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06 Dec 2010
By Bearskopff

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Kung-Fu Live - Coming this week! (Review)

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13 Replies 2,416 Views edited 06-12-2010
06 Dec 2010
By Bearskopff

Kung-Fu Live

 

Sofa Sucker-punch, Dorito Dunk and Wheezing Wallop. These are just a small sampling of devastating moves taught through centuries of rigorous martial arts training, which you too will undertake when wanting to dispatch those nimble ninjas and putrid pirates. Mainly ninjas though. Actually, always ninjas.

 

And dogs.

 

 

See, for the past week I’ve been getting to (death)grips with Kung-Fu Live, a game like no other on the PlayStation Network. Rather than a combinations of O’s and X’s, you’re tasked with throwing punches and flinging kicks across you’re living room like a re-embodiment of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan or Daniel Larusso…

 

The allure of motion control is the soul of this game and of course, it’s one of the most tiring things you’ll perform in this year. Those ‘martial arts’ moves I mentioned earlier are the ones I self-taught from the comfort of my sofa because frankly, even though I’m not particularly out of shape, within only a few minutes of regular moves I was huffing, puffing and sweating enough to warrant a shower or a sit down on the sofa. It’s the regular fare in regards to the motion controls with punches, kicks, leg sweeps and head-butts with extra points awarded for dodging enemy moves. You can even add a little extra flair to your moves with surprisingly simple movements. Want to do a backflip? Easy! Simply stand with your side facing the PSeye and fling your arms above your head for an easy yet elegant backflip perfect for catching out your foes. Need more flair? Just do the ‘Y’ from the YMCA and you’ll slow down time allowing for a frenzy of punches or better yet, pose like the praying mantis and you can shoot electricity from your palms like the infamous Cole MacGrath.

 

 

 

The beauty of the controls lies in the simplicity. Getting to that point however, is the only complexity of the entire game. Like other motion controlled games, finding the space to perform adequately is the biggest difficulty of the game. It was tricky trying to get the camera at an angle that allowed me to leap around as needed but after shifting a sofa into the kitchen and leaning the other against the wall it wasn’t long until the framing was perfect.

 

This small niggle aside, the game itself is nothing short of fantastic. When you’re jumping around, it’s your goal to get through each round which consists of various ninjas or Inklings/scary ink dogs. After 4 or 5 rounds have passed, it’s onwards with the story and with that, the comic pages pull into view with you in the starring role. With the game tasking you to pull various poses, you soon see yourself assuming the position - be that balancing on your head whilst being taught ‘the ancient ways’ or sliding down a hillside. It’s these bits that really bring out the laughs. Something of an innocent pose soon turns into a death-defying stunt – with a rather bemused look on your face to boot.

 

 

Great graphics, eloquent controls, clean, crisp sound and up to four person multiplayer can be found in Kung-Fu Live but its shining grace really is the enjoyment you get from lunging around like a maniac. Even when I’d finished a twenty minute round I still wanted to continue and that alone speaks volumes for what many may perceive as just another motion controlled game. Do yourself (and three of your friends) a favour, and give this game a try. It’s really ruddy excellent!

 

If you're after any more information, then be sure to follow the Virtual Air Guitar Co. folks on Facebook! HIYARRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!

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Awesome review dude , looking forward to this one ;)
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richard4481 wrote:
Awesome review dude , looking forward to this one ;)

 

As was I! It's one of the most awesome games I've tried this year. Done my back in something fierce mind with all those backflips! :D

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Vids???
I want to see a Bear doing back flips!!!
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richard4481 wrote:
Vids???
I want to see a Bear doing back flips!!!

 

I'll try and get some CCTV footage from A&E! :D

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Great review dude!

I was wondering though, did the camera have much trouble cutting the background out of the picture? my room is a cluttered mess so I'm worried about that ruining the game slightly!
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Nice review Bear :Thumbs:

 

For those that are interested, there is also an Interview with Teemu Mäki-Patola, CEO oVirtual Air Guitar Company in regards to Kung Fu Live on the blog.  Check it out here

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Great review, really want this game.
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THATMATTKID wrote:
Great review dude!

I was wondering though, did the camera have much trouble cutting the background out of the picture? my room is a cluttered mess so I'm worried about that ruining the game slightly!

 

The only problem I really had with clutter was a mirror in the background. On the other hand, thanks to the reflection of myself, I kicked twice as much ninja bum! :D

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Only problem I found is that you have to stand quite far back from the camera

but it is a good game

 

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Rather than start a new thread I figured I would chime in with my first impressions here - mostly related to the setup requirements rather than gameplay (it's too early for me to say much about that).

 

I've finished the first three levels of Kung-Fu Live. That's only around 8 minutes or so of actual fighting, but I was sweating as much as after a longer session of The Fight :).
I'm postponing my further kung-fu adventures until tomorrow as I have a history of recurring back problems, so I don't want to take any chances. I've gotten used to throwing punches with The Fight, but this time it's more kicking than punching (well, technically you can probably defeat many enemies with punches, but I noticed one guy who seemed to avoid anything but kicks and the one special attack I unlocked at the start). 

This game needs a lot of space (6+ feet from the camera, 6+ feet width), more than The Fight or Sports Champions.
I have my TV turned around 45 degrees to one side when I'm playing those Move games (otherwise my coffee table and chair would get in the way, and I don't want to drag those around), but with Kung-Fu Live that didn't quite leave enough sideways space for leg movement etc.
Since my TV can't really be turned any further, I had to rotate the camera a bit instead, so I'm standing at a slight angle towards the TV. Not really a big problem fortunately, but if this is what Kinect users have to put up with for most of their games, I can certainly see why space requirements have been such a hotly debated topic.

And then there's lighting. It's dark outside here - as it is most of the day at this time of the year - and the game has a whopping 12 pages on "room setup", much of that dedicated to lighting, background, clothing color choices etc.
I don't have any ceiling lights in my living room, and lighting from three smaller lamps, indirect lighting from the kitchen halogen lamps and light from the PC monitor behind me wasn't cutting it.
I placed an additional lamp on the floor (with a naked light bulb), and pointed a halogen spot at the other side of the living room towards the wall behind me. That was enough for the game to do decent background removal, albeit with very fuzzy edges and occasionally a few invisible spots (showing up on the setup screen similar to when someone is wearing blue clothing in front of a blue screen for CGI).

Given some of the apparent complications during the setup process - and being exposed to all the dos and don'ts of the setup guide - I was all but expecting the game to barely work, if at all. 
Fortunately though, despite my Kung-Fu self showing up in the game levels with the same fuzzy edges and slight background bleed through as in the setup screen, movement tracking was pretty much flawless - and the game itself, based on this first short impression, is a ton of fun.

And one really cool thing is the comic book pages between levels. After finishing a level you pose for a handful of photos, and whether you do the suggested pose or come up with something of your own, it seems that almost no matter how ridiculous or serious you manage to look, it somehow fits perfectly when inserted into the comic :).

Re: Kung-Fu Live - Coming this week! (Review)

::::::::::
Currently playing: Dead Island (PC), Dirt 3 (PS3), GT5 (PS3)
PS3 video (hdmi) -> 51" Samsung PS51D550 plasma 3D TV
PS3 audio (optical) -> Cambridge Audio DacMagic -> Firestone Audio Cute Beyond headphone amp -> Sennheiser HD650
Additional hardware: Logitech G25 wheel/pedals, 2x Move + Nav Controller

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Bearskopff wrote:
THATMATTKID wrote:
Great review dude!

I was wondering though, did the camera have much trouble cutting the background out of the picture? my room is a cluttered mess so I'm worried about that ruining the game slightly!

 

The only problem I really had with clutter was a mirror in the background. On the other hand, thanks to the reflection of myself, I kicked twice as much ninja bum! :D

 

Nice! I Have a mirror in my room might have to rob that cheeky trick! 

 

Great mini review miths000 

 

I had some worries over the space requirements and I think I will have the same dilema, with my room needing a big truffle shuffle before I can start kicking *****, as they put it! 

 

Can't wait to start though, pity my coursework is holding me back. If I hold out till christmas though I can get the whole family involved so that will be worth the wait! 

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Hey Miths000, how the game m8, looking forward to hearing your playthrough of this game, Your Views on The Fights certainly made me buy the game


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Unlike The Fight - which I still love just as much as the day I bought it and continue to use for exercise at least three or four days a week - I've had to revise my impression of Kung-Fu Live.

I posted this on the GameFAQs forum earlier today.

 

Unfortunately my experience went from pretty good the first night (but as mentioned in my last post, I only played through the first three levels then) to frequent tracking problems the second night in the exact same lighting conditions.

And then last night I tried lighting up the wall behind me better and more evenly with a couple of lamps pointed up at it, but tracking was simply abysmal, having severe problems registering anything but simple punches and kicks.

A level where I had to hunt down a teleporting character back and forth on platforms, was simply a nightmare as my somersaults, power punch move (was that the name of that first special attack where you hold both arms out to the side?) and even regular movement by sticking out my arms would usually only register once out of every three or four attempts (and the power punch not at all, although that worked fine every time the first night).

 

I'm giving up for now - this game would probably have been better suited for Spring or Summer, when it doesn't get dark outside at 4 in the afternoon. I don't actually know if tracking will work better in my living room with daylight coming in through the windows, but I assume that will probably be the case, just as with head tracking in The Fight.

 

I still think this is a potentially a great game, but the room conditions are definitely vastly more demanding than with Move games (with the exception of The Fight head tracking), and unfortunately it looks like I can't meet those demands in terms of lighting and possibly also the background (the computer table behind me up against a white wall doesn't really seem to be what's interfering with the background removal and tracking though, so the lighting is almost certainly the main culprit. And last night my living room was practically bathed in deliberately placed, indirect - but artificial - lighting).

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::::::::::
Currently playing: Dead Island (PC), Dirt 3 (PS3), GT5 (PS3)
PS3 video (hdmi) -> 51" Samsung PS51D550 plasma 3D TV
PS3 audio (optical) -> Cambridge Audio DacMagic -> Firestone Audio Cute Beyond headphone amp -> Sennheiser HD650
Additional hardware: Logitech G25 wheel/pedals, 2x Move + Nav Controller
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