Official Review: Kung-Fu Live | Motion Gaming
I’ve been anxiously awaiting for Kung-Fu Live to finally hit the PlayStation Store. After the hectic holidays and my PS3 issue .. I finally got my hands on this unique PlayStation Eye motion game.
The PlayStation Eye has been around since October 2007 and it took this long to come out with a killer PlayStation Eye motion game. It was worth the wait too!
It’s also a great workout believe it or not. I was sore for a couple days after. Sadly I didn’t gain any new Kung Fu powers that I could use in the real world …. yet. Mwhahahaha.
The guys over at Virtual Air Guitar Company use FreeMotion Technology to track your movements, remove the background and place you right inside the game. It’s quite an experience to see yourself moving inside of a game world. It’s fun to watch your friends and family try it for the first time. They all picked it up really quickly too.
To get the best results you want to stand out from your background as much as possible. My Kung-Fu shirt of choice was a red Rice Krispies shirt. Yes I collected cereal UPC codes and sent away for it if you wondering.
Here is the view from the PlayStation Eye and my Kung-Fu area. I put a white blanket on the couch since I don’t have any pants other than dark colors. My background is fairly busy but I could play the game just fine. The background removal wasn’t as clean from my knees down, as you can see that’s because there are shadows there. If I had a light source in front of me instead of behind it would have worked better. But from the waist up it was always clean.
I played this on my day off from work. So I got different light conditions all day and it tracked my motions great. I took breaks off and on threw out the day because this game wears you out! I had to adjust the background removal settings a little each time. I don’t have the greatest lighting in my living room, so it seemed to work a little better during the day.
Now you do need a bit of space to play this. They recommend about 7-9 feet away from your TV. Reason for this is so the PS Eye can see you from head to toe. I’m 6′ 2″ so I had to stand a ways back. Then you need about 6-8 feet so you can dash side to side without knocking things over.
You will be dashing back and forth to avoid attacks and dashing in to attack your enemies. So clear out a area and make sure all things in your kill zone is out of reach of your kung fu skills.[tab:Gameplay]
Your movement is exaggerated in the Kung Fu Live world. Jumping a foot in the air will cause you to jump up to 6 feet in the game world. Dashing left and right is exaggerated as well. So being quick on your feet is helpful.
Combos are a great way to deal out massive damage. Each step of the combo deals more damage. But don’t expect to just keep punching your enemy over and over in the same area and land blows. They will block your attacks if you keep attacking in the same location. So mix it up, alternate high and low attacks.
Most enemies will show a hint of where they will attack you next so you have time to react and evade the attack or counterattack. If you play on hard you get no hint of attack path. Attacking while in the air does more damage and is less likely to be blocked too. Physical objects in the world you can interact with by kicking, punching, or using your super powers.
The Jumping Flip is very handy if your surrounded or just want to get behind a enemy. You can attack while in mid-air too which is more powerful. The power punch is very effective while in mid-air. Flying is fun too, you get to use it on the final few levels.
One of the funnest parts of the game is that you can use ANYTHING as a weapon. So far I’ve use a pillow off the couch and t-shirt as a whip. You even get bonus points for a improvised weapon. So I’m always on the hunt for fun new weapons to use in Kung-Fu Live.
The story comics are a blast to create and share with your friends and family. Before each fight it will take several photos of you in different positions. It shows a outline you need to be in and it will take the photos after 5 seconds. Be as dramatic and goofy as possible it really pays off!
Then it will play a animated comic book with you inside, It’s a great effect. You have 10 recording slots per comic and in total there are 11. You can delete the photos you’ve taken, re-record them, or even save them to your XMB. From there you can upload them, email them, etc. You can skip the comic and get right to the fight if you wish after you’ve played that stage at least once. To the right is a taste of a comic with me as the star.
To help combat the forces of evil you are granted 4 Super Powers as you progress threw the story. When you use them, it uses your Chi energy. Which slowly regenerates with time or you can punch and kick your enemies to increase your Chi energy. In the top right of the screen is a blue outline of the super power move when it’s available for use. Each take up a different amount of Chi energy.
I had no trouble doing any of these Super Powers. Sometimes the Ground Shaker didn’t register, but most of the time I could do it. My favorite Super Power is Lightning and a close second, Time Stop (which is great for combos).
If you happen to go out of the camera’s view it will display a boxed frame (the camera viewing area) around you so you know what your boundaries are if you get close to the edge.
There are 4 different modes: Story Campaign, Mayhem Designer, Multiplayer and Survival.
Story Campaign is where you want to start out. There are 10 chapters worth of fighting and the later chapters are a challenge so don’t go into a fight exhausted, take a break if needed. The motion comic is a fun way to progress threw the story, really pulls you into the story. You could get threw the story in a day if your really fit. If not, it might take a couple days.
There is a good variety to the enemies, some are easy to take care of, others will take longer to defeat. The annoying ones are the inklings which you have to keep attacking low or use your power punch, but they have low life so it’s not too bad.
The Gatekeepers level was a challenge for me, took several attempts to finally pass it. This is where you first learn to fly. You have to use all your powers and abilities you’ve learned in order to defeat the giants.
On the final 2 boss fights you have to attack while in mid-air for the most part so you will be moving around a lot in those levels. It’s fun and a challenge to attack while in mid-air, takes good timing to pull it off.
In Mayhem designer you can create any kind of custom fight you want. Set the amount of rounds and either add enemies into the rounds one at the time (customize enemies) or choose a premade set of enemies. You can also choose a premade set and customize that further.
In Mayhem Designer, you can even change the movement options:
Jump boost – how much your vertical movements are exaggerated / boosted
Speed boost – how much your horizontal movements are exaggerated / boosted
Time scale – the speed of your enemies moves. E.g. 50% slows your enemies down to half their normal speed.
If you have an enemy that really gives you trouble this is the mode you want to use to practice against them.
Multiplayer is a great way to have your friends and family join in on the fun. You can have 5 people playing at once, 4 Players will be using the PS3 Controllers and one will be onscreen. It’s 4 against 1, but the player without a controller has more freedom of movement and can move faster, which only makes it fair since your out numbered.
Finally there is Survival which is just what you think it is. You have the following options:
One on one – Choose level and difficulty and beat as many enemies as you can fighting one at a time. Different levels have different enemies.
Shadow Warriors – Choose level and beat as many rounds of shadow warriors as you can. The fights keep on getting harder.
Inkling madness – Choose level and difficulty level and beat as many rounds of Inklings as you can.
Giant Slayer – Choose difficulty and beat as many giants as you can.
This would be a great workout mode, it’s a real challenge.
Here is a video of myself playing one of the last stages. I wish I had another video camera so I could show you what’s happening on screen at the same time. But alas I do not, instead enjoy my flailing below.[tab:Recap]
Is it worth the $14.99 price tag? Absolutely without a doubt, as long as you have the space to play it, decent lighting and have clothes that will stand out against your background. I had a lot of fun playing it and it’s something that I will show off to others that come over.
The animated story comics really adds the finishing touch to the game and completes the whole comic book feel. Which is perfect format for a Kung Fu game. Even the menus are inside a comic book.
This is hands down the best PlayStation Eye game to date! There are not very many PlayStation Eye games being made anymore which is a shame. Hopefully more great ones come out in the future. If you have any friends that have a XBox 360 Kinect, show them this game.
Multiplayer against your Friends
Background removal could be an issue for some
Ground Shaker sometimes don't register
This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Kung-Fu Live provided by Virtual Air Guitar Company.
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