Well fellow gamers, it’s again that time to examine “the game” version that accompanies the movie of the same name. These are for the most part, quickly made, more opportunistic hype than substance, and quite often down right formulaic rip-offs, but as with most things in life, there are the rare exceptions which I am so grateful for, as that fact alone still makes the process of the review quite relevant and necessary. Considering the fact that movie to game translations are often dubious efforts at best, the original Kung Fu Panda: The Game actually fared surprisingly well, providing a game version that represented the action and look of the movie really well, the only agreed upon criticism by all reviewers and gamers alike that the original was much too short to be deserving of the full “new release” price tag. So does the Kung Fu Panda: The Game 2 manage to maintain this level of movie to game translation quality, while providing a more satisfactory level of gameplay for the dollar?
Click here for a full Video Walkthrough for Kung Fu Panda 2: The Game
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Game is not quite as easy to assess, for the simple reason the type of gameplay experienced, can vary slightly depending on the version and system. What is a constant regardless of version/system is the storyline of the game, which continues where the Kung Fu Panda 2 movie leaves off with the dilemma of identifying and confronting the lands’ attackers, being the croc, boar, and ninja cat gangs, to the main character “Po” (giant panda), and his Furious Five supporting cast of “Crane” (red-crowned crane), “Tigress” (south china tiger), “Monkey” (golden langur), and spiritual leader of the entire cast, “Shifu” (red panda).
In many ways, the sequel is a similar experience to the first. Being a game strongly oriented towards kids, combat is relatively simple, with the square and triangle buttons covering “light” and “strong” attack in their usual locations, the circle button function both as a dodge and when correctly timed, counterattack as well. Somewhat strangely for a third person combat game, the ability to “block” is competely absent, and for the more advanced gamers, players willing to learn the correct combination of light and strong attacks can turn them into creative and impressive combo moves. As well as these 3rd person combat game mainstay moves, there are also additional comic relief style weapons to find and use such as a salami, and a lute.
As mentioned before there differences depending on the version, the Xbox360 version enabling Kinect features, the Wii version enabling the stylus and Udraw, the PS3 version allowing use of the motion sensors in the dualshock controller, but overall they are still mostly the same game. To extend the playing time value of Kung Fu Panda 2: The Game, there are extras and collectibles, like 10 hidden flags, pieces of steel, silver, and gold, and figurines of the movie characters. There’s cut scenes with actual Kung Fu Panda 2 footage, multiplayer mini-games for up to four players, although all offline only, and for the most part Kung Fu Panda 2: The Game does a similarly nice job of translating the look and sound of the movie to the game. The downside? Same complaint as from the first game, that the entire campaign is far too short, and can be finished in under four hours, not exactly making it a wonderful value for the money, but to be fair, on the upside Kung Fu Panda 2: The Game has a somewhat compensating, more gamer friendly new release price at $39.99, and is available tomorrow on store shelves on May 24th.