Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic Review
Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic box art
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 opponent’s basket. Bashing players, blocking their shots, and scoring on them are great fun.

Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic screenshot

Finally, Dodgeball has players scoring points by nailing others with a rubber ball. If hit, players are instantly KO’ed but immediately respawn until the time/score limit is reached. The player with the most KO’s wins. All these modes are great when playing with friends on the couch. Though you can also play against A.I. participants if you’re 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. That’s 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.

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All in all, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic is a solid entry for the PSN. It just doesn’t 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 I’ll be taking advantage of frequently – you’ll likely want to too!

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
The wushu-inspired characters are a hoot and the rag-doll physics are great. I wish there was more variety in environments.
4.2
Control
Controls are accessible and easily mastered in under 20 minutes. Some may be dismayed by the inclusion of motion controls.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The tunes are very catchy and the character sounds are perfect. Things do get repetitive though.
3.5
Play Value
This game is a barrel of monkeys when you have friends over. Unfortunately, the single-player experience is wanting, and the lack of online multiplayer is a shame.
3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Accessible Controls: Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic's pick-up-and-play controls allow for immediate fun for hours or in short bursts; perfect for a social setting.
  • Ragdoll Characters: The vibrant HD and 3D plastic characters have limbs and stretchy body parts that move and react in a fun way. Players can unlock customization assets to create their own characters.
  • Multidimensional and Strategic Combat: Players can chain attacks together, pull off spectacular in-air attacks, use weaponry and environmental object, master their Chi building skills and the Chi-powered special moves – all in 360-degree combat fun.
  • Fun Ragdoll Physics: Ragdoll physics not only give this title its charm, but also ensure that no two hit reactions are ever the same.
  • Single-player and Multiplayer Modes: Perfect for any occasion, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic offers solo missions and frantic multiplayer action with up to 4 players locally.
  • Online Rankings and Trophy Support: Leaderboards and trophies will motivate players to aspire to both single-player and multiplayer high scores!


  • Screenshots / Images
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