Kung Fu FIGHT! (Wii U) Review

By Albert Lichi 15.08.2015

Review for Kung Fu FIGHT! on Wii U

The indie game development scene has more or less dominated the "retro" pixelated look, and amusingly enough, this aesthetic has endured longer than the actual generation that was stuck with low-fi pixels. It used to be a limitation due to hardware, but now it has basically become an easy way out for developers who lack artistic training. Nostatic's Kung Fu FIGHT! is no exception to the faux retro look that aims for Atari-esque visuals and simplistic gameplay. While infinite running games have appeal and there is no shortage of them on Wii U, is this one worth the time? Find out in the Cubed3 review of Kung Fu FIGHT!.

Infinite running games are the most core aspects of platforming side-scrollers whittled down to timing and rhythm. Bit.Trip Runner was a landmark for the genre by incorporating musical beats to the inputs and character feedback, so that there would be an even greater emphasis on rhythm and timing. The story of Kung Fu FIGHT! is pretty much like any stock 70s era martial arts film, and is even written as such; like it was rewritten by Godfrey Ho to appeal to a western audience. Basically, a big guy with a horse kidnaps a village girl, and a lowly farmer is given a mystical great red bandana that gives him fighting spirit to save her, and strength to run through an unbelievable gauntlet of ninjas, sumo wrestlers and lots of crates.

The pixelated graphics are as simple as can be and has opted for a fairly unimaginative colour palette. The animation is very limited, but it is wholly appropriate given the Atari-esque visuals, and it must be said that the poses the playable hero does are actually quite endearing. Each character is made up of only a few squares; backgrounds and props are given the sparsest of detail just so that they are readable. In all fairness, it is difficult to find a legitimate fault with the visuals since Nostatic did do an admirable job at emulating the retro artless pixel look.

Screenshot for Kung Fu FIGHT! on Wii U

The speed and rate the hero runs through the stages are fairly brisk and the game does also offer more challenging difficulty levels, but even on the most difficult modes it does not quite reach the absurd levels of Bit.Trip Runner. The music is also not terribly noteworthy and is pretty interchangeable; it could have been used in pretty much any retro style indie game and nobody would be the wiser.

Kung Fu FIGHT! has a simple three-button control scheme: down on the D-pad will make the hero duck, punch and jump with the character set to a fixed track. As far as infinite runners go, it is pretty responsive and plays quite well. The bandana guy has a hop with a Mario-esque feedback to the inputs, and when an absurd amount of obstacles are launched, it feels pretty rewarding to land some of these daunting manoeuvres. Once in a while, the game will throw a curve ball and will have the hero clambering across a ceiling over flames where he has to kick oncoming ninjas and shurikens. There is not a whole lot to Kung Fu FIGHT! in the grand scheme of infinite runners. It is not the best one out there, yet it is competent and works, and for $1.99, the customer will pretty much get their money's worth.

Nobody will ever remember Kung Fu FIGHT!, and while it is an incredibly ho-hum game, it is not a bad one. This is a run-of-the-mill infinite runner with a slightly quirkier sense of humour than a typical example from its respective genre. It is sort of replayable, since these games are about skill and timing; it is slightly gratifying to replay once in a while. Nostatic even was kind enough to offer options for GamePad or TV-only display, which can come in handy for those who wish to save juice on their controller. Anyone who enjoyed Bit.Trip Runner will probably get a kick out of Kung Fu FIGHT!, and for the price of a pack of gum, it is not too shabby.

Screenshot for Kung Fu FIGHT! on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

It is a rare moment when the Wii U eShop doesn't get a horrible, slapped together indie game that throws up all over itself and is rife with idiotic design choices. Kung Fu FIGHT! is that rare moment when an indie game developer cared and actually put some effort into the craft, even if it was a modest try - the adequate results speak for itself. Kung Fu FIGHT! is a worthy little time waster that does not insult the intelligence of the customer and manages to actually deliver a solid product for a low price. It is the kind of casual game that can be left on the TV during a party where loud music is playing and regular people can pick up and play it for reasonable challenge. Just don't expect it to start up an interesting conversation.

Developer

Nostatic Software

Publisher

Nostatic Software

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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