Friday, February 12

Game review - Shaq Fu

    Wow, just wow. I am in awe of how incredibly awesome this fighting game is. Shaq Fu was released for the Super Nintendo back in 1994 and stars Shaquille O'Neal. After playing such a masterpiece of a game, one must wonder how craptastic titles like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat ever took off. So what makes Shaq Fu so amazing?

    First off, the title itself. Shaq Fu is a brilliant title for a fighting game. It takes the main character's first name (short form) and ads Fu to the end. This makes it sound like a special form of martial arts, like "Rex Quan Do" from "Napoleon Dynamite". You can add "Fu" or "Quan Do" to the end of anything and it will sound like a Hardcore form of martial arts. For example, Doom Fu, Ben Quan Do, PSP Fu, or Xbox Chi; they all sound like awesome martial arts because they have something like Fu at the end. Heck, even Tofu sounds like a martial art because of having "Fu" at the end.

    But a title alone does not make a game. The story should be engaging too. Shaq Fu's story begins with Shaq stopping in a stor on the way to a basketball practice. The store owner calls him a warrior and gets him to help find a boy...that's it. OK, fighting games aren't exactly known for their complexity or their quality, but that's pretty weak. It would be better to not have a story rather than to have something so incredibly lazy.

    What truly makes or breaks a game is the gameplay itself. This is where Shaq Fu really shines. Shaq Fu is one of the most realistic fighting games I've ever played. It shows us how difficult it is to actually hit someone. In Shaq Fu, you will be spending more time jumping around trying to hit your opponent than you actually will hitting them. There seems to be some unwritten rule in Shaq Fu where you have to hit your opponent in the exact right spot, otherwise you'll just hit air. This magic spot seems to be in the mid-section, because we all know how impossible it is to punch someone in the face or kick them in the legs.

    Shaq Fu also demonstrates how slow everyone's reflexes are. There's always a full second delay between telling your leg to kick that punk in the back and actually doing it. In this game, there is always a delay between pressing a button and having your character actually do something. This feature does nothing but raise the tension in a fight and immerse you ever so deeply in this amazing experience.

    Finally, any fighting game must have a wide selection of characters. In Marvel VS Capcom 2 you have 56 playable characters to choose from, and in Super Smash Brawl you have 35 characters. In this game, you get an characters? OK, in the Genesis version there are five more, but I'm playing the SNES version here. Seven characters? OK, that's actually really pathetic. Also, why wouldn't they just put everybody in both versions?

    As you've probably guessed by now, this game is wretched. The fighting controls are among the worst game controls I've ever experienced. Like I said, you'll spend more time jumping around trying to hit your enemy than anything else. The graphics are bland at best, the cheap music gets annoying quickly, and the title is gag-worthy. This game is still considered by many as the worst fighting game of all time. I'm actually amazed by how bad this game really is. The fact that Shaquille decided to get involved makes this game even more pathetic than it already was. Without Shaq, people would have forgotten about this game rather quickly. Because he's in the title, this game will forever be recognized as a shameful attempt to make money off a crappy game using a basketball star. Oh yeah, a basketball star who can't act or rap either.

Two word review - Shamefully bad.

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