Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus
|a game by||Microsoft|
|Editor Rating:||5.5/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.7/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Fighting Games|
The timeless cliche of not judging a book by its cover pulls double duty with Tao Feng because 1) the cover is laugh-out-loud ugly while the game looks quite swanky, and 2) although the graphics look fantastic, the accompanying gameplay is fundamentally busted. Your initial foray into the game world will leave you amazed--each of the gorgeous fighting arenas oozes with subtle interactive details. For example, you can grab a support beam, swing around it, and launch into your opponent, knocking him into a birdcage that smashes open and releases a fluttering flock into the air. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it would be if the fighting engine didn't feel shoddy and broken. A combination of Mortal Kombat-style diated-in combos, cheap one-button special attacks, and the fighting genre's least effective blocking system render Tao Feng miserably unfun in the long run. Oh, I shouldn't forget the painfully obtuse Practice mode that features no visual reminder of the long-ass combo you're attempting. Or the hokey, overlong voiceover that precedes every match in the singleplayer Quest mode. Or the laughable enemy A.I. (try simply jump kicking the sword-wielding final boss repeatedly--it worked for me). Overall, it's a beautiful but brainless fighter not worth your money or time.
Tao Feng seems to fill a wish list of fighter features, but its piecemeal approach results in schizophrenic gameplay. Case in point: Why put welfare-cheese Chi attacks (acid regurgitation, anyone?) in a game inspired by more elegant fighters--namely Virtua Fighter 4? You won't want to bother setting up juggles when one-button Chi blasts deal more damage. And why pair such expansive arenas with confining controls tailored more toward fighting on a track? Tao Feng isn't a turd, though. With more eye candy than an art museum and many borrowed bits from the genre's best, it's fun in short sessions. I just can't see experienced pugilists sticking around.
Playing Too Feng is a lot like diarrhea; the longer it lasts, the more irritated you get. The various bits simply don't come together: Awkward animations, poor collision detection, a lackluster combo system, and hopelessly generic character designs do not a quality game make. Matches dispatch elegance in favor of sheer brutality, resulting in awkward, lumbering fights with all the grace of a weeping stool pigeon. The few laudable innovations (interactive environments, limb damage) are rendered void due to the game's many inherent flaws. Too Feng serves as a reminder that Microsoft needs to do a much better job choosing its horses. Wait for Soul Calibur 2.
Download Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus takes place in the near future of Metro-China where two Chinese sects, the Pale Lotus and Black Mantis, fight for dominance. Both groups are trying to gather together a collection of artifacts that will grant their owners immortality, and of course the best way to gain artifacts is to beat the hell out of each other.
Tao Feng is a beautiful thing to behold - a game that captures the physical poetry of martial arts and the human form in physical combat. Unfortunately Tao Feng offers little else for a gamer to enjoy. A clunky fighting system which doesn't seem to rely on tactics at all and camera angles that make gameplay at times both hard to master and frustrating to endure, hamstring what could have been a fantastic game.
The game offers several modes of play including versus, team battle, training and quest. In quest mode you pick a side and try to beat up the six members of the other sect with each of your six ' in other words you'll eventually need to win 36 battles. Once you do that you get to go up against the other side's head honcho in a battle royale. The 12 fighters you get to choose from, between the two groups, offer a variety of fighting styles and show-off the game's impressive graphics. But that all comes to a grinding halt after a few fights.
The fighting system is just too clunky to be enjoyable. The moves are impressive, but there is seemingly no sense when it comes to which moves out-class which. Instead you'll spend your time waiting for an opening and then unleashing a quick combo or two. Ad to this is the fact that the camera angle sometimes has to shift to work around the detailed backgrounds, but often the shift means a flip in the angle, making your fighter go from the right side to the left side of the screen and of course typically messing up any move you were in the middle of doing. That said, the fighting does have a few cool touches, like the ability to damage limbs and thereby reduce the damage an opponent can inflict with an arm or leg. The game also features a destructive background and the capability to flip off walls or swing around trees and launch an attack.
Although Tao Feng breaths a bit of fresh air into a otherwise stale genre, a fighting game can never be better than its fighting system and no amount of eye-catching graphics or cool features will make up for clumsy battles.