Have you ever wished you could be in a comic book? Have you ever wished you could learn Kung-Fu? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what you can do in Kung-Fu Live for the PlayStation 3.
Kung-Fu Live is a PSN exclusive downloadable game that utilizes the PlayStation Eye camera to put you into the game and allow you to fight in battles against street thugs, mythical creatures, and ninjas.
The game uses a comic book art style with a very colorful and cartoony aesthetic. The big parts of the game are that the camera will take pictures of the player and actually place those pictures in the comic cut scenes. It looks really nice, and quite funny if you’re looking rather stupid in the pictures (like I am).
The game play is all up to the player. You are placed in the game being able to move around left and right in an arena fighting against virtual enemies. You can punch, kick, dodge, and jump al in real time to win the fight. There are also special moves that you can use by mimicking certain silhouettes to activate. They help create combos and stun enemies for a little bit of breathing room.
The problem is that the game really doesn’t control all too well. The calibration system is simple enough to use, but never really gets the player completely scanned in. Of course, some of that could possibly be user error due to the fact that you have to have very good lighting for the camera to pick the player up properly. Even then, you will constantly be doing things in the game that you weren’t necessarily doing in real time. I would jump when I was standing still, I would get hit when I clearly dodged, and I could never use my special powers when I needed to and they would activate when I didn’t want them.
The setup requires a lot of space for the game. I had to move almost everything out of my living room just to get enough space to move around correctly. I had to stand back from the television a good 8 feet before it would pick me up correctly; then, you will need another 10 feet of walking space left and right for your movement and attacks. It just seems like it’s asking a little too much in order to play the game.
The game features a decently long story mode that can actually get rather difficult in the later levels. The story is interesting and a little cheesy at the same time, but it feels like it goes along with how the game works. It’s supposed to be kind of silly. There is also multiplayer with four players using controllers to control enemies, as well as a quick play mode where you can take on custom matches to your liking.
A very nice touch that I wished work for me is you can import your pictures of yourself in the comics to your PS3 hard drive and then send them to your friends. I tried three times to import my pictures, but it would never complete it. I can’t figure out for the life of me why it wouldn’t work, but if I did get it to work, it would have been a nice feature.
Kung-Fu Live is one of those games that I really wanted to love. The concept is great on paper, but then you realize that the execution is just not good. There is still some enjoyment you can get out of the game especially with a bunch of friends. It is one of those games that you play for the fun factor of being in the game rather than playing the game for the game play and precision. Plus, the game uses the PlayStation Eye, a peripheral that is hardly ever used in new releases or old releases for that matter, so it gives you a reason to dust off your camera.
If you can make it past the inaccurate controls, Kung-Fu Live is actually fun. It will definitely give you a good workout at least. I bet I lost a couple of pounds over the course of playing through the story mode. It’s fifteen dollars, and with a little patience and some friends to play with, you can have a good time just flailing your arms and legs a bit.
Review copy provided by publisher.