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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

XPEC

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

June 3, 2008

 

 

- Parents can play along with their kids

- Big bright graphics, just like the movie source material

- Multiplayer modes are fun distraction

 

 

- Motion controls aren't put to great use and might be too complicated for younger players

 

 

Review: Shrek the Third (360)

Review: Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed (Wii)

Review: Bee Movie Game (360)

 

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Kung Fu Panda

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

This whole trend of family movie tie-in games finally reaching beyond the "crummy" level of even three years ago is a good one. It's like a lightbulb went on over someone's head and realized that kids like to play quality games and that there's room in the gaming market for hardcore titles like Call of Duty 4 and kid/family games like Bee Movie, Shrek the Third, and now Kung Fu Panda (all of which happen to be published by Activision).

 

kung fu panda          kung fu panda

 

Kung Fu Panda follows the movie source closely, branching out with some original content to flesh out the story or to just have fun with, like the "Smash Bros-esque" multiplayer modes. The unlikely hero - in this case, a Jack Black 

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sound-alike as Panda - must navigate his mostly bright and colorful world with the straightforward jumping, fighting, coin collecting, and, in some cases, rolling, that serves as the mark of a game that can be quickly mastered by experienced players but is easily accessible to younger players.

 

Kung Fu Panda is one of those games that gamers can actually play with their kids - 

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the kids thumping their way through most of the levels with the chance mom or dad will have to step in at the end of the level to finish off a boss. Even then, some of the motion sensitive moves and so-called "quicktime" events can be difficult to hit consistently, even for an adult. The motion controls don't actually need to be used that much - the Fast and Strong attacks can be hammered on - and there are only minor incidents where the motion control is actually put to good use.

 

The developers should be lauded with some praise for not pandering to kids - making the game too easy, cutesy, etc. - while at the same time including the stuff the pre-teen demographic likes, such as alternate costumes. As a result, Kung Fu Panda is easily recommendable for the younger set and to parents that are looking for a video game for their kids to play on those rainy days when homework has been completed.

 

- Omni

(June 26, 2008)

 

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