Kung Fu Fight! – Wii U

Another review, another endless runner. Straight off the back of reviewing Ocean Runner, here we have Kung Fu Fight from Nostatic who also developed Ascent of Kings, another game we recently wrote about.

Unlike Ocean Runner this release isn’t aimed at children, in fact I’d say it’s aimed at an older generation who are nostalgic for a simpler time. Since it’s my second game of Nostatic’s you can certainly see their style, I’m calling it Atari 2600 HD. It’s nice, colourful and simple; it does the job. Sprites are big and chunky.

The game boasts a very simple story mode of which you can choose three difficulties. You are in ancient China… or Japan, the game’s not sure, and you take control of an heroic boy chasing after a warlord who has kidnapped his sister. That’s it really but the game has a lot of charm for how little there is of it. The brief moments of dialogue add a lot of character to the game, it’s just a shame there’s not a lot of it. The story mode will last you about 15 minutes in total, although it really depends on how much you keep failing.

On your journey to rescue your sister there are obviously a lot of obstacles and enemies in your way. There are a decent amount of enemies in Kung Fu Fight and their variety increases the further you get in the game. You start off against simple and easy enemies who basically just stand waiting for you but it’s not long before they get more tricky and difficult to overcome. For example, they will begin to charge at you, then throw a shuriken and then throw two shurikens.

Each enemy has their own characteristics that you need to learn in order get by them. Some of them can be pretty tricky even after you know their abilities. I had particular difficulty with the sumo wrestlers as they have too jumping patterns, differing in timing which makes avoiding them a different technique.

Until you learn the personalities of each enemy you’re going to die a lot, thankfully every 500m or so along you will come across a checkpoint that you can respawn to without consequence. Outside of the story mode though, it’s one life then back to the beginning.

To help you survive you have a few simple techniques you can use. The first is a simple attack which can be utilised on most enemies, as long as they don’t get you first, of course. You can also jump and slide on the ground. You can use these to bypass some enemies but I found the attack to be the safest and most reliable way to get around them. The jump and slide will nevertheless be used fairly heavily as there is plenty of platforming to be done too.

On the normal difficulty I think the game is manageable. You’ll probably get undone a few times here and there, but it’s an exercise in learn from your mistakes and having fast enough reactions. Luckily your reactions don’t need to be so fast here. On the next two difficulties though, enemies come much thicker and faster. You’ll need to have a bit of luck on enemy placement to make it through as sometimes it might be physically impossible to even make it through.

Thankfully every time you die the enemy placement is likely to change, hopefully giving you a fairer run.

I think the game looks pretty decent. It has that extreme retro look, but it’s bright and colourful, the characters are nice and big. I like it a lot more than Nostatic’s Ascent of Kings. The further you run, the more locations you will see. You’re never in the same place or environment for too long which is nice.

One of the problems is that after I complete this short story and had a few goes at the endless fortress, as it’s called, I struggled to find reason to go back and keep playing aside from playing on higher difficulties. There are achievements to aim for which are nice, some of them are fun to attempt like the pacifist one for example. But I don’t think it’s enough for an extended play.

I’d say I got about an hours worth of entertainment and satisfaction from Kung Fu Fight. It was fun and enough of a challenge on normal difficulty to keep me going without much frustration although higher difficulties came off as more of a chore than a show of skill, for me personally at least. For the cheap price I can’t complain about how much I got out of it. With Nostatic you know what you’re getting: A bite-sized burst of fun for a small price.

Good points

– Nice character (although underused)

– Plenty of distinctive enemy varieties

Bad points

– Not too much incentive to keep playing.

– Higher difficulties seem to be more about luck than skill.

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