Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition comes about via the development and publishing team at Hello There. This is based on a film from a few years back; a movie that I somehow missed but now feel needs tracking down for a watch. See, it’s a bit mad, as the titular Kung Fury gains martial arts powers after being bitten by a cobra and struck by lightning, before – it seems – being sent back in time to fight Nazis and their Kung Fuhrer. I mean, what else do I need to say?
Anyway, the film has spawned a game, and then some DLC, and now the whole collection has been squeezed together and thrown onto the Xbox consoles in the form of Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition. Let’s go and kick some Nazis in the face, shall we?
Presentation wise and there’s no doubt that this is straight out of the 1980s, right down to the way that the game screen appears to have scan lines running like an old CRT TV. The graphics are pixelated, the action is bonkers, and the enemies are Nazi, so the setting is perfect. It all moves freely too, and whilst the sound is also pretty typical of the time period, it all works very well indeed. I mean, don’t expect this to be winning any awards for realism in the graphics department, but we are a Miami cop who is happiest punching Nazis in the face, so a little willing suspension of disbelief isn’t too much to ask for.
The best compliment I can pay Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition is that the presentation took me right back to being a young man in the 1980s! Something which is heightened when you consider the variety of backdrops you play against; ranging from mean streets to the Viking age to a world of the imagination. All look good too.
Any form of story doesn’t seem to be Kung Fury: Street Rage’s strong suit, but it seems to carry on from where the film left off, as the Nazi forces rock up in modern day America. We must get rid of them using the medium of Kung Fu (or song, or guns, or a dirty great axe, depending on which character we pick), and that is pretty much the entirety of the story. It is short but sweet, but with the Ultimate Edition we’re getting access to included DLC too, as this introduces new campaigns, such as the attack of an arcade machine and the gang taking a trip to the beach. Admittedly these are also pretty throwaway to be honest. Don’t come expecting Shakespeare is where I’m going with this.
Taking a look at the content included and we have the base game, Kung Fury: Street Rage, and then two DLC packs, by the name of The Arcade Strikes Back and A Day at the Beach; all playable solo or locally with a friend. The first two sections on the list play out the same way, but the last DLC makes a bit of a change. We shall try and deal with each section in turn.
The base game is an odd duck, to be honest. There are five characters to choose from – Kung Fury himself; Hackerman who is a computer whiz who appears to be part machine; Triceracop, a police officer who also happens to be a Triceratops; Barbarianna, a valkyrie from the Viking era; and finally the one, the only, David Hasselhoff! Once you have selected your hero (and just as an FYI, Triceracop has a gun, so immediately makes things a lot easier), then it is time to start bringing justice to the streets.
Gameplay in the base game and the first of the DLC packs has you standing in the middle of the screen as enemies approach from the right and the left. If you want to attack to the left, you press the X button, and to the Right you press the B button. And that is the entirety of the gameplay pretty much – press X and B and punch enemies in the face. Now, obviously there are different enemies to have a crack at, ranging from the basic foes that take one strike, through officers who take two, to women in white who take three hits, but swap sides when they are hit (it’ll make sense when you play it), all the way through ninjas and Nazi robots.
It’s the combat that makes things flow and as you continue to hit foes, a counter begins to go up. As the combo count rises, you get more powerful, and if you miss, the count takes a hit. Continue to miss and it will reset entirely. The advice is, don’t miss! Each attack you carry out has a certain range that it is able to connect inside, and letting foes get close, but not too close, is where the skill lies. The Arcade Strikes Back content pack continues the same way, and introduces no new foes, but they now come in waves.
A Day at the Beach mixes things up a bit, turning the game into a proper side-scrolling beat ‘em up, in the vein of Final Fight or Streets of Rage. This time you can move about and attack at will, and while there is no dodge move (which would have come in very handy) you can at least try and move out of range of the enemies. The opponents you’ll find in this mode still act the same way – swapping sides when hit for example – and this time building your combo count allows you to pull off a special move that can take out more than one enemy at once. There are a lot of stages to go through, joined with a suspiciously Mario looking mini map, and this is where Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition starts to make sense.
If it wasn’t for the cool 1980’s vibe, Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition would probably be dismissed out of hand, as at times it falls into the “so bad, it’s good” category. The included DLC does expand the horizon a little, but this is a very hard game to rate. I personally loved the whole feel of the game and so should you be at one with the 1980s, Kung Fu, and battering the hell out of some Nazi forces, then this is an easy sell. But as a modern game in a modern world? That’s a little bit harder.
Kung Fury: Street Rage – Ultimate Edition is on the Xbox Store