Kung Fu Panda
A Review - By Gaetano Prestia
Games that are generally thrown out the door to coincide with the release of a film fail to reach the quality of the film they’re based on. However, in recent times things have changed. The Lord of the Rings, Hulk and Spider-man games and even the recent Speed Racer have all been decent-to-good games that are very much against the argument that all games based off films suck.
You can now also add Kung Fu Panda to that group. While it’s not one of the longest games out there (it can be completed by even the most novice of gamers in about 3 hours), it offers a largely entertaining, yet time-limited, experience. It’s a platformer that is, while mainly aimed at a younger crowd, open to all types of gamers, even the most hardcore. I have no doubt that Kung Fu Panda will probably go down as a cult classic, as it offers an intuitive, humours and original experience.
Kung Fu Panda is based off the upcoming computer animated Dreamworks Pictures film of the same name. The film stars Jack Black as the voice-actor of Po, an energetic yet under-appreciated Panda with an undeniable passion for Kung Fu.
This game probably won’t suit anyone who considers themselves to be more then the “casual gamer”. It’s far too short and doesn’t offer enough in terms of challenge and enemies to warrant a purchase. I couldn’t imagine anyone playing Metal Gear Solid 4 and then throwing Kung Fu Panda into their PS3.
The game is set out across 13 levels in which you lead Po the Panda to ultimate glory and recognition as a Dragon Warrior. While the games goals and puzzles are very simplistic and clearly aimed at a younger audience, the titles gameplay mechanics must be applauded. Po’s large weight is taken to advantage and can be used against enemies and it’s great that Luxoflux have made this game more than just a button-mashing beat em’ up, but instead a title filled with combos and unique attacks. Po can roll around like a bowling and known down enemies, jump up and perform a special attack to temporarily knock down foes or even kick up an enemy and continue to punch and kick him while he tumbles into the air. What the developer has done here is create a great platformer for kids that doesn’t insult their intelligence or wants. The actual character gameplay and combat isn’t so simplistic but it isn’t that complex either. It falls perfectly right in-between.
Graphically, Kung Fu Panda is impressive. While I haven’t seen the movie myself so I have nothing to compare it too, it looks as good as I expect the film to look. The lighting effects and draw distance are great and there is barely, if any at all, screen tear.
Beyond the single-player game there are a few multiplayer games that are good fun although they’re offline. However, they probably aren’t at all that much worth it for anyone over 12 years old and aren’t anywhere near as entertaining as the main game itself.
Kung Fu Panda is an example of how each game based off a movie should be in terms of quality. The graphics are great, the gameplay is fun and the title as a whole is perfect for the younger gamer.