|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Luxoflux Corp.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 3, 2008||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|
In addition to single-player, there are also several multiplayer modes. These modes have to be unlocked via the single-player mode, but once unlocked, they offer a pretty fun experience. Modes include straight-up battles between opponents, team battles, and survival. There's even a melee-based game of concentration that challenges you to not only find matching cards, but to prevent the other opponent from getting matches by beating them up! These modes are pretty short, but the fact that there's so many of them provides a fairly, long-lasting experience. The multiplayer modes have support for up to four players, so it is a great opportunity for families to play together.
Kung Fu Panda's visuals are on-par with the majority of modern games. The game sports 1080i graphics, and both characters and environments look great. Characters and animations in particular are very smooth, and I was very impressed with the fluidity of the character movement in-game. However, there were a few issues with the visuals. One big problem was the camera. Although it is fully mobile, it tends to focus too closely on your character, which hinders you from seeing stages completely. Because many of the stages have environmentally-based puzzles, this becomes a very serious problem, and there is no way to manually override the auto zoom function.
Sound in this game is pretty good and features some great voice acting as well as background music. I suppose the voice actors are not the original cast from the movie, but they sound very similar. The voice of Po, in particular, sounds exactly like Jack Black, and though I have found no evidence in the game's packaging that says it is him, I would not be surprised if it was actually his voice. Background music is very cute and nice to listen to, probably because it came from the movie's score.
Kung Fu Panda is definitely one of the better movie-inspired games I've played. The combat system as well as the puzzle-platforming style of the game work well together, and the whole game is fun to play. The game itself is not particularly memorable, but it provides a fun experience for those who enjoyed the movie. Despite its minor issues, if you are in the market for a movie-inspired game, Kung Fu Panda is a great choice and provides plenty of opportunities for children and adults to play together. Plus, who can say no to such a cute-but-deadly Kung Fu Panda?
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer