Shaq Fu: A Legend Rebornby Aethyna Jun 12, 2018 | 1 Votes | 1 Played | 0 Reviews
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Featuring hilarious dialogue, animations, and storyline, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn retained, somewhat, the key ingredient which had made the original game such a niche success. The gameplay can be somewhat repetitive after some time, but the different ways of doing combat, including rolling metal barrels down the road like bowling balls and whacking people using road signs, do spice things up quite a bit. The enemies you encounter changes from location to location as well. It may not be the sort of hardcore beat ‘em up game that many may like, but it’s a satirically funny and enjoyable game nonetheless.
The game introduces how Shaquille (Shaq for short) learned the super awesome fighting skills that he has in a hilariously generic manner. A Chinese lady picked up an expensive-looking handbag while washing her clothes by the river. To her surprise, a black-skinned baby with a weird birthmark on his neck was inside and being the nice lady that she was, she named the baby, Shaq, and raised him as her own.
At the small village that Shaq the boy lived in, he was often bullied by the other kids because he was a big kid. The village elder saw potential in the kid and took him under him wing, training him in the sacred art of Wu Xing.
However, unknown to Shaq, he was being trained for something greater – to replace his Shi Fu as the protector of humanity. As explained later on in the game, every 1000 years or so, Yen Lo-Wang, the god of Death, will escape from the underworld and attempt to take over the world. Every time, he will have some nefarious plan up his sleeves… this time around though, he aims to conquer the world by brainwashing its people using demons posing as famous celebrities.
It is now up to you, in the shoes of Shaq, to save the world from Yen Lo-Wang’s evil plan!
To start your adventure as Shaq, you’ll first have to choose a difficulty level. There are 3 levels in this game, namely easy, normal and hard. However, you can switch the difficulty if you find the game too easy or too hard for your taste while playing a stage.
The controls in this game is pretty well-made too. If you’re playing the game on PC, you’ll mostly be using the WASD keys (plus Q) to attack your enemies. A is your normal attack, while D is your defensive/kicking move. S will make Shaq slam the ground, triggering a minor tremor which will throw all nearby enemies up into the air and causing some serious damage. However, in order to use this skill, you have to charge up the yellow rage meter first.
Shaq can also dash (Q key) to close the distance between him and his enemies quickly. Each dash will consume an energy point (you get two max) and they do take a while to recharge themselves. Jumping around (spacebar) strategically is another important skill to learn rapidly in this game. You can use it to avoid an enemy’s frontal attacks by jumping behind him and attacking his back.
For certain enemies, you may even be able to perform a finishing move (W key) if the said enemy has taken sufficient damage or is in the process of carrying out an action. From time to time, Shaq will perform an awesome combo move as well, which has animations and close-ups that make the game feel a lot like an action movie.
Not to mention, movement in this game is not as 2D as some of the graphics. This is something you’ll need to keep in mind when attacking your enemies.
There are several really cool power-ups that you can pick up along your journey too. Aside from the green and blue globules, which restores a small portion of Shaq’s health and rage respectively, or the IcyHot balm that restores 100% of Shaq’s health, you can also pick up awesome, transformative power-ups like the Big D or the cactus suit, to completely “upgrade” Shaq into a more destructive fighting machine.
The Big D, for instance, will encase Shaq in a suit of armor, much like Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, allowing him to perform rapid punches and other more devastating attacks. However, since the suit is diesel-powered, the machine can get overheated if you use the same fighting skill repeatedly, leaving Shaq immobilized and vulnerable to attacks. Instead, you are encouraged to change up the skills you use during combat.
On the other hand, the cactus suit will transform Shaq with its cactus power, allowing Shaq to throw cactus spikes like a machine gun minus the chance of overheating… since it’s natural and all. Many of Shaq’s usual skills are also “changed” to fit with the whole cactus façade. It’s pretty funny actually.
Of course, all of these power-ups won’t last forever. Their special effects will be removed usually when you enter a separate zone in the game.
As mentioned, the enemies you’ll be fighting against are quite varied in this game, forcing you to think of creative ways to counter their respective abilities. Some enemies you encounter may even drop weapons when beaten… weapons that you can then pick up and use against them!
Boss fights in Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is probably the best and most challenging part of the game. Each boss has their own abilities and you’ll need to use different combat techniques to counter these abilities, such as by jumping over a boss and attacking him from behind.
What I really like about the game though, besides the really amazing animations and fun yet not-so-hard gameplay, are the numerous satirical jabs at celebrities, fads, people stereotypes and pop culture in general. The game is also peppered with funny dialogues! However, I’d say that the sort of humor in this game isn’t suitable for people who are easily offended though. The humor here isn’t rude or vulgar, but it may be offensive to some.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a single player game and as such, the game doesn’t really have social or multiplayer aspect. The game doesn’t have co-op either – it’s just a good solid single player… like those in the old days.
The graphics in this game are pretty amazing to say the least. It has a cartoonish/comics-like style to it. The backgrounds look really good and I like how the varied backgrounds used in different locations are able to bring out a different atmosphere as you side-scroll your way across the stage. There are plenty of short clips and cutscenes in the game as well. Most of these clips are used to introduce a boss prior to a boss fight.
However, all of that pales in comparison to the amusing theme song that plays in the main menu and during certain parts of the game. As surprising as this may seem, this game has its very own theme song and boy, is that song hilarious (and cringy but mostly hilarious)! If you listen closely to the lyrics, there are plenty of parts where you will just bark out a chuckle due to the unexpectedness of it all.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is a really funny beat ‘em up game that will crack you up with its silliness and satirical jabs at pop culture and celebrities. The game may not be a hardcore beat ‘em up, but its gameplay, along with the many varied enemies, bosses and power-ups, makes the game that much more engaging. It’s definitely a game worth buying, especially if you enjoy tongue-in-cheek fighting games.