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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!).
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on November 26, 2011
Very clever interface---your image is transposed into the game as the main character in a comic/story. Making the poses for the comic photos at the beginning of each scene is almost as fun and funny as playing the game. The game picks up your movements remarkably well. I picked this game up as an afterthought and it ended up being more fun than any of the other kinect games I had. Great for a group! Hysterical in fact. You will not be disappointed with this game.
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on December 5, 2011
A few months ago a game called Kung Fu Live quietly was introduced for the PS3. It was launched without a lot of fanfare, and yet it introduced a lot of technology and concepts which were groundbreaking at the time. But because of technological issues with the PS3's camera, it didn't get a lot of attention.

Kung Fu High Impact is the successor to Kung Fu Live, and this time it's available exclusively on the Xbox. And thanks to the Kinect, the game is living up to the potential it first showed on the PS3--in a big way.

The best way I can describe Kung Fu Live is that it's a fighting game like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Only instead of using a game controller, you use your body. That's right, just your body. You kick in any direction and your on-screen character kicks. You punch, and your on-screen character punches.

Of course, that describes a lot of Kinect games. But where Kung Fu Live really shines is the on-screen character it uses. It's YOU. That's right, not an avatar, not a cartoon version of you, but YOUR actual video image on the screen that you control with one-to-one precision. You can punch, kick, dodge, jump, do flips, and do other moves just by making perfectly natural motions. On-screen, you'll see yourself interacting with the virtual enemies and objects on the screen in real time. You can even kick boxes and objects that are lying on the ground and use them as projectile weapons.

The premise of the game is that you're a character in a comic book consisting of multiple chapters. In the first "Chapter" you're brought to a tutorial where you learn how to fight. The moves are very intuitive. To punch to the left or right, you punch. To kick to the left or right, you kick. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to punch and kick, you just do what feels natural and the game responds. For example, I found myself kicking and punching an enemy in front of me. When I saw one sneaking up behind me, I instinctively let go with what I believe is called a traditional back kick and knocked him out. The system is phenomenal in terms of determining whether your on-screen image "makes contact" with the enemy.

You can move your onscreen character left and right by either punching in or slightly moving your body in that direction. To jump, you jump. To dodge, you duck your body below or jump above the path of your enemy's attack (displayed in yellow). To block attacks, you protect your face with your arms or your lower body with your knees. To do a somersault, you jump, angling your body forward or backward while in the air. As you progress through the game, there are other more complex moves to unlock, all of which are still very intuitive. A "power punch" can be done by punching with both fists. A "ground shaker" can be done by jumping up and the pounding the ground with your fist. You can shoot lightning by raising one hand in the air and pointing the other to your opponent. You can slow down time by raising your hands in a "V" shape. There's a "magic bow" you can use by drawing an imaginary bow with your two hands. You can even fly by spreading your arms outward when you're standing above updrafts. Again, as you do it in real life, you see your ACTUAL image doing it in the game.

In Chapter 2 and onward, you proceed to defeat waves of attackers using all the moves you learned. As with traditional fighting games, a gauge will show you how much health you have versus your attackers. The game gets progressively harder as you move through it, but again, I always felt in control. As I got more confident, I'd unleash new attacks like combo moves and air attacks and punching and kicking high and low.

The story continues through more chapters. I didn't want to stop playing, the only thing that stopped me was that I was exhausted!

Kung Fu Live immediately introduces a lot of new improvements over the PS3 version. First, and foremost, the lighting issues that made your image on the PS3 blotchy and difficult to use is non-existent with the Kinect--the video image of your body is picked up perfectly by the Kinect camera, allowing you to truly star as the main character in the game. Second, if you don't want to play the story mode you can set up custom fights between family and friends (in a particularly hilarious move, they've made it so that up to four players can use Xbox controllers to control enemy characters fighting against one player using Kinect), or you can challenge yourself in survival trials of varying degrees of difficulty. Third, there's also a "my stats" option where you can view your achievements and personal statistics, including number of enemies defeated and total score.

Is the game a workout? I'll say it is! I was kicking and punching opponents left and right and having a grand old time. And the game was surprisingly competitive, but never once did I feel I wasn't in full control (I can't even say that all the time with "real" fighting games that use controllers). And when each round was finished, I was sweating and panting as if I'd just gotten out of a real street fight!

The game is incredibly creative and the developers clearly have a very, very good sense of humor. One of my favorite features came as a surprise to me. The game asks you to "pose" in various ways-an outline of a body would appear on the screen and you have to match it. For example, sometimes you need to pose with your arms stretched out, sometimes you need to get closer to the camera for a closeup, and so on. I realized later while watching the "comic book pages" that make up the cut-scenes between each chapter, they actually include your image WITHIN the comic book pages, so you are literally a part of the story. The clever ways that your images are used are genius-when I first saw them I couldn't stop laughing. Again, it's a use of innovative creativity that makes those "hey look at how funny you look" videos after Kinect games look almost passe.

If I had one slight gripe about the game, it's the same I have with a lot of Kinect games--you do need at least 7-9 feet of space to enjoy the game fully, a luxury many of us in small apartments don't have. Having said that, unlike other Kinect games with that same issue, this game still plays well with only 6 feet of space--your feet are cut off so you can't really do kicking motions, but you can have just as much fun with the hand motions.

If you've ever played a fighting game and wondered what it'd be like to actually be the character on the screen, you need wonder no more--this game lets you experience it. I suspect ten years from now people will look back at Kung Fu Live and point back to it as ushering a whole new way to think about video games. While other Kinect games producers are still spewing out sub-par games with sluggish controls and annoying avatars no different than the first generation of games last year, the developer of this game, Virtual Air Guitar, is truly pushing the platform forward with innovation and unbridled fun. I wholeheartedly give it five stars for quality and five stars for fun, and hope to see a lot more from them in the future.
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on February 27, 2012
My son (age 8) just got this game as a birthday gift and he loves it. "Best video game I ever played!" were his exact words.
He and his brother (age 10) were taking turns playing it for 11 hours yesterday. It's such good exercise, I didn't mind
letting them play as long as they wanted (as long as the chores and homework are done, of course). It's not gory
at all either. There are some somewhat scary voices by the "bad guys", but no bad language. I (age 45) played it for
about an hour and got a great workout (man am I sore today, even though I'm in fairly good shape).

The kids woke up today sore as heck (as you might expect after an 11-hour workout) and were barely able to get out of bed.
I told them that maybe they should take a break for a few days, and they said, "No way!"
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on December 16, 2011
I am a big fan of the fighters uncaged Fighters Uncaged and that is the only other fighting game i have owned. From that standpoint i really like the way it puts your image into the game instead of you standing behind a figure of a guy that you are fighting for. What i don't like is the way all the fighting is lateral, there is no strait ahead smackdown. The cartoon part of the game i thought was just unnecessary because i want to start kicking some butt. however, my daughter found this to be very fun and it got her into playing for several hours. there are few actual kinect fighting games but this is a good start.
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on December 13, 2012
If you're willing to jump around, this game is goofy fun. The camera actually captures you real-time, so you actually see yourself jumping, punching, kicking, blocking and ducking, and the controls are decent. If your Kinect can't detect you nearly perfectly, you'll have some frustration, but the game seems to favor fun over form. You may not pull off the moves you meant to make, but you'll usually end up doing something that fights off the enemies, so it works out.

The developers were smart in regards to interface and getting to the fun. You can pose for pictures which are used in a comic that lays out a simple story, and while it's funny with friends and family around, players can skip posing and the comic and go right to the fight.

Your character learns new power moves over time, so you can go from a power punch to a ground shaker to a lightning attack and other moves as the game progresses. This allows you to try different ways of beating each level for a better score.

The environments are simple and usually straightforward, but sometimes have elements that are hard to distinguish due to the art style or strange design choices, such as placing a tree or vine right in front of a platform edge so it's hard to get your character to hop a ledge you can't see.

Overall, it's a fun game, and worth the purchase. Plus, you get a little bit of a workout as well, which is always good.
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on July 1, 2012
This was the 2nd Kinect game I ever played and it plays beautifully! Learn super moves as your progress through the levels, become the character in cute action comic cut scenes and chop/kick your way through the badies. It is also the most competent game of my currently 10 game Kinect library. It just plays very well, the only issue I had was with doing a back flip and that was just due to my inflexibility and now that I'm use to it, I can do it whenever I want.

The first two stages were a bit repetitious with the enemies, but they begin to throw a larger variety as you get farther into the game. Expect to take a breather every level or so, it really gets your heart pumping and by the end you'll be coated with sweat (if you're a fatty like me).

This game is what Kinect games should be, physically exerting and FUN to the point where it doesn't feel like a "workout", but more like playing outside like you're a kid again.
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on January 6, 2012
It does not recognize every single move correctly, but I believe that is because you are jumping all over the room and often I found myself stepping outside of the range of the sensor. As long as I stood in the general area I was supposed to, it worked great and is a complete blast to play. The game play is a ton of fun and the stupid comic strips that you have to pose for are hysterical. Plus you can really work up a good sweat beating four or five of the chapters in a row. It is a must have for the Kinect.
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on December 7, 2011
I had my doubts going in, but there is no doubt that this game is a success. I stopped to write the review because I need a break. This is the most exercise I've had in awhile. The kinect movements work great and when they fail it is probably because you got lazy or moved off camera. I am playing it on normal and it's not easy, but it is certainly fun. There is not much more to say. If you think you will like it, you probably will. And if you have a boy aged 7-12 he will thank you for buying this game. I am 37 and I love it.
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on December 4, 2011
I've been searching for a kinect game that would respond to your moves and this one does. The interface is simple and the game does what it should. It also lets you be the star which is really cool to see yourself flying through the air being a Kung fu master. If you have bought other kinect games and have been disappointed you need to give this a try. It will restore your faith that kinect has somewhere to go in the future.
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