Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise

Ancient China is being ripped apart by three warring forces, the Tian Empire, the invading forces of Shaa seeking to overthrow the Empire’s King, and a rebel uprising with their own agenda. General Loh, armed only with his fists and Kung Fu skills, must defeat his enemies, save China and get his revenge.

If you’re playing this game on the PC, then it’s a good idea to invest in a game controller unless you’re used to the WASD mode of movement. I like the arrow keys, but in Kung Fu Strike there’s no way to change the controls for the keyboard. That’s not a great way to begin a relationship with a game, but I persevered. General Loh uses only his fists, a flying punch/kick attack and an evade, all of which are located in a line on the keyboard. This makes it easy to attack and defend, which is good, because Kung Fu Strike will hit you with a ton of opponents from the first level on. The two special function keys, one for Loh’s special mana attack and the other to summon heroes, add to the excitement and provide help against the tougher opponents that General Loh ends up fighting. Kung Fu Strike is more of a button masher with the occasional need for care in attacking and evading. Figuring out whether you need to mash or play carefully is one of the fun  parts.

Kung Fu Strike isn’t a game that you can just close your eyes and spam one button to win though. Every stage has a different style of attacker and there’s sometimes a mix of attackers aiming to kill you all at the same time. This makes the game feel like a martial arts movie and definitely keeps you moving on the screen. This is where the special attacks come in handy. The mana strike will do a great deal of damage to one enemy, though if you’re not aimed at one when you press the button, you waste it. That’s annoying, but it’s that way in lots of games, so it’s not a complete surprise to find it here.  The enemies will make hate them with some of their moves, especially the ones with staves. There are boss fights, and each one is unique and tough enough even if you figure out the way to beat them. I had the most trouble with the swordsman on the roof, which was much more of a Mortal Kombat style fight with no space to run around in. Evasion turned out to be the key there. The game said that I should use the space bar to evade, but I found ‘L’ (the evade key) to be much more effective. Whether the space bar thing was developed early on and just left in I don’t know, but once I learned the work-around I was alright. It still took me a little while to beat him, but at least I knew what to do.

Kung Fu Strike puts you into a martial arts movie, complete with tons of fighting, quirky bosses and challenging fights. Being able to use a mana strike or summon help from some of your soldiers (you are a general after all) makes the game more fun because you can win when you feel like you should be overwhelmed and beaten. There were plenty of times when I ran around the board executing hit and run tactics on a boss to fill up my mana for a more devastating strike. The less health you have at the moment, the quicker your mana bar fills up. Sometimes that’s enough to keep you alive to beat the boss. You can spend the gold you collect from fallen enemies on items to help you survive longer. The Herb of Life brings you back at a reduced health if you die, which makes long fights easier to win if your enemies get in a lucky blow. There’s also a multiplayer mode on the PC version, in which you can play the campaign with a friend or fight against one another.

Qooc Soft is a Shanghai indie developer and Kung Fu Strike is their debut title. I can’t wait to see what they bring out next!

Kung Fu Strike is available on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/212030/?snr=1_4_4__tab-NewReleasesFilteredDLC  

Kung Fu Strike Review

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Review Score - 9


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