It’s a real shame about the potential for the Kinect. The Kinect was an accessory Microsoft pushed with the Xbox 360 to compete with the motion controls of the Nintendo Wii and the upcoming motion abilities of the PS3 and PlayStation Move. The biggest factor the company overlooked was the ability to make solid game experiences with the Kinect. With a handful of mini game collections, exercise regimen and quick time events, it’s refreshing when an indie studio takes a chance to utilize existing technology to try something else, even if it is a reissue from the Xbox 360. Kung-Fu for Kinect is a port from the Xbox 360 made for the Xbox One, but it also gives gamers something to use their Kinects for besides voice commands.
Kung-Fu for Kinect is an action game where players act out being a karate hero. You have to use your arms and legs to kick and punch your way to victory. The more you punch and kick your enemies, the more the story also progresses. The game sets itself up in appearance as a simple motion game, but the extra features and fun game play give value for a lost afternoon.
The game wastes no time immersing you into the action. I would recommend testing out your Kinect before you start this game, just to test for latency issues. I had some minor problems trying to lock in a combination attack against a boss enemy, but after re-calibrating at least once on the Xbox dashboard, I was good to go. As you progress through the game, the story places snapshots of poses that you take with your Kinect and puts you in a comic book narrative.
The graphics of Kung-Fu for Kinect are a stylized 2D comic style theme. Though you stick out as a sore thumb, being the only live action character that interacts with everything else, it manages to mesh well amidst the chaos of everything that happens around you.
There were a couple of things that Kung Fu excelled at. Some of the reasons Kung Fu kept my interest were the immersion, the game play interactions, the way the game incorporated freeze frame shots of your action poses, and all the mini games unlocked at the beginning. For a game revolving around one idea of physical based attacks, it sure did expand on it as much as it could.
As mentioned above, Kung Fu executed the purpose of its game play masterfully. Every kick and punch (when calibrated correctly) was effective against any and all enemies, preventing you from finishing the story chapter and trying to take you down. The basic controls of punching and kicking were easy to pick up on and with enough physical breaks taken, I could see this game zapping an entire week of game play.
Another highlight of Kung Fu, as mentioned earlier, is the mini games. This gives you a chance to experiment with the different techniques you’ve learned throughout the game, as well as trying different abilities and testing your limits physically. This can also benefit players by allowing them to warm up on different scenarios before taking on the main story again. Or it provides a good break if playing the main story becomes too predictable.
For all the good things that Kung Fu does well, it did have some drawbacks. The main thing that distracted me from enjoying the game was the calibration. This is easily remedied by calibrating your Kinect before you start the game, but if not done before gameplay, players will experience moments of latency resulting in death. Another drawback of Kung Fu was its simplicity.
This is arguably one of its strengths as a game, but it also made me wish the developers could expand upon it and do more with the given abilities the players have to earn. The last thing that held this game back from being more ambitious was the variety in stages with the story. You had your traditional docking area, jungle, urban city, but most missions were fight the bad guys, fight a bigger bad guy, and try not to die in the process. The only thing I could brainstorm to alleviate this issue for a potential sequel or spinoff in the future is have more interactivity with abilities. An example would be combining a lightning ability with a jump kick to have a lightning jump kick. Or being able to chain together attacks.
Overall, I’d say Kung Fu for Kinect is a fun time. It gives players something different for a challenge and breathes life into the Kinect that was once hyped up about many E3 conferences ago. I can’t firmly say how much effort Microsoft focused on Kinect games, but it’s disappointing. The Kinect had a lot of potential to be implemented into games, but it was up to game developers to innovate and brainstorm ideas. I commend them for trying something different, but it was best they focused on just making solid games. Games are, after all, powering our interest in selecting a console or loading it up on our PCs.
I’d recommend Kung Fu for Kinect to fans that have loved the original port on the Xbox 360 or want something different. The price of Kung Fu is 19.99 USD. Although I can’t vouch for buying this at full price, I would wait for a sale to pick it up. If you want something that is fun for kids, or secretly a workout, Kung Fu for Kinect is your game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Kung-Fu for Kinect Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 6/10
If you want something that is fun for kids, or secretly a workout, Kung Fu for Kinect is your game.