Top positive review
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One of the best Kinect Games to Date
on December 4, 2011
If you have played the original Kung Fu Live on the PS3, you will have an idea of what to expect. However, you will want to greatly increase your expectations. Unlike the PS3 version, which relies on the PSEye, the Kinect version does not suffer from finicky lighting and issues separating backgrounds from the player. So if you loved the concept of the PS3 version, but hated the hassle of getting it to work properly (it was a nightmare, but it was fun WHEN it worked), you owe it to yourself to forget the 15 dollars you spent last year, and fork over the 40 for this game. Note: It is not the same exact game as Kung Fu Live, the stages are all different.
Now as to how the game performs on the Kinect. Basically if you come into this blind, the best reference I can think of is to remember NickArcade from your childhood. Within NickArcade, characters would be "digitally" inserted into the game through a "green or blue screen." This uses the same concept, however you don't need any fancy studio equipment, but just a Kinect and some basic room lighting (nothing out of the ordinary, just use the overhead light or lamp that you already have). A live image of you is digitally transposed into the game. Movement and combat are pretty much tracked 1:1 since it is using a live video of you. Only special moves (such as doing back flips, shooting lightning out of your hand, and the like) are mapped to preset moves. You can scan in items, such as the Guitar Hero guitar and swing it around as a weapon as well. Since movement is very much 1:1 they have a movement ratio that is greatly exaggerated. You can travel several feet with a simple "power punch" (basically pushing your two arms forward with a normal spacing) or with a back flip (simply leaning back with your arms up). So play space isn't a huge issue since movement is simplified, however do be careful with punching, kicking, and swinging items around!
The accuracy is tracked very well, the game does seem to think physical jumps are sometimes back flip gestures, but you're usually having so much fun you do not care. The game is also challenging in two ways outside of the occasional missed movement: the first one being that you will work up a sweat, although the missions are short, within 5-10 minutes you may be winded; secondly you will find that the computer can be quite brutal, you MUST learn to block and dodge. That being said, it is quite fun to mix up your attack strategies and try different moves to defeat enemies.
Also worthy of mentioning are the "digital comics poses." You basically from time to time are asked to fit the silhouette or outline of a character and mimic that pose. Your poses are captured photographically into memory and then used in the comic strip and are often rather humorous. Finally there are a few different game modes outside of the main story (which can be completed in 3-5 hours, although you probably won't be playing it in one playthru unless you are a ninja in real life). You can create your own scenario in "Mayhem Designer" and can also play multiplayer matches where the other players use the controllers to control your enemies (I think it would be virtually impossible to play two or more people with the Kinect sensor, somebody definitely would get punched or kicked).
The only real issue I have with the game (outside of the somewhat unforgiving difficulty at times) is the length of the game in general. Although there are other modes outside of the story mode, you aren't getting a lot of game for $40.00. It's generally about the same length as Kung Fu Live on PS3 which was offered last year at $15 and still felt a bit too high. However, since the game is an absolute blast to play and you will likely go to the mayhem designer several times just for a quick workout or battle the main quest length can only be considered so far. Ultimately the game is very entertaining, and in some ways, it may be the best Kinect game I've played. If you're like me and loved the PS3 version but could barely play it because of the unrealistic expectations of room lighting (this works perfectly under average room lighting) this is a must buy. If you have not played the PS3 version, you will likely be even more impressed since it is truly one of a kind and in a genre all by itself.
It's a shame that game media outlets will more than likely trash this game (if they even review it), since it definitely is the best Kinect game I've played this year (IMO way better than Kinect Sports Season 2 and even Dance Central 2). Although it isn't perfect, it's well worthy of being played by every Kinect owner with enough room to punch and kick around your living room (watch out for lamp shades and pets!).