Reviewed: June 25, 2008
Released: June 3, 2008
Kung Fu Panda puts you in the rather large shoes of Po the Panda fighting for the right to defend Peace Valley against the return of the evil Tai Lung. Kung Fu Panda on the PC is about the same as the other systems but you get the additional benefit of a better control scheme and graphics would of course depend on your system.
Starting off with a dream sequence is a rather odd way to begin an adventure game but it does give a sneak peak at the mind behind the belly of Po the Panda. Po is a dreamer who wants to fight alongside the Kung Fu masters and he will stop at nothing to prove himself if he gets the chance.
The PC version of Kung Fu Panda plays almost exactly like the console versions with the exception of the obvious differences. The keyboard and mouse controls make for a bit of an easier time controlling Po and the few minutes of time you get to play as the other characters.
Graphics are also somewhat different but Iíll get into that in the appropriate section, here we talk about gameplay and Kung Fu Panda is a fun time. It is not so tough that it is hard to play or frustrating and the parts like platforming, the jumping and the climbing are not all that difficult.
The story follows the other games as well where you play mostly as Po the Panda who gets the chance to fight with the Furious Five to help defend the Valley of Peace. In the Valley of Peace the arch enemy, Tai Lung, has returned and is threatening to destroy the village and all those that dwell there so the Furious Five Kung FU Masters must defeat him.
Through several levels of platforming and general butt kicking you fight off waves of pigs and monkeys to work your way toward defeating the bosses of each level. The fighting is nicely intermixed with the platforming and some puzzle solving to move onward and keeps things mixed and fresh.
The levels do not get so impossible that they become totally frustrating but they are difficult enough to warrant a few tries at some spots. Kids will find the game fun as the characters and story add to the humor and fun of the game and Po adds plenty to the humor as well.
Kung Fu Panda does a great job of mixing the fun of button mashing fighting with a few puzzles and the platform type jumping and other moves to keep you on your toes. The great thing with the platforming is the game engine was not made so strict or precise that you will find the jumps and plank walking so difficult.
The gameplay of Kung Fu Panda is not all that different from other platformers or action games but with the well done graphics, audio and story they had a sure winner. Kung Fu Panda will be fun for adult gamers for a quick button mashing platformer and kids will not find it so difficult as to be impossible.
Kung Fu Panda for the PC is pretty good, almost as good as the PS2 version but with a few jagged spots and glitches here and there. The frame rates are pretty good except when a lot is happening on screen or there are a lot of characters in view.
The textures and effects all look very good with almost high definition quality and except for a few problems with some slight glitching are almost perfect. The entire game has a complete and polished feel to it that is a welcome and refreshing change from a movie based game.
The sound and audio for Kung Fu Panda is fantastic and the voice acting was great for all the parts, especially Po the Panda. I have been reading some more about this game and found out that many of the parts of the games are not the main actors of the movie but they are almost exact copies of these actors.
Many of the voices you hear are very close to the real actors and they did a great job with their parts, even the enthusiasm and other emotions you can hear. The sound effects and even the theme music is great with a very appropriate oriental sound to it.
Overall the audio and the graphics are great and I had no problems with any of them and what problems there were are few and far between. They did a great job with Kung Fu Panda in all aspects and made a great game even if it is a bit short.
Value is the only area of Kung Fu Panda that falls a bit short but it still is definitely worth getting the game even with the short campaign. You will have thirteen levels of button mashing gut pouncing fun as Po. In a few of the levels you even get to play as the other characters that make up The Furious Five, just enough to whet your appetite.
The game does include some multiplayer games like shooting large catapults at targets and a quick familiar brawler fight but not enough to get excited about. These mini games seem more like a quick attempt at making more content into the game just before release so they are not nearly as polished as the main game is.
Kung Fu Panda for the PC is my choice for the button mashing fun as Po the Panda but I am a PC gamer at heart and am quite used to the mouse and keyboard control scheme. The PC version plays just as good from a graphics and audio standpoint as the console versions I have played and there were no problems that the other ones did not also have.
Kung Fu Panda is a rather quick game based on a hit animation movie but will keep you entertained for at least awhile. Playing as Po will be a treat and even worthwhile to run through the game again on another difficulty setting or to collect all those coins.