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Wing Chun on Wheels- Kung Fu Rider Review

Most veteran gamers will reluctantly admit to being overcome with a case of ‘launch goggles’. This condition causes a otherwise rational person to abandon prudence during the excitement of a hardware launch, likely resulting in the purchase of a dubious title or two. I’ve succumbed to the malady on several occasions, eagerly being duped by the likes of Battle Arena Toshinden, Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory and Red Steel.

In hindsight, inadequate inaugural titles are easy to identify- they typically have eye-catching graphics, a lack of depth, a stubborn adherence to genre, and a woefully abbreviated length. Recent release Kung Fu Rider certainly fits the description; it’s an attractive, pleasantly simplistic, ninety minute thrill ride that will be immediately familiar with fans of SSX or Tony Hawk Downhill Jam (launch titles for the PS2 and Wii, respectively). While the title certainly offers superficial enjoyment for new Playstation Move owners, expect shelves at the local GameStore to be besieged with copies in the coming weeks; Kung Fu Rider‘s content is more in line with a ten dollar downloadable offering rather than a $40 retail disk.


Karin shows off her best Ling Xiaoyu impression.


The story’s skeletal storyline concern two protagonist’s evading an endless procession of triad goons. Lacking any customary form of transportation, the duo utilize a assortment of makeshift devices in an effort to slide down each of the game’s meager variety of courses. Although the selection of vehicles is consistently amusing- ranging from vacuum cleaners, office chairs to baby strollers, many of the devices handle similarly. Player swing the Move controller left and right to steer, while a downward snap produces an accelerating push. Regrettably, this motion sporadically trigger’s Rider‘s jump move, which is normally initiated by a skyward Move controller. While the title allows players to adjust the sensitivity of the two commands, an option to map the leap to one of the Move controller’s button would have invaluable.

Several components keep Kung Fu Rider from mimicking the comical rag-doll crashes exhibited by the game’s main characters. Most stages present players with branching paths, encouraging participants to retry levels in hopes of besting their top scores. Gamers may even free-roam the levels, scouting for collectables or particularly prosperous pathways. Admittedly, some of the game’s elective moves are gratifying- from grinds along rails, limbo-like bend which allows entrance to low areas, and the games kung-fu stances which help build the combo meter. Sadly, all is not perfect; cars overtake the player from behind and thin sign posts can bring the downhill dash to a halt. Crash five times, and you’ll be sent forced to retry the level. One amusing element- when you wipe out, the Playstation Eye snaps a picture. It’s unfortunate the game doesn’t cultivate the thrills to produce a really theatrical snapshot; most of the images were of me, mildly bemused.


Beau Ryan from RadNerd even makes an appearance?


With a resume which includes the Loco Roco, Patapon, and the Ape Escape series, Kung Fu Rider definitely delivers a healthy serving of delicious Japanese  eccentricity. Yet, strip away that weirdness and players are left with a fleeting, simplistic title with inexplicably shoehorned motion controls. While new Move owners are understandably eager for games that support their pristine peripheral, they might be wise to wait for a price drop on this one.


About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

36 comments

  1. Deagle and Shipwreck were separated at birth.

  2. I hear Sports Champions in the game to get.

  3. this seems to be the runt of the litter.

  4. Electric Relaxation

    who is “Ling Xiaoyu”.

    Obscure reference=fail.

  5. Rengoku: Tower of Purgatory was a launch title?

  6. my prediction: first move game to drop to $20.

  7. I still think the first Red Steel wasn’t bad at all.

  8. good graphics at least. Facial expressions are nice.

  9. why you have to hate on the MOVE?

  10. is that Hitman in the bottom pic?

  11. good review as always Mr Deagle.

  12. I won’t take that bet.

  13. Sounds like this should have been a DLC game.

  14. The girl from Tekken, who does cartwheels.

  15. hopefully, all the Move games won’t be as crappy as this one.

  16. they managed to recreate HK pretty well. Except they need may more traffic.

  17. I’ve bought a few clunkers when a console launches, but usually not with a new peripheral.

  18. Wait this is a launch title? The PS3 has been out for years. I’m confused.

  19. Who the hell is Beau Ryan?

  20. The screenshots make me smile. Geeks riding office chairs to get away from Triads? too funny.

  21. Lance 'Sly' Cooper

    I didn’t know one studio made all those games. Loco Roco is one of my favorites!

  22. Hopefully, Heroes on the Move ll get a better score.

  23. its a launch title for the Move. I guess any kind of new hardware is considered a “launch”.

  24. I read the read, which was pretty harsh and then saw the C- at the end. I thought it would have gotten a lower grade.

  25. Ive been playing for a few hours, and it’s not that bad. The controls take some getting used to, and like the review said, it’s hella short, but it is fun.

    $20 should have been the price.

  26. The worst game on Move would probably be the Kinect’s killer app 😉

  27. Awesome technology gets a poop game to go with it. Thats the running gag.

  28. games that don’t use a controller are never going to be fun. death before kinect and move. Holla!

  29. I’ve played the demo a few times. I actually like the game, but I can see it getting old real quick.

  30. Thanks for the info, Deagle.

  31. I don’t know I’ve been playing the demo over and over. Its pretty fun.

  32. Pretty good title. I hope you review the time crisis game when that comes out.

  33. Deagle, I know you like golf games. Can you review TW11 with Move support?

  34. I tried the demo and thought it was cool. I’ll probably get it when it’s $20.

  35. I really need to try the move. Does any store have demo stations.

  36. I bought Start the Party, thinking parties are always fun. Too bad this one isn’t. I think I’d rather be playing this.