PS3 Review – Kung Fu Rider

Kung Fu Rider is the first effort using the PlayStation Move from Sony Japan Studios. Is this PlayStation Move launch title a smooth ride, or is it a wreck waiting to happen?

Kung Fu Rider is an odd title. All of the gameplay revolves around one of two characters riding downhill through overly crowed Hong Kong streets on the strangest of means; such as office chairs, baby strollers, even vacuum cleaners. The goofy premise gives the inclination that the title is going to be good fun. Don’t let it fool you.

From the very moment you start Kung Fu Rider, it’s a disaster. The game’s tutorial modes immediately shed light on controller issues. And it’s not the PlayStation Move at fault. In other games, the PlayStation Move reacts with 1:1 precision. However, in Kung Fu Rider, the most basic of movement, such as power dashing forward, or jumping is not responsive about a quarter of the time. Since, you’re zooming downhill on your office chair at a fairly fast pace all while dodging various obstacles, having your movements not react on-screen kills any fun to be had.

Though, the game itself isn’t really all that fun to begin with. The game is very reminiscent of PAIN, likely because it uses the very same Havok physics engine and features plenty of humorously painful situations. The most enjoyable aspect of Kung Fu Rider, is when you get hit: the gameplay slows down considerably and will actually show your cheeks shake from the impact. It’s good for a snicker or two, then it get’s old. Fast.

As you’re swooping down the twisting turns of the hills, there are obsticals everywhere. Never have I seen a street littered with so many cones, and obstructions. Then there is the Mafia. The Mafia is really just there to add some sort moving, attacking obstacle for you to encounter. I’d hope that the real Mafia weren’t such morons in real life, as the ones in the game pretty much stand there until you are right upon them. Most of the time, you can just jump right over them. Alternatively, you can actually put some of your very limited Kung Fu skills to use. For a game with the word Kung Fu in the title, you’d expect at least a semi-decent move set, but here, you’ll do very little more than some weak kicking.

Your goal is to make it past the Mafia and obstacles and get to your mobile reporting van at the end of each stage. You’ll cheer when you reach it, but not because you won, but because it’s over.

Kung Fu Rider is an incredibly poor game. It’s a rain cloud hovering over a bright sunny PlayStation Move launch. The game is much more frustrating than fun, lacks any depth, and at times doesn’t even work. Kung Fu Rider should have been a $9.99 PlayStation Network game, and even then I’d have a difficult time recommending it.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Controls aren’t responsive

Gameplay is lacking any depth

Missing the mark in terms of fun

2 out of 10