|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Tarsier Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCE (Sony)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 09, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The four game modes, Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Fish, and Dodgeball are nicely varied, however. Deathmatch has players simply duking it out with each other to garner points, and a team setting can be selected to modify play. King of the Hill has players jockeying for position upon a platform the player that stays upon the platform alone the longest will win. Points are more quickly accumulated by taunting players while free-posing. Capture the Fish is kind of like basketball but with a fish. Players will fight each other for control of this fish and have to try to tally a score by tossing or slamming the scaly bugger into their opponents basket. Bashing players, blocking their shots, and scoring on them are great fun.
Finally, Dodgeball has players scoring points by nailing others with a rubber ball. If hit, players are instantly KOed but immediately respawn until the time/score limit is reached. The player with the most KOs wins. All these modes are great when playing with friends on the couch. Though you can also play against A.I. participants if youre alone, much of the magic is lost. Unfortunately, no online multiplayer is offered, which is somewhat perplexing. An add-on enabling this feature in the future would be greatly appreciated, but it should have been included with the initial release.
The Challenges mode tries give players an interesting single-player experience, but in the end it feels more like an advanced tutorial. Thats because there is no story holding it together, and there are only nine stages in all (one of which is bested simply by going through the meager tutorial). The Challenges included are Survival, Shapshooter, Capture the Fish, Acrobatics, King of the Hill, Way of the Firefly, Cleaning Up, and Kung Fu Juggling. Each of the Challenges stages become increasingly more difficult, effectively improving your skill set and broadening your understanding of the controls and game options. Also, players have the ability to log high scores on the PSN leaderboards, acquire ranking titles (bronze, silver, gold, and plastic), and open up rewards (outfits, accessories, faces, hairstyles, etc.) for customizing new fighters. While all of this does challenge players, it never seems to achieve the desired effect of supplying a truly engaging single-player experience. Actually, it feels more like an extended tutorial rather than a compelling campaign mode.
All in all, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic is a solid entry for the PSN. It just doesnt hold up in terms of single-player fun this is a game made strictly for local multiplayer. While opening up rewards, accruing Trophies (there are 12 in all most of which are repeats of the reward challenges), and honing your skills in the Challenges mode is fun, I would have liked to test my skills against players around the world, especially against high-ranking leaderboard opponents. Sadly, online multiplayer is not available, and the Challenges mode is only decent, relegating the experience to strictly that of local multiplayer. Even so, as a party game entry, this game is tough to beat. Virtually beating up buddies is a real treat that Ill be taking advantage of frequently youll likely want to too!
CCC Editor / News Director