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Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 6.9
Graphics 7.0
Sound 7.0
Value 6.7
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
June 2011
Russell Adams


Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game

It was inevitable that we would see a sequel to the smash hit movie Kung Fu Panda and with the sequel soon to be released in Australia, THQ have released Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game which unlike the original game, makes full use of the Kinect. This means that as opposed to the traditional 360 controller, you can now use your body to interact with the game, just like a bad Hong Kong kung fu movie.

Continuing from the previous movie, Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game once again transforms you into the cuddly panda known as Po who has become quite the Kung Fu master. Unfortunately the village where you reside has once again become a beacon to trouble and when a group of crazed animal mercenaries invade your village, it's up to Po and friends, The Furious Five to vanquish this evil. To compliment the story, the developers have included a wealth of cutscenes to tell the story that are actually quite impressive to watch and pays homage to the movies well. When you see this Asian inspired cartoon world, it immediately looks like the one from the movies, especially all the characters.

The control system of the Kinect however is a little bit of a mixed affair here. As with other fighting games for the Kinect, there is a noticeable delay to when you punch or kick. Even when my Kinect was successfully configured and the game took me through a basic tutorial, the delay in the in-game fights made things a little frustrating at times. For example, when I punched, Po would wait a second to mimic my manoeuvre and if I punched too fast, this would be ignored. There are a few clever moments to the controls such as doing one of your Kung Fu combo attacks that almost required you to do a chain of attacks.

Timing also plays an integral role to successfully doing these combo attacks which does become a tricky when the game sometimes doesn't register your moves. This unfortunately is a limitation of the Kinect capabilities as opposed to the game itself and hopefully Microsoft will address these inconsistencies with a much needed software update. The player has a variety of moves they can perform that include punching, kicking, jumping, blocking and dodging. Once you have knocked the majority of your opponents health down, you can perform a finishing move or even call your friends, The Furious Five to finish them off. That's pretty cool! In terms of AI, the game is quite lenient towards the player and there is some nice variety included in the title of enemies that include crocodiles, wolves and even dragons.

Apart from fighting, the game does contain some mini-games to help break up the action and I must admit that these were okay to play. My favourite was feeding my villagers soup. It's quite a surreal experience on the Kinect because you look like an absolute dork mimicking real life. The other games included a rickshaw racing game and a rock throwing game. Given all this evidence, the game has definitely been designed for the younger gamer and even with these slight inconsistencies, I'm sure they will have fun. They just need to be told, not once but probably more times than you can count that they need to be slow when fighting, you cannot just go all Bruce Lee on the game because it won't register what you're trying to achieve.

Graphically, the title looks like the movies and it comes some decent animation. The characters look perfect as do the backgrounds. The star of the game is Po who really stands out in the title from his unique look of an overweight yet loveable panda. The soundtrack is a little generic but the sound effects and voice acting is perfect and I'm sure is in line with what the developers were trying to do. It's just a shame that Kinect has so much lag.
In the end, this game is definitely for younger children and although the Kinect is not as accurate as we hoped, it is still playable and we finished this game in around four hours of play. Once you have finished the game, you can replay the fights and even the mini-games so there is some replay value included here. I must admit that it was cool pretending to be a Kung Fu panda and if you understand the inconsistencies of the Kinect, the game actually plays better.


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