I’m a sucker for a good Kung Fu movie. Crazy moves, flashy attacks and stories of ancient dojos have always intrigued me. Kung Fu Strike, as generic as the name may sound, is actually a pretty simple, but fun beat ‘em up.
You play as General Loh, trying to reclaim a large shrine that has been taken over by rebel forces. He will take on anyone with his Kung Fu. Nothing will stop him from taking back the temple and recruiting soldiers to hold back the enemy forces.
The game is a rather simple beat ‘em up in nature with only a standard attack, air attack, block/counter and dodge. By holding down an attack button, Loh will continuously attack in a flurry of devastating punches and kicks. Some enemies will block standard attacks, and Loh will be required to take to the air. Button prompts will signal when to do so. Blocking and, more importantly, countering is where the game mixes in a few mechanics. If you time your block correctly, Loh will counter the attack rather than block it. When this happens, the enemy will glow green. Attacking the foe while glowing will give Loh some health back. This will become crucial in the later levels.
Loh has a special attack gauge that will fill up over time and quickly fill when he attacks in combos. When full, tapping the standard and air attack buttons simultaneously will trigger a special move that differs depending on what you have unlocked and what buttons you press during the attack. These do massive damage, and will knock down anyone in their path.
Defeating enemies will give you health pick-ups and money. Cash can be spent on equipment and special moves that will aid Loh in combat. In between missions is when your preparations will take place. Upgrading health and equipping a revive potion is highly recommended.
The reason why I say you need as much health as you can get is because this game can get brutal. Around the halfway point, I hit a brick wall in progression. This is due to many strong enemies and a game play mechanic that revolves around bombs falling from the sky. You even touch one of these and they blow up after about two seconds. What may end up happening is you get hit by a bomb and get propelled into another one. The enemies are now not getting combos against you, but rather the random bombs are. It gets really annoying, really quickly.
Because Kung Fu Strike is simplistic, it will begin to become repetitive. The game is fun, but with the ramped up difficulty and the repetitive nature of the game, it may wear on you rather quickly. Still, with the high-flying combos and fast game play, you will still have a fun spectacle to watch while you play.
The camera is another thing that became a problem. Because you can’t control it, it sometimes moves to an area that you just can’t get a good sense of where everything is. It didn’t happen too often, but enough to get me killed a few times. Luckily, the game restarts itself rather quickly.
The visuals are decent for what the developers were going for, but you’re not going to find realistic looking models here. The cut scenes are played out in comic book panel fashion, and there is no voice acting, but it doesn’t take anything away from the experience.
The game offers up controller support that works just as well as the keyboard. This is one game that could be played with either control scheme. It’s nice to have that option, especially since the game has co-op play through the entire campaign and a versus mode that lets you take on a friend in a Kung Fu match. Unfortunately, there is no online play, so you’re stuck with local competition. Still, it works and it’s just as fun as single player.
Kung Fu Strike actually surprised me. The game is just pure fun. The crazy combos you can pull off by only holding a button are always fun to see, and the simplistic nature of the game play makes it easy for anyone to pick up and play. You may have a struggle in the later levels of the game, but co-op will make that easier for you. All for ten bucks, I’d suggest giving it a shot. It’s a fun little beat ‘em up with a lot of heart.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.