Kung Fu Chaos
All right, I admit it; I loved those campy old 70's kung fu movies. I still don't know why I still love them to this day. They didn't have great dialogue or actors. They weren't well edited or extremely high in quality and yet there was still something to them that made them fun and enjoyable. They were the movies that you especially enjoyed watching with your friends. Well those days aren't gone just yet...Just Add Monsters is bringing that same experience exclusively to your Xbox. Can they pull off a kung fu classic or just another turkey of a party game?
In Kung Fu Chaos you play the roll of the main star in Shao Tings latest movie. It's your job to keep the star quality high and make the movie a hit. You accomplish this by defeating your enemies in creative ways and staying alive while fighting endless numbers of ninja and other enemies. Each scene of the movie presents the opportunity to earn up to 5 stars, but earning at least 3 stars will allow you to progress to the next scene. The environments for each scene are fantastic; joyfully stealing themes from popular movies of the day. While the single player game is addictive, the game really shines, just like watching those old 70's kung fu movies, when you play it with three of your buddies.
Before you write it off as just another party game, don't. This game is well produced, graphically sharp and has solid gameplay. There are enough locked features, characters and levels to open, to provide hours and hours of game play trying to accomplish unlocking them all. The heart of the game is the wild, chaotic fighting, which surprised me in that it wasn't just a button masher. The combat system is complex and to earn a 5 star rating, you will be required to master it. The characters are all likeable and each has their own specialized attacks, which you will need to become expert at, as well as the art of parrying, counter attacking and combination attacks. The game cleverly has built into it levels where you learn to master these techniques. There are plenty of game play modes to help you build up your kung fu skills, such as: Ninja Challenge, Battle Game, Championship, Miniseries, Rehearsal, and even a Special Features section which you can unlock cast bios, island scenes, future presentations, and others.
Kung Fu Chaos is one of those games that jaded game reviewers, who are given to quick first impressions, will judge too quickly. Upon quick review, I know that I wouldn't have given KFC it's proper due, but there was something almost intangible about it that made me keep playing it. The more that I played the more I started to appreciate its humor, depth and just solid fun game play. If you are looking for a great party game, that still has a solid single player experience, look no further than KFC. It's great kung fu party action.
Download Kung Fu Chaos
Try to repress your painful memories of Whacked! and Fuzion Frenzy, because Microsoft's retrying the party genre with KFC. This time the action's a blend of mash-happy mayhem, Mario Party-style minigames, and a semiserious fighting engine. It's a competent package, but ultimately four-player is the draw...but only for a few nights. Graphically, it's stunning, yet often for the wrong reasons. Sure, the levels look great, packed with interactive elements and spiffy effects, but the characters make me wanna barf. The art style is just awful; choosing a character is tough 'cause I hate them all. Fortunately, the gameplay isn't nearly as repulsive. It's fairly deep for a party game, but not as robust as a real fighter. Once you figure out how to taunt and bust out super attacks, it's a cinch. The single-player mode provides a good tutorial (and plenty of unlockables), but a dearth of enemy types and the requirement that you perfect every stage to unlock the final one detract from the fun. Also, the subject matter is a little sketchy. If Super Smash Bros. Melee is a love letter to Nintendo fans, this is a similar attempt aimed at guys who dig old kung fu flicks. The difference is that while Smash Bros. treats its source material with reverence, KFC tackles the karate-film genre with outright mockery and borderline racism. Most gamers might not take offense at the chop-sockey accents and stereotypes, but some might. Rent it if you're curious.
Playing KFC is like zipping back in time to when--dare I say it--racism was rampant and widely accepted in mainstream media. Before y'all call me a political-correctness fascist, know that I have a high threshold for intelligent, edgy, and offensive humor. KFCs humor is about as subtle as a punch to the groin, and not nearly as smart. Every stage features a buck-toothed, slanty-eyed "director" who's more annoying than he is funny. And even if I look beyond the inappropriate humor, the game still offers little. It's a ramshackle brawler with ugly characters, frustrating stages packed with cheap deaths, and scant depth once you've mastered the easy taunts and super attacks.
This slightly above-average Power Stone (Dreamcast) clone has a few things going for it. First, the combo system works well. Your attacks are nicely varied, and there's a definite strategic advantage to mixing things up in combat. The stages are pretty hectic, too, with most involving some dynamic interactive elements. One, for instance, has a crazy T-Rex chasing you as you fight, biting off pieces of your raft and, if you're unlucky, your head. Playing solo gets dull quickly, but with four players it's alright. But what's up with the stereotypical character designs, particularly that screwed-up announcer guy? If I were Asian, I'd want to punch this game in the throat.