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Kung Fu Rabbit review [Wii U eShop]

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As a long time fan of platformers, I was excited to see Kung Fu Rabbit making its way to the Wii U. For those of you who are unaware, the title began its life as a moderately successful mobile game, available on iOS and Android. The game feels like a G-rated homage to Super Meat Boy, so it felt like a perfect fit for Wii U. Now that it’s available, a few issues aside, it does offer an entertaining romp for those who like challenging platformers. If you’ve played Super Meat Boy and you prefer the crushing difficulty there, then you’re out of luck with Kung Fu Rabbit.

Gameplay

Each level of Kung Fu Rabbit is designed to take only minutes to complete, per its origins in the mobile realm. The first few levels are a walk in the park, as its introducing you to the mechanics of the game. Each level has three carrots placed in fairly obvious paths for you to collect, along with one golden carrot that acts the part of Meat Boy’s bandage collectible. The golden carrot is typically placed in hard to reach spots that will ensure your death, forcing you to start the level over.

A black goo covers the walls and floors that serves as the proverbial lava, since a single touch of the black stuff will start you over. Later on there are enemies made out of the same black goo with weak points you’ll have to target in order to take them down. This system is well and good for a mobile gamer, but until you get enough carrots unlocked to apply the Carrot Juice artifact to your rabbit, you’ll feel as though you’re slogging through the black goo all the time.

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This painful slowness is only remedied by an artifact that can be permanently equipped, but as there are other artifacts available for purchase for enough carrots, it makes them practically useless. The developers should have foregone carrot juice in the Wii U version of the game and made its effects the rabbit’s default running speed so Wii U players could at least enjoy the other purchasable items without feeling bogged down.

Aside from artifacts that offer permanent effects once purchased, there are also single use items designed to give you an edge. It’s similar to what you’d find behind a mobile pay-wall game, instead of something that feels as though it belongs in a legitimate retail title. Users can pay their stars collected at the end of the level to buy extra lives, an enemy repellent, and other power-ups that feel as though they’re designed to give the frustrated mobile gamer an edge over the game itself.

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The game features 80 levels, each divided up into three worlds of 20 levels each, with 20 additional bonus levels you can unlock by completing the rest of the game. The bonus levels are actually challenging and usually contain a gimmick that you’ll have to master in order to get through it, such as timing your jumps perfectly to get through an entire level of alternating and disappearing platforms. I found the bonus levels to be quite fun, while some of the normal levels were a complete slog to get through.

Players will need to unlock all 20 of the first levels in order to progress, unless you feel like spending your stars to unlock zones instead of power ups. Once again, instead of allowing a path of natural progression in the game, the developers have seen fit to keep the mobile instant gratification unlocks available and it truly hampers the experience.

Audio & Visuals

The graphical style of Kung Fu Rabbit is rather refreshing, as the levels you traverse are certainly Asian inspired. There are zen garden and dojo levels that make you feel right at home, with underground cave and pink garden levels tossed into the mix. There’s never any garish inclusions as everything looks as though it was hand-painted as you make your way through the levels. In fact, I found the aesthetics to be the most pleasing part of Kung Fu Rabbit, even when I became frustrated with the easy gameplay.

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Audio is Asian-inspired as well, with tracks not changing too much between the levels. There’s nothing inherently bad that can be said about it, but there’s also nothing inherently good, either. You won’t walk away from playing the game with the music stuck in your head, but it’s also not so bad that you’ll want to turn it off immediately either.

Conclusion

Overall, Kung Fu Rabbit serves as a poor-man’s Super Meat Boy rather unremarkably. The same mechanics that make Super Meat Boy a wonderful diverse and instantly replayable game serve to make Kung Fu Rabbit mired down and something of a slog to get through. At no point did I want to return to previous levels, since most of the level design was instantly skippable with a well placed wall jump. Some of the later levels and bonus levels are worth the challenge if you’re really into platformers, so that’s something to take into consideration.

Pros:

  • Great looking graphics
  • Later levels & bonus levels are a real challenge
  • Unique outfits to dress your rabbit
  • Supports Off-TV play

Cons:

  • Early 20 level zone is very boring
  • Nearly all artifacts are rendered useless compared to carrot juice
  • Menus don’t take proper advantage of screen space

Score: 6/10

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  • DemonRoach

    Wii U Power!

    • tronic307

      Yer trollin’! It’s one of those cellphone type games!

      • Gregg

        Many of those “Cellphone type games” are awesome

  • Nintendofan

    This game are not real, bunnies cant kung-fu, because my mamma once gave me a bunny rabbit, and it bit my finger, so i punched it right in the face with a hammer. My mamma was not glad, but I learn that bunnies dont fight very good. This game is stupid

    • Rick van der Linde

      Ha-ha.

    • Adrian

      Did you learn that bunnies taste good that night?

      • Nintendofan

        No, bunny rabbit was ok, but it had to wear eyepatch. The rabbit was stupid, would not accept apology – so I flush it into the toilet to make it go to heaven faster. Big rabbit, got stuck. Mammy very angry, so I kicked her in the nuts. Then i get grounded. Stupid parents!!! the bunny tore our family apart, so i don’t like bunnies, no more :’(

        • Nintyfan

          Wait, what did you say your mom have?

    • Arthur Jarret

      Best review I’ve read so far.

  • Saul Rivera

    I still think it’s good to see these kind of games coming to the Wii U..as long as they’re playable..and it seems this one is playable..not awesome but probably something to play while taking a break from bigger games

  • Wayne Beck

    I’m a bit confused by this review. The game seems slow because you can skip things and it sucks because super meat boy already exists?

    I get those who Carrot Juice thing, but it just sounds like something is missing here.

    • Adrian

      Yeah, I had never heard of super meat boy, so I didn’t get much out of the review. Oh well. I would never get this game anyways. haha.

  • http://waluigi.com/ Waluigi

    Nice, a rabbit with his own game but what about me Waluigi!!!

  • andrewjcole

    This review is useless if you’ve never played Super Meat Boy like me.

  • Gregg

    Cool. Bring on more $1 titles for WiiU.

  • disqus_oJWFcN8qd1

    I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with this review. I feel that the author had a bias before even playing it. I’d never heard of it before I saw it in the eshop, and after seeing the vid (also price) I had to have it. Yes it is most certainly inspired by super meat boy, a very good thing imho. That gameplay style feels so fresh and exciting, almost like a new genre, or infact reinventing the definition of a platformer. Instead of bashing it for being like meat boy, embrace it. There’s too many of the same platformers out and coming out (and it’s my fav genre;))

    The author also pointed out the ability to skip to new worlds using collected carrots, this is true, but in NO way does it make you do it. It’s for struggling casuals. Also while some of the items can make the game much easier, others add to the fun factor. Again this is up to you to use.

    Lastly I want to point out that theres a hardcore mode that is indeed very challenging. It’s definitely a solid title, I was surprised to hear it was an ios port! Honestly I would’ve payed much more than the $5

    9.5/10 YES I WENT THERE!

    • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.acuna2 Christopher Acuna

      no. it sucked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.acuna2 Christopher Acuna

    this game sucks