Kung Foo, the satirical parody of MMO games and old Kung Fu movies, by
Perfect World Entertainment, recently entered closed beta. Ten Ton
Hammer was lucky enough to be invited to check it out.
Perfect World Entertainment already has a long track record of
developing free to play MMOs. They are best known for developing Jade
Dynasty and Perfect World, two very popular, very hardcore, Eastern
MMOs. Can they duplicate their success with a game that appears to be
lighthearted and makes fun of that hardcore attitude?
The graphics in Kung Foo are deceptively simple. Using anime style
graphics with vibrant colors and soft edges, the game tells you right
up front that they want you to smile and have fun. From the round pudgy
NPCs to the cute big eyed bunny rabbits, Kung Foo exudes the humor they
are going for almost immediately. While simple, the graphics are still
well polished and you can tell the time that has been put into shaping
the world. The graphics promise to run on low to moderate systems, yet
still provide plenty of nice eye candy throughout the world.
Immersion is not the name of the game here. At every turn, Kung Foo
blatantly tells you that you are in a game, and you should be laughing.
From the very first NPC that you meet that tells you that he is,
“the second most important NPC in the game” and
that you should listen to him because of this, or how many of the NPCs
start out the conversation by saying, “Hi noob.”
Kung Foo revels in the fact that this is a satirical parody. Even the
class names are over-the-top parodies of MMO gamers. Class names like
Healbot and Meat Shield tells you this game is all tongue in cheek.
This style of humor is carried out throughout the game, and can be
quite funny at times.
While the graphics and mood of the game are very relaxed and
lighthearted, the gameplay is anything but. The gameplay is one hundred
percent classic Eastern MMO. From those cute little bunny rabbits that
will kick your ass at Level 1 to the massive grinding that seems to be
a trade mark in Eastern MMO games, this game requires a serious
dedication to the game. With that said, the fights are challenging and
the overarching story line is amusing and fun.
Combat is your traditional MMO fare. Press your number keys, and watch
the animation play out. Attacks have a cool down timer like most MMOs,
but you have plenty of different attacks so you can always be doing
something. The animations are reminiscent of Final Fantasy, where you
run up and slash through your enemy before returning to your starting
While Kung Foo is still in Beta, there are some glaring issues that
must be addressed before release. Currently, in game, there is no way
to change your keybindings. If you are not happy with W A S D you are
simply out of luck. Skills need better descriptions as to what they do.
For a new player, this can be quite frustrating starting out. A list of
available quests is a must have before launch; currently you can only
see one at a time. With this said, the gameplay is solid, and well
polished. I have yet to run into any showstopper issues with the game.
Western MMO Gamers that are not used to Eastern games will find this
game just as grueling as any of the others. Being told to go out and
kill 1000 (yes, 1000 of something), will not sit well with many Western
players. The fact that Kung Foo gives you an in game botting ability
should tell you something. They expect you to grind for days on end; it
is part of the game, and no amount of humor can cover up the fact that
if you are not ok with that, then this game is not for you.
Eastern MMO gamers will feel right at home with Kung Foo. The
lighthearted parody of the game is merely a covering for deep and
challenging game play. If you are a fan of Jade Dynasty or Perfect
World, you should definitely check out Kung Foo. Perfect World
Entertainment has done nothing to dumb down, or change the way their
games play. Don’t let the fact that this is a parody keep you
from trying it out.
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