Publisher: Big Deez Productions Developer: Saber Interactive and Wired Productions Players: 1-2 Genre: Beat ‘em up Launch Date: June 5, 2018
The original Shaq-Fu is known for how bad it was but it still was a very infamous game. While it seemed to be a joke with the community we never though a sequel would make its way to our screens…until now. Will the new game be able to overcome the bad gameplay of the first? Let’s dive in
Story and Gameplay 6/10
Shaq-Fu a Legend Reborn tells the story of adopted baby Shaquille O'Neal, sorry Shaq Fei Hung, as this giant African American man believes he is Asian. Yes that’s how this game starts, yes it’s a little racist, but just stick with me ok? Shaq was bullied throughout his life for being so tall but eventually is trained in the ways of Kung-Fu by his master. After years of training later demons emerge and wreak havoc on the inhabits of China and everywhere else in the world. It looks like Shaq is the worlds only hope as you fight your way through hordes of demons, celebrities, and many other characters.
While the gameplay follows most beat them up games there’s really only four main attacks. Punching, Shaq waves, “shoe slam” (no idea what the actual in game move is called.), and counters. While it may seem repetitive there is a lot of things to smash, throw, and transform for it not to be….Unless you’re going for all the achievements, but we will get to that.
The gameplay isn’t anything eye-opening or that interesting but it’s the bosses and powerups that made this game fun. I don’t want to ruin much for you but you fight Baby Face who uses chickens to fight you, it’s hysterical. You can also transform into a giant mech named “The Big Diesel” but on it all it says is BIG D. These mechanics really saved the game for me and made the boring beat em up, smash x till you win, game just a little more fun. If it wasn’t for the bosses and other powers they would be looking at a MUCH lower score.
Yes Icy Hot’s are collectables, yes its hilarious
Shaq Fu’s entire world looks like it was ripped out of a comic, which is what they were going for. However it looks like a kids comic. Let me explain what I mean for those not as nerdy as me. If you have played any Tell Tale game ever that would be what a comic would look like now Shaq fu looks like if someone based their comic on the drawings of a kids show like Ultimate Spider-man or Fairy Odd Parents. It’s hard to describe but easy to recognize. Now it’s not as bad as I’m making out to be. The animations are fluid, the cutscenes are colorful and action packed (Some are funny as well.), and the characters feel real enough that you can get enthralled in this world. It’s a great looking game I personally just wished it looked less like a cartoon and more like a comic like in the cutscenes.
Speaking of cut scenes, they look phenomenal. Although the beginning of the game is slightly racist they look great, feel special, and actually look like what I wanted the game to look like. It’s great to see something special fit into an indie game and its here where these developers excel. I’d watch a Shaq Fu TV show. Let’s just curb the small racism ok? Get that second Kickstarter going guys!
I’VE GOT THE POWER!
Here we are again with the cutscenes being great and the gameplay sounds being lackluster. I loved the voice acting by all the characters. I loved the theme song, but we will get to that, and I absolutely hated the enemies and their voices, minus the bosses. When I was pulled out of a cutscene I felt like the voice acting lacked emotion, emphasis, and a real lack of caring.
Now let’s talk about the real business here, the big moment where I was like, “Ok Shaq Fu I’m all in let’s #%@^ing do this!” When you first open the game you are treated with the Shaq Fu theme song which you need to know is Shaq actually raping about the game. I’m not going to lie I have played that song on YouTube more times then I care to admit. I never thought I wanted Shaq to rap, but now I just want more of it. I’m going to link it below so we all can enjoy the godliness of the Shaq rap.
Apparently I’m not allowed to just write that according to Luke, so let’s get some details. While the games does have different difficulties the game never feels like a burden. It was clear the developers were going for a laid back and fun experience. As stated before it's more of a smash attack until you win combat system with some gimmick fights here and there. For example there's a dance sequence in the middle of the boss fight, while not incredibly difficult it does break the easy gameplay up a little bit. Honestly even the most casual of gamers are not going to struggle at all with this game most enemies are just reskins of the enemies you meet in the first couple of levels with one or two more additions throughout the game. It's a enjoyable relaxing experience that might frustrated you at some bosses, but hey they are bosses for a reason.
Baby Face, one of the many bosses to karate your way through, with dance.
You had me until I saw this list, this grind that you had everyone put through. Now you get most of the achievements by completing the game but then you have to kill a certain amount of enemies with different weapons and or items. This is where it becomes a pain because you have to kill hundreds sometimes up to one thousand enemies with certain things, it’s doable in a couple hours but it is so repetitive. Kill some people, reload checkpoint, repeat. It’s more annoying than anything. It makes what was once a fun experience a hassle. Next time maybe lower the requirement by a couple of hundred?
Time to work our way through some demons!
Shaw Fu is a fun game, end of story. It’s an excuse to laugh as you mindlessly destroy demon after demon. I highly suggest you give this game a shot and laugh at the icy-hot/gold bond references as well as all the other nods towards the real Shaq. It’s an good experience with a major grind for some of the achievements .