Kung Fu Panda 2 is set to release in theaters everywhere this week and Dreamworks Animation and THQ have partnered to create another title in their long standing relationship with a series of Kung Fu Panda 2 titles for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 Kinect, uDraw Wii Tablet and Nintendo DS platforms. We got a chance to review the Playstation 3 version which is more action centric but they all carry the same story that takes place after the ending events of the movie. So does this title deliver the one-two punch that they were looking for or does this Panda need to stick to eating bamboo?
Time To Save Kung Fu
Upon starting the game players will realize there is no difficulty level just a set game and there are no other options than the story mode for the Playstation 3 version. The story takes place immediately after the events of the movie where Po and the Furious Five are summoned to the Kung Fu Council of Shifu, Croc and Ox. Players must solve the mystery of who is attacking the land and defeat looting wolves, powerful gorillas and clans of komodo dragons. The gameplay is pretty fast paced and most of the control takes place on the face buttons. Square and triangle are your light and heavy attack buttons respectively and can be done in different combinations to vary attack as well as holding the square button to launch your enemy in the air. You are also able to dodge attacks with the circle button and counter attack with the same button when the enemies turn red. Dodge is a great option to have in an action game but why the exclusion of a block button, most other games that are third person action titles like this do it. This is only a minor gripe however as the combat is pretty solid and also allows the ability to pick up weapons like salami and a lute which can also be played during certain sequences in the game.
Big Panda Small Game
The problem with movie based titles is usually the gameplay or the complete lack of an attempt by the company to make a quality product. Kung Fu Panda 2 brings that notion but improves upon it in numerous ways. It has a solid story that is a continuation of the movie counterpart, great gameplay elements and variety on every platform coupled with an eye catching $39.99 price tag one would think it’s a great deal. However, the game itself although fun and filled with collectables that can all be gathered on your first playthrough is but all of four hours long. Even shorter if you happen to have a guide (which we didn’t). The collectables used to lengthen the game like pieces of silver, gold and steel as well as 10 flags hidden throughout the game. The problem with the collectibles is that they can be gathered the first time through. The game is broken up into three segments where you control Po to follow after either, Shifu, Croc or Ox and go on different areas of the city and surrounding villages and battle enemies and collect by simply breaking objects. Essentially, if you break every object you will find every collectable. As for the overall difficulty of the title, it depends on how used to action games the player is. The game is geared to children and young adults so maybe they will beat the game in around 6-8 hours and if that who you intend on purchasing this for than that is fine but if your aiming for a seasoned gamer or even a young adult maybe look elsewhere unless they are addicted to trophies/achievements.
Kung Fu Lives On
Kung Fu Panda 2 is a very short game and has no replay value what so ever. There is no offline co-op or even mini-games to add to the longevity. You can freely roam around after the game but once you beat the story there are little to no enemies at all and it is rather boring. An avid gamer can knock the game out rather quickly but children will see enjoyment in it as it is the intended audience. I witnessed some slight slowdown issues when fighting many enemies on the screen but it fixed itself nothing major to worry about but it is an annoyance at times. The new story is great and the lowered price is also a plus. The voice acting is pretty well done but as an overall package Kung Fu Panda 2 on the Playstation 3 is a rent at best. There simply is not enough content to warrant a purchase even at the tempting $39.99 price tag.
Final Score: 2/5