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XBLA Review: Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise

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Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise may just make me vote Republican this year. You see, a consistent theme to the Republican convention was whether or not you’re better off today then you were four years ago. As I turned off my XBox, throwing down my controller in a violent rage, it bounced off my carpet, narrowly missing my dog’s delicate snout. It was at that moment when I realized there was no possible or conceivable way I was this frustrated four years back.

Kung Fu Strike is about a warrior named Loh. Loh sets out to avenge his father’s death and beat up a bunch of bad guys along the way. There’s more to the story then that, but you likely won’t care. If you’re looking for a diamond-in-the-rough-type storyline, like that of Braid, look elsewhere. The plot of Kung Fu Strike is absolutely insipid and given the difficulty of the game, it detracts from the experience. You’ll find it tough to keep playing when your reward for making it through a brutal stage are bland comic book panels filled with laughable dialogue.

But to be fair Kung Fu Strike isn’t about Loh’s story. It’s about Loh’s ability to kick a lot of butts with a large arsenal of impressive moves. You’ll go through arena after arena beating up enemies and earning new Kung-Fu abilities along the way. One ability that stands out is the option to earn teammates you can call into battle. Calling upon different allies with various abilities is a nice addition to break up the monotony of hitting the a and x buttons. Make no mistake, the combat in KFS can be a lot of fun, but the difficulty of the game can become so intense that it really detracts from the experience.

As you progress, enemies become more prevalent and the game throws many different types at you at once. Five baddies may be all tossing throwing stars in your direction, while six others surround you like multiple Agent Smiths in The Matrix. All this action, coupled with the size of the characters onscreen, causes Kung Fu Strike to become a convoluted mess, making it hard to know when to block or strike. In a game that prizes itself on its combat, such instances really degrade the experience.

Multiplayer exists but it’s hard to recommend when there are dozens of other multiplayer experiences that are likely more fun than Kung Fu Strike. If for some reason you decided to drink the Kool-Aid and can’t get enough, leaderboards will keep you busy as you try to top the charts.

Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is by no means a terrible game. It’s just an extremely forgettable one. The game’s combat can be so demanding–and the story offers so little–that you’ll often find yourself holding the controller wondering why you’re wasting the time. The developers of Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise go to great lengths to ask if you’re up to the challenge of beating this game. The real question is – Will you even want to?

Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Animated Blood, Violence. This game can also be found on: PC.


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About Nathaniel Nehrbass

I've been covering the gaming industry for over 5 years, blogging for various sites and covering gaming tournaments nationwide. I am more excited than ever to be a part of the industry and am looking forward to the next gen of consoles and the possibilities they hold. You'll find me on the PSN most of my days under the moniker of NatX7. Drop me a line and let's conquer the world!
  • Mister Crowley

    The game MUST suck because you’re bad at it, right?

    Its really not that hard. You’re probably button mashing it like Dynasty Warriors: XXXXXX AAAAAA WHY AM I DYING!? I guess that’s not really your fault: modern games hold your hand through everything like a good little boy. KFS hearkens back to the goold old days when completing a game was an accomplishment.

    For 10 bucks I’m not complaining. I got my money’s worth for sure. I honestly struggled more with Dark Souls than KFS…

  • Nathaniel

    Hi Mister Crowley,

    Please read the review next time, instead of just looking at the star rating.

    My problem wasn’t that the game was difficult. It was that there was little to no reward for having you advance through the game.

    Games like Dark Souls (which I love) had a great atmosphere and story that kept me coming back, no matter how difficult the quest. I didn’t find that with KFS.

    However, I did enjoy what they were going for with the combat (which you’d know if you read the review) but in the end, I just didn’t feel it was worth entertaining with all the other great XBLA options out there.

    Even if it is only $10. (Which to some people can be a good chunk of change, BTW)

    Thanks for the great opinion though!