“Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors,” the sequel to the original “Kung Fu Panda” title, is a mixed bag, though as a licensed kid’s game it succeeds where others have failed. It stars Po and his sidekicks Tigress, Monkey and Master Shifu-you can choose to play as any of the four, and they all have distinct fighting styles-as they fight Tai Lung, who has returned along with his minions to steal the chi powers of the Furious Five.
The story works for a kid’s game, as it is full of light-hearted humor, most of which is provided by the voice of Jack Black. The presentation is also solid, with quality graphics and cutscenes presented in a nifty art style that contrast the actual look of the characters in an appealing way. The other voice actors are nowhere as easy on the ears as Black, though.
Nov. 5, 2008
You can play the story mode with a single player, or you can play it co-op, using two of the four available characters. This is the best way to play Legendary Warriors, as you can pick two complimentary fighters with opposing skill sets in order to progress through battles more efficiently. Co-op can be initiated at any time as well, meaning you do not have to start a new game to play with a friend.
Your moves themselves are performed with gestures, whether it be to strike an enemy or use a Chi attack, which requires you to simulate an on-screen symbol of your choosing. This can become tiring in some action games, and this goes double for a brawler where your primary goal is to beat the multitudes of foes that appear on screen. Despite this, the fighting itself has its merits, though the lack of a targeting system can make some of your waggling random and ineffective.
Playing through the story mode allows you to unlock playable characters for the other multiplayer mode, one that can be enjoyed with up to four players. This mode is more fighting game than brawler, as you pick your favorite (unlocked) characters from the Kung Fu Panda universe and try to come away victorious, along the lines of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This feature was also available in the first game though, and since this title offers little new over it’s predecessor, it’s not a reason to purchase this version if you already own the older one.
If you own the DS version of the game, there is Nintendo Wi-Fi connectivity, which will allow you to unlock multiplayer content on any Wii system. It’s a neat feature, though it’s a shame that acquiring this exclusive content is such a pricey endeavor.
“Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors” has its merits, as it is at times a charming brawler that young fans of the movie may be excited to play. There are non-licensed titles that do all of the good things “Kung Fu Panda” does (and better) out there though, so if your kid isn’t dying to revisit the world of Po and his pals once more, you are better off shopping elsewhere, especially since this sequel came so soon after the original hit shelves.