|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Activision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 5, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
We applaud Activision for giving us a much better Kung Fu Panda to play on DS, but the game is far from perfect. Perhaps the most common issue players will come across is merely being able to see enough of the battlefield at various points throughout a stage. Environmental objects will often pop up in front of your character, completely obscuring your view, thus leaving you vulnerable to cheap enemy attacks. Another problem has to do with some of the games platforms, as the geometry doesnt always match up quite right with the gameplay. Lastly, some of the DS-centric, touch-screen elements dont work all that well, and theyll often bog down your level progression as you reach for your stylus.
On the production front, Legendary Warriors seems to follow the less is more philosophy, as there is no voice work, no animated cutscenes, yet the game is better for it. The 3D graphics seem to be produced using the same engine as before, but Legendary Warriors sticks with a slightly more basic style that works well to complement its straight-forward, beat-em-up gameplay. Character models arent greatly detailed, but they animate smoothly. The backgrounds, however, are perhaps the games graphical highlight, showing off lovely trees and Chinese architecture. Overall, though the visuals still lack some polish, Legendary Warriors remains easy on the eyes.
The soundtrack, too, is improved, as sound effects and themes do a much better job of doing their job. Cool attack sounds and Oriental-inspired sound effects, along with music that sits well in the background, all lend something entertaining to the presentation as you make your way through stages.
Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors for the DS does a lot right, and Activision gets a big pat on the back from us for it. Its a simple beat-em-up that stays within the realm of tried-and-true gameplay conventions, but its addictively fun and offers real replay value. It could use a bit more polish in the graphics department, and not all the touch-screen elements are welcome additions to the adventure. Regardless, its a game Po fans will be happy to bring with them for a bit of portable fun.
CCC Freelance Writer