings and lack of a great multi-player experience, recommended rental.