Kung Fu Rider

This is a full game? Really?

That’s what I asked myself after playing a couple of levels of Kung Fu Rider. Surely I was missing something — but many rounds later, I kept coming back to that first thought. Even for a launch title of new hardware, this is pretty bare-bones stuff. But more importantly than that, it’s also pretty rubbish. Kung Fu Rider is a bland disaster. There’s no other way of putting it. Actually, there probably is: it’s like a slow-motion train wreck as seen through a beige filter.

Ad FeedbackAdvertisement

At its core, Kung Fu Rider is a downhill racer. You’ll be swerving to avoid obstacles in your way, jumping to acquire bonus items, and trying to get to the end as quickly as possible. The flimsy-yet-sort-of-awesome premise for this? You’re on the run from a bunch of mafia/Triad/Yakuza/whatever goons, and need to escape their clutches... on a wheeled office chair.

It’s insane in a very Japanese way, but unfortunately its crazy-fun setup doesn’t bear fruit in any other section of the game. Besides what you see on the menu screen, there’s no sense of story, no overarching narrative (however flimsy) to tie together the disparate, stand-alone levels.

That would be absolutely fine if the core gameplay was any good — off-kilter games like Crazy Taxi, for example, didn’t let much get in the way of its basic goals. But — and you can probably guess what I’m going to say here — the gameplay in Kung Fu Rider just isn’t fun. It lacks depth and variety, yes, but what’s worse is that it lacks Move controls that aren’t completely flawed. This is one of those motion-controlled titles that we’ve seen many times over on the Wii: games that would have worked just fine with an analog stick and some buttons, but now suffer with inaccurate and unresponsive gesture-based controls.

In theory, it works like this: pump the Move controller up and down to accelerate; raise it into the air to jump; lower it to duck; tilt it to the sides to steer; and poke forwards to boost. In practice, it’s kind of a mess to control. You get better over time, but even after a number of levels I was still finding it hard to navigate tracks with any sense of confidence — in particular, jumping and accelerating were often annoyingly interchangeable. When the input device in your hand can’t reliably produce the actions you want, how can the game remain fun?

I won’t spend much on the overall structure of the game, because it’s both basic and dull. New levels mean new obstacles and greater difficulties. You can get rated on levels, possibly encouraging you to replay them, but good luck with that. New types of chairs and the like can be acquired, but again, who really cares?

Kung Fu Rider feels like it should have been one of the forgotten demos on that Move Starter Pack disc. Paying even $60 for this is just outrageous. The Move hardware is great — software like this is drivel. Come on guys, I know every hardware launch always has its duds, but surely some lessons could have been learned from the last four years of Wii shovelware? New Move owners: don’t buy this game.

- Kung Fu Rider
Follow Own it? Rating: PG   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


Relevant Articles


Comments Comments (9)

Posted by Koopa18
On Friday 24 Sep 2010 3:39 PM
I have to type more because im not allowed to just say Lol
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Friday 24 Sep 2010 3:41 PM
And it seems the shovelware avalanche has began. Sony should have learnt from what has happened with Wii instead of allowing their console to be 'cheapened' be below par motion device games.
Posted by Oliver
On Friday 24 Sep 2010 4:21 PM
Yeah, played this at the launch and have a copy myself. Probably will never play it much, if ever. The controls truly are awful and some of time just straight don't work.
Posted by Oliver
On Friday 24 Sep 2010 5:57 PM
I lied. I played it just then, and while I was slightly entertained for about an hour, I finally gave up. Buggiest and most frustrating game I have ever played. It's actually ridiculously sh*t. The controls don't do what you're trying to make them do around 50% of the time, and that's no exaggeration. There are cars and enemies that just piss you off, and the controls often make it so you can't avoid them at all. the only good thing about this game is the custom soundtracks, but even then, when a level is about a minute long, you don't hear even half the song.
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Friday 24 Sep 2010 11:34 PM
I saw a kid playing this in an electronics store the other day
even he looked confused
Posted by Oliver
On Saturday 25 Sep 2010 1:35 AM
24 September 2010, 11:34 PM Reply to ChatterboxZombie
I saw a kid playing this in an electronics store the other day
even he looked confused
This game will confuse anyone that plays it, no troubles.
Posted by emetic
On Saturday 25 Sep 2010 6:30 PM
Is this a full game you can buy on a disc or does it come bundled with the Move doodad?
Posted by Sam
On Monday 27 Sep 2010 9:38 AM
Looks horrible
Posted by KapaiZombie
On Saturday 2 Oct 2010 7:27 PM
I'm surprised this is a retail purchase, it looks more like a downloadable game to me...