Review: Kung Fu Funk (WiiWare)

Kung Fu Fail

No wonder people hate the Wii.

It's been four years since the world's first real stab at a motion-based console launched, bringing the excellent Wii Sports along to define the grammar of the innovative controller. It didn't take long for me-too developers to begin pumping out cheap minigame compilations that totally ignored why Wii Sports worked as well as it did and instead figured its audience would settle for the novelty of flailing about in a sort of Russian Roulette with their televisions. As a result, "waggle" became the epithet of motion controls and the console itself, a label neither has yet shaken.

Four years later, in the crazy future of 2010, where developers have created viable gaming applications of the technology, in a world where MotionPlus even exists, these compilations are inexcusable.

Like a thwock to your sanity comes Kung Fu Funk: Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting!, a title centered loosely around Carl Douglas' martial arts delusions brought to you by the folks behind Dragon Master Spell Caster. Wrapping everything around a mildly charming 1970's beige/brown kung fu movie theme may trick you into thinking that, somehow, everything is going to be OK this time, but once you start one of its games, any of them, you'll be waggled out of your coma of stupid that somehow let you buy this game.

It doesn't really matter which one you pick because they're all largely the same, asking you to swing the controller in some arbitrary direction to fight or jump or inexplicably make yaks sing. Half the time the game doesn't even seem to recognize where you're swinging. The Sneak minigame, which asks you to move the Remote forward and backward to move and stop, is broken beyond belief.

We'd delve further into the graphics that still have stray white pixels around the sprites or the fact that the one minigame that scrolls stutters like a 386 PC, but there's just no point in throwing salt in the game's wounds. But hey, at least it includes the song it takes its name after! Not even the chart-destroying Just Dance can make that claim.


If you really want some 70's kung fu action, do yourself a favor: plunk down the cost of the Douglas tune and jump around your home, Wii Remote in hand, going "hiyaaaa!"

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