Kung Fu Panda 2
The Humor of Kung Fu Panda is here, but What About the Fun?
What It Is
You can always tell which kids in the movie theater lobby just saw a matinee of Kung Fu Panda 2 because they are karate chopping each other and air kicking the movie posters. Now this pint-sized gang of mall toughs can take their Kung Fu enthusiasm out on some real competition with Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game.
The game is an original story that takes place immediately after the events of the movie and involves some new enemies, the Furious Five and Komodo dragon warriors. Kids play as Po, who is either voiced by Jack Black, or someone who does an amazing impression of him, as they help the Furious Five and respected masters defend Gongman City and save Kung Fu.
Why It’s Fun
Kung Fu Panda 2 is a fighting game with mini-games interspersed between battles. The mini-games are more fun than the battle sequences because they are funny and capture the charm of the movie. They include some highly entertaining rickshaw races and working at Po’s father’s noodle shop. Each game requires a different set of moves and play pattern, which keeps the game from becoming repetitive.
Each version of the game (DS, Wii, PS3 or Xbox 360) features platform specific elements. On the Xbox 360 Kinect game, kids unleash battle moves by literally calling to the Furious Five. Kids have to shout one of the Five’s names, and then the called upon character appears to perform a finishing move on the opponent. This is done using the Kinect microphone, and kids will probably love shouting at the TV screen.
Who’s Going To Love It
This game is geared towards the youngest fans of the movies. Of that group, kids between the ages of 6 and 10 will probably enjoy this game but anyone older than that is going to quickly lose interest.
What To Be Aware Of
During battle sequences, kids will encounter enemies that require a combination of attack and defense moves to defeat. The sequences made the fighting slow and felt like playing a turn based battle game. FYI, the DS version IS a turn based game, so it’s probably more fun than the Kinect version.
Between every battle and mini-game, we are shown a cut scene with the characters interacting and heading to the next fight. These scenes provide some funny and cute moments, but there are way too many. The frequency of these scenes was particularly apparent when playing the Kinect version, which requires players to stand while playing. I felt like I spent more time standing and watching than I did playing.
The graphics are disappointing as well. Both the backgrounds and the characters themselves look like something from previous generation game system games. I was playing the Xbox 360 version, so I imagine the Wii version’s graphics are even worse. The shoddy graphics also made the fight sequences on the Kinect version frustrating. During almost every fight the characters moved through each other rather than connecting with each other when hit.
Even with the mini-games, Kung Fu Panda 2 starts to feel repetitive fairly quickly. Aside from the youngest gamers and biggest Kung Fu Panda fans, this game probably won’t be a daily choice for game time.
The main mode, Story Mode, will take most kids less than 5 hours to complete.
2 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
Kung Fu Panda 2
Rated: Everyone 10+, Everyone (DS)
System: DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 (review version)
Players: 1 plus 2-player option on DS
SRP: $29.99 (DS, Wii), $39.99 (PS3), $49.99 (Xbox 360)
Launch Date: May 24, 2011
Date of Review: June 1, 2011