PSN Review – Rag Doll Kung Fu
One of the most anticipated PSN games from last year’s E3, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic, has finally hit the PlayStation Store. With all the hype surrounding this game can it possibly deliver, or will it get smacked in the face?
The controls for Rag Doll Kung Fu are pretty basic. Each fighter also has the ability to use powers throughout the match. Your fighter will gain the ability to use powers by either recieving, or dishing out damage. These powers can be used in a couple of ways. You can heal your character by flipping the controller upside down. If you shake the controller, you will conjure up a ball of lightning that can be thrown at your enemy. Also, shaking the controller while punching will allow you to do a super punch. And trust me, all of these tactics must be used in order to succeed in each fight.
There is a small single player section to this game that contains challenges to complete. Each challenge requires that you do a specific task until time runs out or you are defeated. You will score points throughout each round, and the points you earn unlock different articles of clothing to use in creating your own character.
Most of these challenges are pretty basic, such as killing as many enemies as possible within the time limit, while others are fairly difficult, such as hitting an enemy in the air as many times as possible before they hit the ground. Although there are eight challenges to choose from, they’re fairly boring and really pale in comparison to the multiplayer aspect, which is where the game really shines.
There are eight different levels, and the fighting style is very similar to Super Smash Brothers. You and up to three local friends will punch, kick and throw each other in an attempt to earn the most points at the end of each round. You gain points by killing your opponents (don’t worry; you can respawn), and the gameplay can be quite hectic at times. But it’s also a lot of fun.
There are plenty of objects that fall into the fighting area that can help aide you in battle. Glass jars and boxes can not only be thrown at your enemies, but when broken contain life and weapons. Again, another Smash Bros. similarity. There will also be the occasional bow, staff, or nunchuck that will also fall into the battlefield. When picked up, these weapons can be used by moving the right analogue stick, delivering a massive amount of damage.
Besides the traditional deathmatch, there are also three other game modes. Dodgeball is like deathmatch, but there will be a glowing ball that, when thrown at someone, can kill them instantly. But watch out, because if it hits you on the rebound it will kill your character as well. Capture the Fish is similar to capture the flag. A fish will fall out of the sky, and you will have to grab it and get it into a bowl by any means necessary, whether you throw it or carry it there. This is one of the more entertaining matches, and can be a blast when playing with a few friends.
The last game type is King of the Hill, and plays exactly like you would expect it to. A platform will be designated for you to reach, and it is your goal (no, destiny) to be the only one standing there. Once alone on the platform, you will start racking up points, and by using the R1 and L1 with the analogue sticks (similar to [shal]LittleBigPlanet[/shal]) you will wave your arms and gain points twice as fast.
There is also a nice customizable feature where you can create your own character. Most of these objects will have to be won in the single player challenges, but occasionally you can also unlock them in multi-player. The graphics for this game are pretty good. It nails all the textures vary well and really gives you the feeling that your controlling an action figure. The sound also is spot on and although it only really has one song and is quite an addicting one.
The only real downside to this game is the lack of online multi-player. The enemy AI in the game is quite good and can be quite difficult, it still doesn’t compare to being able to taunt your friends online. This one point really puts a huge negative mark against this game for me since online multiplayer is such a necessity. Most people simply won’t have the luxury of constantly having friends over, or having family members participate.
Overall, Rag Doll King Fu is a blast to play when you have some friends around. It is very simple to learn, and can provide hours of fun. It really depends on whether you have enough people to play the game with you. But if you prefer to strictly play online, it’s probably best to avoid this title.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
A blast to play with friends and family.
Lack of online multiplayer is disappointing, but the strong A.I. makes up for it.