Developer: Big deez
Publisher: Mad Dog
When Big Deez Productions started the Indiegoo crowdfunding for the sequel for Shaq Fu I honestly never guessed that they would reach the funding goal, but they even exceeded it! The original Shaq Fu, known to be one of the worst video games of all time, clearly wasn’t an issue for the developers and once again players can control basketball legend Shaquille O’Neil in this beat ‘m up game.
What do you do?
You control Shaq who has been raised by some kind of kung-fu master. This master prepared Shaq for an invasion from demons, perfectly setting up this beat ‘m up game. You’ll be fighting hundreds of enemies with powerful combat moves, while laughing with some old skool one liners.
What is good?
- Funny dialogue: Not everyone will agree but the cheesy one-liners made me laugh on a few occasions. A warning though, some of the jokes are racist so you can’t say that I didn’t warn you if that shit offenses you. The dialogue might be a little simple but effective, you immediately know why things are happening and the link towards real life celebrities is pretty well done.
- Character design: Those celebrities and in general every character is incredibly well designed, especially the boss fight with a giant flying butt. Shaq looks highly detailed and the few enemy types all look really well made. Animations are on the same bar, smooth and very crisp.
- Visuals: I wasn’t expecting this but Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn looks good, really good. The environments are colorful and full with small detail. For example the jungle level is something memorable, none of the six levels scream industry leading visuals but I was pleasantly surprised about the quality. The mix between realistic backgrounds, wacky characters and special effect work perfectly. Enemies crashing in your screen, beautiful lighting effects with super moves and all of that with perfect smooth performance.
- Sound & Music: An incredible catchy theme song welcomes you, a song that lets you bounce your head up and down. The OST couldn’t be any better and the sound effects and voices are great too!
- Co-op????? A beat ‘m up without co-op play is like an Irish pub without Guinness, this promised feature isn’t anywhere to be found and seriously limits replay value or gameplay fun.
What is bad?
- Insanely repetitive: Shaq-Fu never really finds a way to keep players engaged and motivated to continue. The developer tries with some pretty neat boss fights and a mech and cactus (really) suit but it overuses it way too much to keep it fun. The same enemies invade your screen over and over again and the boring combat system doesn’t help either.
- Combat system: The lack of fighting styles or new moves that you get while playing really hurts the very basic combat system. You press the attack button a few times and after a few hits use B for your big damage attack. You have some kind of earth shattering powermove too and that’s the end of the story. For a game that totally leans on the combat system it is pretty much a huge disappointment and hurts the gameplay.
- Missing promised content: When you promise something to your backers and fans you simply have to deliver the content. This Shaq-Fu game is a slam dunk when it comes to missing promised content. Where is the co-op mode? The player-versus-player mode? The hidden environments? The challenges? The option to break through walls and make your own path? The option to play as a boss character? The adaptive AI? The variety of fighting tactics? I could go on… this isn’t something that I am willing to forgive and forget.
Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn [Score: 45%] The presence from O’Neil doesn’t safe this game from the depth of repetitive gameplay. In this game you’ll fight lots of demons but the main one, boring gameplay is never defeated.