[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”QOOCsoft” publishers=”7Sixty” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”September 5, 2012″]
At first sight, Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise doesn’t give off that great of an impression. In fact, when first viewing the trailer it can be dismissed as some kind of second-rate, knock-off version of Street Fighter 4. However, once you actually sit down and play it, you realized that your Street Fighter comparison was ridiculously far off from what the game actually offers.
Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is a throwback to old school beat ’em ups like Streets of Rage or Double Dragon (with a new set of paint), set in various arenas. You take on the role of the battle hardened General Loh, who travels to a far away city to seek advantage in an upcoming war from the mystic Master Mo. When things don’t go quite as planned, General Loh is forced to take the fight to the road and change things through the might of his fists. There is also some fatherly avenging that must be attended to.
One of the first things that stuck out about this game was how awesome the story was presented. It is told in panels between levels that look like something you would see in a comic book. These panels had an almost hand drawn look to them, and would not feel out of place in a graphic novel. That being said though, the story line isn’t the most original thing ever composed. The dialogue was laughably cheesy and cliché at times, and I had a hard time understanding why certain things were even included in the story at all. The good news is that if you think of this game like a B-rated Kung Fu movie, the story line fits in very well. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can just skip viewing the story panels altogether.
Skipping the story panels is a great option to have, because the story is not where this game excels. Kung Fu Strike is successful because the combat is ridiculously fun. You only use a few buttons for fighting, but the developers were able to make the combat surprisingly deep by adding a multitude of counters, combos, evasions, upgrades, and special moves to take on the waves of enemies. This makes for battles that look unexpectedly fluid and choreographed, especially when you bound from enemy to enemy in the middle of a fifty-string combo. It’s clear that the developers put a great focus on action, because it had me addicted.
The difficulty level was clearly also well thought out. When you first start the game, the battles are quite easy and the foes are simple to overtake. As you progress through the story and learn more skills, the difficulty goes up accordingly. Nothing ever felt too hard in accordance to my skill level, and I didn’t experience any random spikes of difficulty. The game also offers the option to switch the difficulty between levels, so it is very friendly to new gamers.
Another thing that really stood out was the amount of gameplay and stages. Each level has four stages, each with different enemies, objectives, etc. Each of the stages within the levels also has hidden objectives that contribute to your overall score. You can complete each stage on easy, medium, and difficult settings and get grades for each one, so replay ability is quite high (especially when combined with the upgrades I mentioned above.) The artwork in these stages was also nice. It felt refreshing to see attention paid to the details of the foreground, such as falling leaves or flags fluttering on a distant building. Each stage had a unique setting like a courtyard or cave, and, as far as I know, I didn’t come across a single repeated background.
Overall, Kung Fu Strike is a surprisingly immersive experience for the price. The combat is exhilarating, the backgrounds are animated very well, and the story is presented in a really cool comic book panel style that I hope more games take advantage of. The replay ability is very high, and this game will be sure to keep you busy until Borderlands 2 comes out.