Kung-Fu Panda

Reviewed by Arep | 26 June 2008
Genre: Action | Publisher: Activision | Developer: Luxoflux Corp
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* Originally authored by UNK *

I am happy to say this is truly the first movie to game that, In my humble opinion has gotten it rightIf you haven’t seen the movie don’t worry, when you play this game you will be living it! It is very surprising for me to play a game that is made to tie in with a movie much less review it. Usually I will pass on reviewing them never giving them a second glance because so many of them have been dismal failures. I am happy to say this is truly the first movie to game that, In my humble opinion has gotten it right.Not only that, but I seriously hope that developers in the future look at what was done with this game and use it as a shining example of how to, for any future tie in games that they make.

In this game you get to take over control of the loveable panda PO (voiced by Jack Black) on his epic quest to become the Dragon Warrior. This is not a difficult game in any way except one, finding all the extra content unlockables. I will admit that, I have yet to find them all, but that is one of the good things about this game it has a solid replay value. You will enjoy going back thru areas you have gone thru, to find those oh so diabolically hidden coins and statues. This has the added benefit of letting you earn gold coins to spend on new Kung Fu skills and outfits which are a bit pricy. 1000 gold coins to earn the Dragon Warrior outfit will take a few times thru the game, because you have to make the choice of upgrading skills or spending it on clothes to look better.

Master Shifu is just as much fun to use in the game as he is to watch in the movie, and you know what, that goes for everyone you get to useNow for those of you that have seen the movie, you know the plot and will be happy to know that you will during the game, get to play or use almost all of the main characters in the movie. Master Shifu is just as much fun to use in the game as he is to watch in the movie, and you know what, that goes for everyone you get to use. With the exception of Crane, Viper, and Mantis you don’t get to use these guys that much, Viper and Mantis only during a fight with Tai Lung (the bad guy) and crane is limited to a few flight type levels that are tricky to say the least. Lets face it, its called Kung Fu Panda because you will be using Po most of the game and he is one tough Panda! He has a very good collection of moves that will have you or your kids button mashing your way thru the game in no time. He also gets to use staff weapons here and there and they will come in handy when you find one laying around grab it and use it until it breaks then grab another.

For those of you that have not seen the movie, you will get to enjoy playing a game that will take you through 13 exciting levels of kicking, punching and rolling fun that will make you feel like you have seen the movie. Or like I said earlier will make you feel like you not only saw it, but helped Po to actually become the one and only Dragon Warrior. While playing the game your fighting skills and abilities not to mention your button mashing skills will be put to the test, not only in situations where your out numbered, but in areas where you have to beat the clock, use explosives, avoid falling boulders, or jump from Lilly pads to survive all while being attacked by vicious bores, crocks, wolves, bulls, and gorillas and to add more fun to the mix, you have to in many cases rescue turtles, or rabbits at the same time.

If you take damage while in these epic battles. Fear not, your health is refilled by what else? Po’s fathers famous "Secret recipe noodle soup"Another fun thing about this game is there are places that you are forced to do the panda stumble. This will likely bring back memories of Sonic the hedge hog, because you turn into one large rolling ball of black and white panda awesomeness. This is also a skill which you can spend gold on to improve and you can use it in other places in the game which will come in very handy. Just remember, when you go thru a forced stumble area sometimes when the forced stumble is over, you can go back thru that area while your walking around. To find things you might have rolled by and missed, or to explore areas that have extra goodies in them. This is one of the skills that depends on how much chi you have (which is earned by winning battles) and If you take damage while in these epic battles. Fear not, your health is refilled by what else? Po’s fathers famous “Secret recipe noodle soup”! or the many dumplings Po loves so much, which are found laying around different areas or hidden inside boxes.

Getting into the multiplayer aspect of this game, you will find that in order to play some of those games, you will have to find the secret unlocks that are in the levels. This is a nice change that rewards players for poking and prodding every nook and cranny of the game. The multiplayer games also give you the chance to play as some of the bad guys you fought during the game in head to head battles against your friends online or you can play some addictive puzzle games like concentration or matching tiles that will get more difficult as your level progresses. I quickly became addicted to the multiplayer game that lets you use firework launching ballistas to engage different targets.

As with all games there are a few things that could use improvement, on occasion you will find that your not able to look everywhere and that the free camera is lacking, this is only a minor hiccup though and nothing to be overly concerned about. Flying while using Master Crane is also tricky as I found the controls to be a bit sluggish and slower to respond as well as when your riding in a boat during one of the levels and being attacked. As you have no way to counter attack and steering the boat among the hazards of the river, while trying to avoid the enemies attacks and collect those tempting gold coins. This made Riding in a boat that feels like its moving thru tar, a less then joyful travel option, although it might be that it was just my skills at making PO lean correctly that was the problem, when I made it to the end of that river run poor Po was almost waist deep in the water and Master Shifu was less then happy with my preformance as he walked off with out even a thank you!

This game will have kids of all ages glued to the TV set for hoursWhen all is said and done about this game, while it is not a game designed for the hardcore gamer. If you want to have a good time enjoying a game that is a lot of clean fun for the whole family its rated E10 or everyone 10+, definitely buy this game. This game will have kids of all ages glued to the TV set for hours, enjoying the many fun things that Po and his friends the Furious Five are able to kick, punch, stumble, bash, smash, and crash thru on his way to his goal of becoming the Ultimate Dragon Warrior. This awesome journey has in my eyes earned him a solid 4 out of 5 stars. 

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