Asher
Jul 14, 2016
Publisher: Virtual Air Guitar Company
Developer: Virtual Air Guitar Company
Review platform: Xbox One
Release date: Jun 24, 2016
Kung-Fu for Kinect might just be the best Kinect game I’ve played that purely relies on your gestures. Virtual Air Guitar Company specialize in these experiences, but beforehand they’ve only made games like Squid Hero for Kinect which focuses on arm movement more than anything else. I was never truly challenged in those titles because to me they were quite casual diversions. King-Fu for Kinect is both hardcore and demanding on your senses. If offers a lot of levels and other bonuses to enhance replayability.



The two elements that stand out at the very beginning have to be the ability to place yourself in the game and the graphics. You can pose for the Kinect camera and it uses sophisticated mapping technology to insert your photograph into the game. I have to say that I expected a sloppy version of myself to appear during the cutscenes and gameplay but the visuals are very high quality. You will look quite professional and natural while fighting hordes of enemies. Speaking of visuals, the textures used for foes and locations are also superb. I was blown away but the detail even regular enemies showcased. The love that went into this game really comes through when you examine it all.

The main mechanics involve punching and jumping in my opinion. While you can kick and engage in other crazy moves, I was able to play the game in a sensible manner. You’re placed in various levels where you have to clear waves of enemies and fight a boss at the end. The story mode includes more than a dozen chapters with almost two dozen levels. There are also many replayable challenges and a special mode to focus on your finishing moves. The game is difficult and while the additional content can prolong gameplay, you probably won’t be visiting the main story again unless you make Kung-Fu for Kinect a part of your workout routine.



Speaking of the main story, I have to say that it’s passable despite being quite funny. Don’t expect some deep philosophical content here. While I quite enjoyed the comic book placement and other quirks, it’s clear that it wasn’t the main focus of the game. While I was playing the game, I kept on wondering if we would ever get a serious Kinect title with a mature story and stellar gameplay. Kung-Fu for Kinect perfects the gameplay but there’s still a lot to be desired when it comes to the story. I can guarantee you that a mature Kinect game would be adopted even more than these casual experiences designed for everyone. Maybe Virtual Air Guitar Company will make that their next project.

The precision of the Kinect mapping to your on-screen actions is spot on. I never encountered any lag or other oddities despite being in "unoptimal" lighting conditions and sometimes just sitting down on my couch and fighting with my hands because I was tired. The game is best played with ample space but you can get away with being a little lazy at times too. I appreciate that because I’m not John Cena and don’t get much exercise.



The super-powered moves and other special abilities like shooting arrows and summoning lightning are the key to success. While you can hit enemies regularly, you should always try to do the advanced moves to truly destroy your opponents. The best move for me proved to be the arm bash where you thrust both of your arms to the side in the direction you want to attack. This sends enemies flying and can be executed quickly in rapid succession to wipe them all out. It’s so much fun and supremely satisfying seeing them dance around the screen and vaporize. While that’s what I did, I’m sure you can come up with your own playstyle which is unique from anyone else out there. That makes Kung-Fu for Kinect unique as well because gamers will play it different. Usually we hear about different endings, but here you can pick what works for you.

Summary



I could go on and on talking about Kung-Fu for Kinect but the fact is that it’s great. I think it’s by far the best game Virtual Air Guitar Company has made so far. It’s more engaging than their previous titles and elevates Kinect-based experiences to a new level. If you have a Kinect you should pick this one up. It really does show you how great of a time you can have when a developer masters the hardware, even if it’s a niche peripheral.
Our score: 8/10

Good - A solid concept with wide appeal, good fun if you can look past the flaws.
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