To coincide with the DVD release of Kung Fu Panda, Activision created the video game tie-in Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors, which is basically an expanded sequel of the previous Kung Fu Panda game. It utilizes fantastic multiplayer brawling but has some serious control issues that would make players think twice about purchasing it.
Following the events of the first Kung Fu Panda movie, Po is now the celebrated Dragon Warrior, the strongest martial artist in the land. Unfortunately, his defeated enemy Tai Lung rallies his minions once again and decides to steal the chi energy of the Furious Five in his quest for power. It’s now up to Po, master Shifu, Tigress, and Monkey to put a stop to his nefarious intentions.
Overall, the storyline is pretty average, but it keeps the spirit of the movie alive. The same comedy and humor found in the film is also in the game, making it appealing to players because of its lighthearted nature. The Kung Fu Panda cast reprise their roles in Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors, most notably Jack Black who does Po. Black has the lion’s share of the game dialogue and does an awesome job of bringing the same energy he gave in the film. The other characters only have a few lines to say, but Black’s voice acting is enough to compensate.
The Wii Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors game is an action-adventure beat ‘em up involving hordes of enemies coming at you in quick succession. Single-player mode doesn’t really offer much excitement, but Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors has a multiplayer coop feature where two people can team up and kick butt. Multiplayer coop is pretty worthwhile and satisfying but short overall.
Players use the Wii remote or Wii Nunchuck to punch, kick, and dodge enemy attacks. The motion sensing capabilities for the basic fighting moves are solid, and players will have little trouble executing them. They can also choose to play as Po, Shifu, Tigress, or Monkey. The character selection is a relief, as fans may prefer to go with someone other than Po. Every character has a unique chi attack that can be unleashed after a meter is filled, as well as a special ultimate attack. These moves pack a wallop, although getting them to hit accurately is another issue.
When players have milked the main storyline for all its worth, the versus mode still has some value. Up to four players can have a battle royale or a two-on-two challenge, and a single player may fight against the computer. Additionally, a plethora of extra characters can be unlocked in order to complete the experience.
Finally, if you happen to own a Nintendo DS and the Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors DS version, the two games can be linked in order to unlock extra Easter eggs and characters. The developers made sure to pad this game to its fullest, and they did a good job.
This would have been an stellar game with all the features it contains, but several mistakes keep it from reaching its true potential. The biggest one is the repetitive gameplay. Beating up bad guys with a friend can be addicting, and the same is true for Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors. However, players will eventually want a little variety, and the game offers none. It’s the same basic, mind-numbing brawler from start to finish. Sure, it’s pretty exciting at the beginning, but every good thing has a limit, and Legendary Warriors overshot this limit.
While the basic fighting moves are sensed accurately, the same cannot be said for the symbol tracing necessary to pull off a chi attack. It doesn’t quite decipher the motions properly, and the frustration of failing to do an offensive maneuver over and over again really puts a dent in the game’s playability. Furthermore, there is no targeting mechanism. With a dozen enemies all ganging up on you, you’d expect to be able to aim your attacks at a specific mark, but this isn’t the case. In Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors, players will have to pray that their attack lands and hope for the best. More often than not, they’d most likely be hitting thin air instead of foes.
Overall, the main campaign is short, and the multiplayer, although fun, is inferior to other fighting games and will only yield a few days additional content before players eventually get bored with it. Despite all the extra features, Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors doesn’t really have a long shelf life. Or maybe it does, because it’s going to be sitting on the back end of your shelf for a long time.
The Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors Wii game can be played in single or multiplayer coop. It uses the standard Wii remote and is good to go with the Wii Nunchuk as well. Multiplayer versus can have up to four players at a time.
Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors isn’t a bad game, but it isn’t spectacular either. The acting, environment, multiplayer options, and extra features are excellent, but the horrendous motion sensing and repetitive gameplay weigh this game down like a ship’s anchor. It would have been awesome if the two major problems were addressed, but sadly, they stick out like a sore thumb and turn away the majority of players. Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors does have entertainment value especially for younger gamers and fans of the movie, but there are much better brawlers out there.