Kung Fu Strike may be one of those games that sounds generic enough to get overlooked. With the gaming season about to kick off, most people will have their minds on other AAA titles. But should this game receive your attention?
Kung Fu Strike is an arena based beat ‘em up in which you play General Loh, a warrior who has been on the battlefield for years. He travels to a temple in Talin, searching for Master Mo seeking an advantage in war. However, all is not as it seems when he arrives and he must take matters into his own fist! The presentation here is pretty nice, with the story broken up in to comic book style panels. It may be a bit cheesy, but fits the tone of the game well.
The game is broken up into levels and stages. Each stage is an arena, where you must beat the crap out of your opponents. This is achieved by pressing the X button. Unlike other beat ‘em ups, button mashing isn’t required. By leaving the X button pressed down, Loh will continue to punch. You can also move Loh while he is continuously hitting, which means you can manoeuvre him out of the way of incoming attacks. This becomes handy in later levels where fighters can easily swamp you. You can also perform jumping attacks with the use of the A button, which helps mix things up a little.
With each passing level, the challenges become more difficult. Sometimes that means multiple enemies, sometimes it means boss fighters; but the combat remains the same, which means that it can become repetitive. You can buy new moves for Loh, but this is just frosting on the cake and makes little difference to the combat.
Loh can also deploy special moves by building up his Chi and also deflect and evade attacks. These will become necessary if you want to progress through some of the later levels. The special moves are nothing too special, just a flurry of quick attacks, but they are great ways to get out of tight spots.
The biggest problem this game has is the difficulty spike about halfway through the game. Not content with throwing enemy upon enemy at you, the game also drops bombs on you continuously, which when in a smaller arena means that it is nigh on impossible to avoid the blast area. The bombs may also damage your opponents, but it becomes just plain frustrating when you have been juggled four or five times by bomb blasts, end up dying and having to restart the arena. It is this that hurts the game the most.
The game does counter this a little bit by offering a co-op mode. Grab a friend (online or offline) and things do become a little easier. You can also play against your friends in a Player Vs Player mode, once you have completed the main campaign.
While the combat is fun and satisfying, the game is hampered by its repetitive nature and difficulty as you progress. Anyone looking for some Kung Fu action will certainly find it here, and it definitely is more fun with a friend. Playing in short bursts will increase the longevity of the game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.