Reviewed: January 2, 2007
Released: November 14, 2006
Fans of the TV series, Xiaolin Showdown are sure to love a game based after it, right? You have to since itíll have you leading a kung fu monk (Omi) and his three young dragon warriors on an action packed quest to protect the Shen Gong Wu one showdown at a time. Itís a fight thatíll require our heroes to rely on their superb martial arts skills and mystical powers to fight off the evil boy genius Jack Spicer, his army of robots, band of villains, and ancient witch Wuya.
Does it sound like fun to power up your warriors and learn new skills? How about fighting through an entire adventure, fighting in showdowns like on the TV show, and playing with six different characters?
If you are a fan of the TV series, are looking for a good game for your kid, or are just curious about Xiaolin Showdown then keep reading (or look at the scores on your left).
This is a very simple Action, Beat-'Em-Up childís game that is plagued with problems. You start off playing as one of the shows four main characters Omi, Raimundo, Kimiko, or Clay. The game is designed to be a four player game, but I expect everyone to be playing alone and using computer controlled characters.
Let me get right to the gameís major gameplay issue before I divulge further into how the game plays out. The lock-on system they have in this game is ridiculous. It doesnít work well and ruins the game in my opinion. It auto targets the closest person in sight and for some reason it locks onto your three companions fighting along side you. The game shows you are locked onto a character by briefly flashing a light above them, but after that itís extremely hard to tell who youíre locked onto.
If you manage to lock onto an enemy youíll need to attack them using two button attack combos. Pressing these two buttons in different orders mixes up your fighting combos and gives you more points. You can also attack by throwing jugs and barrels at them. This proves to be harder than using your basic air attack after locking onto an enemy because you have to let go of the lock-on button to pick up an item.
Throughout the adventure you do battle with evil boy genius Jack Spicer and his minions. To help you combat them before each battle you can outfit your character with Shen Gong Wu. Shen Gong Wu is just a fancy TV series term for a special fighting move. You use it in battles by charging it with coins that appear after you beat enemies. Whatís interesting is that the coins vary in color and have different effects when you use your Shen Gong Wu.
One of the most common effects is to stun your enemy and there are 30 in all. You can unlock them by beating opponents who wager them (like money) in a showdown. If you wager one, the AI character will wager one as well and youíll have a chance of winning one as well as loosing one.
While the variety of special moves is adequate, the variety of enemies is not. For the most part youíll be fighting the same robots the entire game until you finally get to a boss battle. The whole game is running around and beating up robots in arenas, using the single most effective combo in the game because all the others suck, collecting Shen Gong Wu, and trying not to throw your PSP down in anger over the infinitely frustrating lock-on system.
This game isnít designed for gamers over the age of 8 years old and it really lacks depth of any kind.
The game is presented in cell-shaded fashion which works well for an animated TV series. It is very colorful and has a very kiddy presentation. The small arenas have very little detail to them making it hard to tell one from the next. Characters look identical to those in the TV series (thank goodness) which is one of the most positive things I can say about the game. The variety of enemies is another story, there is no variety.
Overall, the graphics are very rough, with a lot of solid and plain textures. Itís obvious very little time, money, and creativity was put into the development of this game.
Good NEWS! Apparently the company hired several of the TV series voice actors including Maurice LaMarche and Tom Kenny. Unfortunately not all the characters were voiced by the originals and the one that spends the most time talking (Dojo) didnít get the premium treatment.
All of the gameís sound effects are here, but they get old over time. Since this is a fighting game the punches, kicks, and screams get tiresome fast. Most of my time I spent with the game was played on ďmute.Ē The background music isnít terrible, but it also gets old fast.
The value here is not buying it. The game lacks value because the developer and financial backers didnít want to invest the money or time to make a half decent game. If you buy this game you wonít play it long enough to make it worth a fraction of the purchase price.
I guess the game does have an adventure mode and showdowns to fight in. The real fight however is with the target lock-on system.
This is a good example of a low budget childís game that lacks any sort of creativity and effort. Using the lock-on system is the greatest challenge this game offers besides deciding to purchase it.
Even if you are a fan of the series, have a child that likes it, or are looking for a fun PSP game, avoid this one at all cost. If you decide to buy it, donít say I didnít warn you, when you throw your PSP on the ground.