Think of Disney and the cast of stylized animal characters and worlds its artists create--say, the ones Lion King. Now combine those images with the combat system from Fighting Force or Nightmare Creatures, complete with blood splatters and killer moves. What you get is T'ai Fu from DreamWorks Interactive--a beat-'em-up action title with a mystical Chinese animal cast, in a bright and colorful 3D world. In the 20 levels of T'ai Fu, you control T'ai, a kung-fi fighting tiger as he tries to defeat the evil Dragon tiger as he tries to defeat the evil Dragon Master, and once again unite the now-separated animal clans. As you make your way through the game, each set of levels has an animal theme of sorts. For example, a city of bridges set in water features the Crane characters. The jungle level features your fellow (well, not so fellow) cat friends, and so on and so forth. The snake characters, which the Dragon Master has employed, are found in every level. As you meet up with a species and eventually defeat their level, you gain their particular fighting method. Like the real life kung-fu styles they represent, players can gain abilities from the Crane, Monkey and Tiger techniques, among others. In fact, there are around loo moves players can learn throughout the game, including Chi magic moves which are obtained by picking up various power-ups.
Download T'ai Fu
I have to admit the prospect of spending a number of hours with T'ai Fu filled me with dread. Having seen the game a number of times throughout its development, most of the adjectives I would have previously used to describe it would all have had something to do with toilet habits. Imagine my surprise then, as I sat down with the thing and realized after a good two or three hours that I was actually having a pretty good time. Sure, it's a simple 3D take on age-old games like Double Dragons, Final Fight and other such side-scrolling/fighting fare, but it ain't half bad. It's not going to win any awards, but consider that A) the main character looks like a Thundercat and B) the linear levels offer enough challenge to keep you amused, and you'll come to the same conclusion I did: that this is probably the finest example of a game suitable for rental you'll ever come across. You could probably work your way through the whole thing in three or four decent-length sessions, and when you get to the later levels you'll dig the whole ability learning thing and the way it alters the game-play as you progress. You'll be a bit frustrated by the camera system, forcing occasional "leaps of faith" to be made, but you'll be pleasantly surprised by the voice acting. Not bad. Not great--but not bad.
Square, square, square, triangle! Square, square, square, triangle! Be prepared for a lot of the same button-mashing combos in this wild life take on the 3D Ninja/Fighting Force games. T'ai Fu's jittery engine sucks away all the fun though..,it's hard to see where you're going, and it's hard to move around in some areas (especially when jumping's required). Neat idea, great graphics, awesome soundtrack-flawed game engine.
T'ai Fu is another 3D action game that almost makes it to the arena of greatness. It's a beautiful-looking game with well-designed levels, decent control and great sound, music and voicework. But T'ai Fu isn't without its problems--you're bound to find weird graphical glitches and sticky polygons in nearly every level. In addition, T'ai Fu is a little on the easy side...even on normal difficulty (and there's no hard setting to choose).
Tony the Tiger...MC Escher-like levels...beatin' up snakes? Just some random first thoughts about T'ai Fu. Seriously, linear roaming while battling easy-to-kill enemies every seconds gels repetitive. The levels are adequate, but there's not enough interactive stuff to mess with. The fighting engine is simplistic as well. You can get quite far by using just a few combos over and over. T'ai Fu is an average brawler that could've been better.