Game Review: Kung-Fu LIVE
Genre: Motion Fighter
Developer: Virtual Air Guitar Company
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Kung-Fu LIVE is the camera-only PlayStation Move title where, on the single player mode, your body is the controller. You’ll fight through levels in what will seem like part side scrolling fighting game, part head-to-head fighting game with cut scenes seemingly taken right out of a comic book. I have to reiterate that while Kung-Fu LIVE is listed as being a Move title, the Move controllers are not used.
As I mentioned briefly above, the cinematics are ripped straight from a comic book, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the game recorded my pictures from the initial calibration and incorporated them into the opening movie. The story is that you’re a comic book clerk who gets pulled into a secret world of intrigue and Kung-Fu street fighting. As the game progresses, you are also introduced to some of the more mystical aspects of the world, as you face demons, giants, and the like. It’s a nice break from the army of guys you’ll fight, and it also serves to break you out of the routine of just doing a small handful of moves since these non-standard characters are vastly different sizes.
In the single player, all moves are accomplished by using your body as the controller. The PlayStation Eye captures your image, crops out your living room, and sends it right onto the screen to do battle with the bad guys. If you want to punch in-game, you throw a punch in real life. If you want to kick in-game, kick in real life. Things get interesting in the multiplayer which allows up to 4 of your closest friends to grab a controller and beat on you from the couch while you’re jumping all over the room trying to defeat them.
Kung-Fu LIVE really excels as a party game in the multiplayer space. I don’t know of too many five player local multiplayer games that really work well, but this is definitely at the top of that list. Also fun is the fact that you get to star in the cut-scenes as well as the game itself. Between levels, the game will cue you to take certain poses, and incorporate your picture into the story for you to see immediately, and to share with friends later.
On the downside, like similar games, Kung-Fu LIVE requires a LOT of light in order to be properly played. I thought kept my living room well lit, but I still pulled in an extra light before booting the game up…and it still told me that my room was too dark. I ended up having to re-create the Sun before I could get hits to accurately land with confidence. This is likely a limitation on the technology rather than the game itself, but it bares taking note of nonetheless.
The Demitrius Determination:
Like I said when I played Kung-Fu LIVE back at PAX, the game is just plain fun. And if you have a friend or two (and a lot of light), it has all the makings of a game that you’d play regularly to try to beat your old scores, teach your buddies a lesson, or even just get the blood pumping a little. Do yourself a favor, put down your glass of Haterade™, gather up your 15 bucks, and make the purchase.
-Humorous single player experience
-Exciting local multiplayer gaming
-Needs a ridiculous amount of light to be played effectively.
Final Score: 8/10