• Allan Jenks

Game Review #480: Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Mat Benson


Developer: Big Deez Productions

Publisher: Saber Interactive Inc.

Category: Action, Beat ‘em up

Release Date: 6.5.2018

Price: $29.99 (physical), $19.99 (digital)


Trailer


Buy Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


Shaq Fu, Comeback of the Century?

Now, I know what you are thinking: Shaq Fu, really? Yes, really! Shaq Fu, which was on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, is considered one of the worst games ever made by many critics, and has earned a lot of hate by players of all ages; however, it had just enough of an underground following to warrant a sequel over two decades later, giving us Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn. This game was paid for by its fans through an Indiegogo campaign, which shows that it was indeed a labor of love from its development team and for fans of the original.



Defeat the Demon, Fulfill Your Destiny

Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn has a lot of fun with its main character, who is, you guessed it, Shaquille Fei Hung, or Shaq, for short. You play as The Chosen One (Shaq) and journey throughout different regions, ranging from rural China, to the streets of Los Angeles, and all the way to Hell itself to find and destroy the evil Yen-Lo-Wang, the Chinese God of Death, and his horde of minions. Along the way you battle tons of minor enemies and a few “celebrities” who are working for their demon overlord to stop Shaq from completing his destiny as the chosen one.


This is a very far-fetched storyline, but the game doesn’t care. The storyline itself can be hysterical, depending on how seriously you take it. Although, this game should not be taken seriously in any way, seeing as throughout the game you will find many references to the exact same corny style of humor I believe Shaq himself has in real life, with references to current-day politics, pop culture, and tons of IcyHot.



The gameplay itself leaves much to be desired. With six stages to complete, the game is repetitive, short, and grindy, which is something you really don’t want in a beat ‘em up style of game. The initial load time into the game is extensive, to the point where you can get up, use the bathroom, and be back before its halfway through loading. The enemies differ between stages; however, there is a vast amount of enemies, which are basically just a grind to get through, with some sections of the game just being glorified horde modes lasting longer than they should.


The combat is a typical beat ‘em up style, with a variety of different attack animations—with which I believe the developers did a great job. The bosses throughout the levels all vary, and depending on the difficulty setting you choose, they range from being simple, possibly too easy, to impossible to beat. I noticed that at a certain boss, I actually had to lower the difficulty setting from normal to easy mode after the fifth or sixth attempt, just to move on.



Audio & Visuals

Where Shaq Fu shines is in its audio and visual departments. It shows that this is where the developers took their time to present the player with a great audio experience and cut scenes that are very well crafted. The visuals are solid, with the attack animations being well designed, and the cut scenes carefully created to capture the dark themes of demons, mixed with the game’s comedic nature.



The dialogue is outstanding. I found myself smiling and laughing during my game play. Between the corny jokes and background comments made by allies, enemies, and Shaq himself, you really should pay as much attention as you can to everything they say. The soundtrack also keeps to the theme of being well written and produced, while also maintaining the comedic style of the game.



Wrap Up Time

With all that being said, I would have to admit that I personally loved the game and had a lot of fun with it. I recommend picking it up digitally, since both the physical and digital editions come with free bonus content, where you get to play as a Dirty Harry style Barrack Obama; however, the price tag is a bit steep on the physical side for such a short game. Again, this game should not be taken seriously, as it is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek spoofy roast of itself. However, due to the lackluster gameplay and extremely long load times, it is definitely a play it once and put it on the shelf kind of game, which I still believe is worth the playthrough.


Score: 6/10


Buy Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


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