Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game review

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Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game review

We’ve never seen old clips of Bruce Lee in a fight, pausing for orders on whether to attack or defend. So why does Kung Fu Panda 2: The Video Game take this approach? It’s mystifying.

The story in this Kinect game begins immediately after the ending of the second film, with the Kung Fu gang (spoiler alert!) celebrating the defeat of the evil Lord Shen. Realizing that plenty of Shen’s thugs — including giant lizards and wolves — have continued wreaking havoc around Gongmen City, panda Po and friends decide to finish the job… or something.

It’s a bit muddled, but the action is positively debilitating. The one-on-one combat sequences alternate between attack (punch, kick) and defend (block, dodge) until a winner emerges. The problem is, this pause-and-delay system ensures you never get into a fighter’s rhythm, while lag and needless slow-motion moves heighten the misery. (Even 2010’s mediocre Fighters Uncaged knew when to step back and just let you brawl.) Panda’s free-play mode lets you relive some of the battles you’ve completed, but who’d bother? Other than a few decent minigames (like tossing bowls of noodles to hungry customers), what’s here is best forgotten.

On Xbox 360 (For Kinect)

+ Yay for Jack Black’s voicework, which lends an aura of respectability; some decent minigames (but sadly, they’re not nearly fun enough).

- Awful combat is a complete chore.

- Cumbersome navigation menus don’t offer relief.

? The first Kung Fu Panda game was fun; what happened here?

3.5

 
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