I cannot tell you how many animated movies turned to video games I have reviewed over the years. Can you guess how many have stood out in my mind as solid transitions from the big screen to the game consoles? I would say less the 5%. We all know the reasons by now, it starts with the fact that they are put on a permanent deadline (usually the release of the movie), the concepts for the game are usually dictated by the movies story-line, and more then anything the games just never seem to gel. Today we are checking out Kung Fu Panda for the Wii, a game that I believed going into this review had a good shot of becoming part of the 5% of memorable games. Does Kung Fu Panda have what it takes? Read our full review to find out!
Having not seen the movie Kung Fu Panda I can’t say how closely the game of Kung Fu Panda follows the story of the movie. From playing the game, what I can say out of pure speculation is that it follows the movie rather closely only going off course when it seems necessary to for the movie purposes. What I can also gather is that the game is not going to give away to much for the movie but follows closely enough to where your going to have a pretty good idea where its going. Outside of that the story is told rather quickly and isn’t all that major of an area in the game.
Like many other games based on animated movies, Kung Fu Panda plays like a pretty typical action platformer, with a little bit more emphasis on the Kung Fu action and a little light on the platforming. The question then arises, is there anything worth checking out with Kung Fu Panda on the Wii? I have to say that for being such a run of the mill game (in terms of features) the game itself actually doesn’t play all that bad. The motion control in the game is actually pretty decent and the platforming elements aren’t bad.
Anytime you have a game like Kung Fu Panda the developers are going to do what they can to make this game enjoyable for all ages, especially on the Nintendo Wii version. I think this is one of the strongest bullet points I can give this game is that it manages to keep an interesting flow throughout. On the disappointing side of the table, the game really doesn’t go for to much, the developers seemed to have taken the safest route possible while developing this game staying close to things that worked and not really going to far out of there comfort zone.
The thing that really helps Kung Fu Panda is Kung Fu Panda. If that doesn’t make sense, then pick up this game and see how the movie, or the story of Kung Fu Panda really sets a nice tone for the game. The style, the voice work, the game itself just has a nice easy going flow that is strong enough to not make it flop on the floor like many of the other past animated features that have become video games.
Visually, Kung Fu Panda is not a bad looking game although I have to say that it just doesn’t seem like it met its full potential on the Wii. The strongest card in this games deck is the style, it has a great color palette that does a fantastic job of setting the right mood throughout the experience. The game doesn’t have the strongest frame rate and it just seem like everything on the game flows together as well as it could. In the end this isn’t a bad looking game, just a game that has a bit of room for improvement.
I cannot tell you how many uninspired platformers I have had to review, but I was pleasantly surprised that Kung Fu Panda wasn’t all that bad of a game. The game is as linear as they come, its pretty straightforward, but all in all its entertaining. The game isn’t trying to take on Mario or become the next Jak and Daxter, but in a sense it does what it needs to be enjoyable and make fans of the movie have something to do while they wait for the DVD to come out.
I have to tell you that if you have kids or if you yourself are just a big Jack Black fan and are wondering if your money would put to good use to buy this game I would say it might be a good idea. If your alright with renting the game, it might be a better idea given the games short length, otherwise this really is a pretty solid game that’s worth a look.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.